Chris Ducker has a new book.
You’re going to be hearing a lot about it in the next few weeks.
He sent me an advanced copy a few weeks ago and after reading a few chapters I instantly realized something pretty important.
He got the title badly wrong.
It is an incredibly useful book – practical, simple to follow and extremely insightful. But the title ain’t right. I’ll talk more about that below.
This is the first time I’ve ever written about a book on Blog Tyrant. I’m not getting paid to do it. I’m not using any affiliate links. I just wanted to talk about it because I honestly think that it’s the missing ingredient in a lot of blogger business plans.
Read on. Please.
NOTE: There is a little competition at the end of this post that you are absolutely going to want to read about… I’m talking a free half an hour Skype call with Chris himself (usually valued at $500) to help brain storm your blogging/outsourcing future. I’ll also give away a few copies of the book.
Who the hell is Chris Ducker?
I first met Chris when I needed a transporter to complete certain tasks without asking any questions. He drove this beautiful BMW, wore an expensive suit and was known for his exceptional martial arts skills.
Turns out he also owns companies in the Philippines and is a worldwide expert on outsourcing and virtual assistants.
What a pleasant surprise!
(That’s a joke about Jason Statham for anyone who hasn’t seen The Transporter.)
Although he has over 300 employees and speaks at high profile gigs around the world, he is still very approachable and has helped me out a number of times when most people just wouldn’t have replied.
If you’re at all interested in outsourcing to grow your business then his website and podcast are two things you should really be checking out.
And so is his new book.
Virtual Freedom: Chris Ducker’s sexy new book
Okay so when I read this book I knew instantly why I wanted to talk to you about it.
The reason is simple: bloggers need to focus on writing.
You see, I know so many bloggers who are incredible writers. They are wonderful wordsmiths and craft the most amazing copy but constantly fail at growing their blogs because they have to focus on all the boring crap like coding, servers, social media, research and so on.
Bloggers just want to write!
So I sat down with Chris to ask him some very targeted questions about how his new book (and, indeed, all his stuff) can help us do just that.
Please excuse the hilarious tangents that this chat sometimes goes on. That tends to happen when I talk to Chris.
Some of the things mentioned in this video: Virtual Freedom (the book), Camtasia (screen recordings, Dropbox, Lego (just cos I like it), 3 lists to freedom, ODesk, Freelancer and that happy guy Larry.
Why I think the title is wrong
Okay so the first thing I want to say here is that I ran this past Chris before I decided to tell 10,000+ people that he mucked up his title.
So let me explain what I mean.
The full title of the book is Virtual Freedom: How to work with virtual staff to buy more time, become more productive and build your dream business.
That last word is where I think it falls short.
In reality, this book should be called Virtual Freedom: How to work with virtual staff to buy more time, become more productive and build your dream life.
What a lot of small business owners (that’s us, bloggers) fail to accept is that your work is your life. You’re at home with your family and cat and the work you do shapes and impacts everything that you do.
If you’re stressed out because you’re too busy it’ll affect your mood, your sleep and how well you relate to others.
If you’re doing some crappy task for some hard-to-please client when you should be working on growing your business then that is going to affect your profits and how much time you can spend on your hobbies.
It all adds up.
And virtual staff can literally change your life.
This was the main reason I wanted to tell you about the book. I honestly believe that if you start to get rid of some of those boring and stressful tasks and give them to someone who is not only cheaper than you, but a lot better at it than you (think accounting, coding, designing, etc.) then you are going to start loving your business again.
What tasks hold you back the most?
Chris has been kind enough to offer one reader a full half an hour consultation on Skype (normally $500) completely free of charge.
This is an incredible opportunity to get advice from someone who has built several super-successful companies and helped countless others do the same.
Leave a comment telling Chris and I what tasks hold you back the most. It might be something simple or it could be something more complex. Whoever has the best comment and is genuinely keen on learning how to take their online business to the next level will win the chat with Chris. I’ll also be giving copies of the book to a few of my favorite comments.
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Things have certainly changed over the years so with my new ‘Mom Blogging Help’ blog I’m trying to help moms create and run a ‘Lifestyle Business Blog’.
A blog which will make them money but still have time for family life.
There are more work from home moms/mom bloggers on the Internet now (apparently one in every 3 bloggers is a mom – me included!)
I’ve built several blogs/websites over the years, but I always seems to lose focus. I’m focused on my Mom Blog now, but jut have to get out of the “old-school SEO” way and start to ‘build relationships’ to get this blog off the ground.
So this is where I’m at now; not to focus on SEO but to build relationships(which I’m struggling with a bit)and to outsource to get it where I envisage it to be 🙂
Great post Ramsay!
Wow, Claire! That is a crazy statistic. I had no idea so many bloggers were both female and had children. Talk about a group of people who absolutely need more time…
This book sounds intriguing! I’m really excited at the prospect of getting some help from an expert because lately I’ve been struggling with 2 things you mentioned:
1) Balance. I’m a little obsessed with my blog so I’m always trying to improve it. The only problem is, I always feel like I’m behind. I need help figuring out an editorial calendar that works for me and how to plan ahead so I’m not always playing catch up.
2) Social Media. How on earth do people manage their own social media? I am on about 5 networks consistently–I want to be personable and reach my audience, but I feel like again, I’m always behind in sharing what is going on. Is there a better way? I hope so.
Great post, Ramsay. And good luck with the launch, Chris! I’m looking forward to getting the book.
Chris does some pretty efficient stuff with his social media. That would be an interesting one to chat about…
Great post. Thanks for sharing this, Ramsay. I can’t wait to dive into the video and I know I’m going to want to get Chris’s book.
At the risk of sounding to general, the tasks that hold me back the most revolve around the execution of my numerous ideas. I’ve got an ever-increasing amount of marketing and new-business plans for the company I work for as well as my own personal business.
All of them are genius of course! 🙂
I’m sure that I could benefit from outsourcing help. I’m having a hard time figuring out where I can “let go” and outsource certain things. I’ve recently jumped in and had an app developed by some great folks in India. So, at least my first real foray into that type of outsourcing has been successful.
I guess maybe what I need is to craft an overall, big-picture map of what I’m wanting to execute across all of my ideas and start identifying areas to get help in, whether it’s outsourced help or something else.
Jason that is exactly the same as me. And it was exactly why I loved the book so much. Kind of kicks you in the ass and shows you how to start doing that. I’ve got three BIG projects that could do so well with a platform like Blog Tyrant but have been too “busy” to get cracking. This has helped a lot.
Awesome! Then I definitely have to grab the book!
Finally got a moment to watch the vid – (yes, I watch 16 min. videos 🙂 )
Great value in that. I love the example of the WordPress outsourcing.
Ha ha! Nice!
Sweet post Ramsay,
I feel as though a lot of the ideas in this post have made me think of ways that I can outsource some of the lame stuff that I waste my time doing in my non blog business. I am definitely interested in checking out that book to see if I can get a few more ideas and strategies. Keep up the good work mate.
Are you up late avoiding your accounts bro?
Thank you so much for this blog post! It is very insightful. I am currently living back and forth from the US and Brazil in the start up process with a with my partner in the US. I manage all of the social media and the blogging at the moment and really need to think about how to get it out there. Currently blogging through our website via Shopify and know that we need to change that. So much to do and this book seems like it would help me so much! Thanks again! Pamela
Sounds like an exciting time for you, Pam!
Hi Ramsay and Chris, the tasks that hold me back the most are
1) Making changes to my website, e.g. it took me more than 2 hours to change the fonts
2) Social media marketing, e.g. I set up various accounts but am stuck at coming up with background images
@Chris, great job marketing the book! I see that you’ve reached out to various authority bloggers to promote the book, good luck!
Nice. Thanks for leaving a comment.
Thanks for the good book recommendation Rams, I’m going to have to read it. I liked the interview. Anybody who is drinking tea in a mug clearly marked “coffee” must be an enigma! I’m going to have a look at all his podcasts too.
What holds me back the most are the obstacles I run into when I’m trying to do things like sidebar content or embedding things into posts, HTML, all the techy stuff that frustrates me. Now I’m thinking maybe it is really as easy as simply hiring someone.
I don’t even know how something like that works. How do you know they won’t hijack your site?
Umm… I mean I’ll have a listen to his podcasts. Looking at them probably won’t have the same impact. 😉
Yeah I was worried about that as well at first.
One way is that you set up an account for them that isn’t the main one you use. So they only have certain access.
The other option is to use a site like Freelancer.com which provides guarantees. If you choose someone with a good work history, lots of reviews, etc. then it is very unlikely that they’ll muck you around because one bad review would ruin their entire business.
I like the idea of restricted account access.
I will check out Freelancer too. Thanks for the tip! This is why you’re the BT.
Great post, perfectly timed as well. Loving that dude Chris. Especially his UK accent is great to listen to. It brings back good memories from my time in Australia, where i worked a lot with them poms 😉
Three weeks ago i started my sales business. Right now doing my first sales jobs… And there’s a lot of acquisition going on 🙂 But here it comes. I am about to create a beautiful website + blog, called sales24.nl But as a matter a fact, i am not good at it (i tried it before) Should i outsource it? I am well keen on that session with mr Ducker.
Take care mate and thanks again 🙂
Absolutely. Sounds exciting!
I enjoyed the interview and it’s quite clear that Chis ISN’T a Fumb Ducker. 😉
But I too have a problem with the title of the book, and it’s different than yours. You see, I have a problem with the use of the word “virtual”.
The fundamental definition of virtual is “not real”. Thus, one can hardly expect an unreal assistant to be able to perform any task, however small.
Yes, I realize it’s all the rage these days to use such an inaccurate term, but for those of us who are supposed to be masters of the English language, why not use one that actually and accurately describes the situation?
Which is why I have so long advocated using the word “remote” when referring to our “assistants at a distance”, rather than virtual. Using RA instead of VA. Because until the Singularity is reached, the concept of artificial intelligence (also a major misnomer) is just that, a concept.
But real, flesh and blood human beings who perform tasks for us, well, they are anything but virtual, right? As are the computer and internet connection they use, the servers they tap into, the pixels they create. They are all REAL, not virtual.
Personally, I’m waiting for a titan in the outsourcing industry to start a trend toward using the correct term. But I’m not holding my breath…
Definitely a pet peeve of mine, but oh well. Maybe I should start my own Remote Assistant blog? 🙂
As for the thing that’s holding me back from using outsourcing more, it’s really about getting in the habit of it. I’ve outsourced a few things, but nothing consistently. I’ve got to find a middle ground between my own high standards and what I’m willing to delegate to a stranger who’s standards, ethics, etc. are unknown.
Oh, BTW, you didn’t say where to get Chris’ book!
Thanks for the challenging comment!
The first sentence of the post has a link to the book. I sometimes think my links don’t stand out enough – something I’m addressing with the new design.
As for the word “virtual” – don’t you think that part of the beauty of the English language is how it changes and evolves for different times and places? A huge portion of the words we speak today probably aren’t for their original literal meaning.
One example that springs to mind is “web” to refer to the internet.
Personally I like the word virtual because it denotes the task and method, if not the actual worker. It shows that you can do the whole process online.
Good point though. I enjoyed reading that.
Just want to say real quickly – Thank You.
Having you covering my book launch has been a real treat and I value the time and effort you put behind the post, video, etc.
Thanks again, mate.
Just don’t forget me when you’re in the top 100 driving an R8 with a new pet poetry falcon.
I mostly get held back with DESIGN. Argh! Just thinking about it frustrates me. See, I love design, I think I have good taste and an eye for it. But I just don’t have the skills to actual produce design elements myself, whether it is blog or web design, banner design, eBook design …. basically anything that involves graphics. And it’s amazing how much you need design when running a blog and website!
I held back on launching my Blognix website for ages simply because I didn’t have the money to pay for a web designer and it takes me so darn long to do it myself. In the end, I gave in and spent a week trying to cobble together the site just so I could launch my blogging conference. But every time I look at it I cringe.
So yeah … my design skills suck and that is a huge drain of my time and energy. I have never thought to get virtual staff on board and to be honest I’d be a little wary about letting a stranger touch my stuff. Maybe that says a lot about how possessive I am of my business.
Anyhow, thanks for sharing and I’ve signed up for Chris Duckers mailing list now too.
I reckon you’d do really well to have a chat to Chris about the “letting go” part.
Great post. I find myself in the spin zone when it comes to making progress after hitting a certain thresh-hold. I find myself asking, ok- what next? Business/ Blog is two years old, traffic increasing, products in place, scaleable model, site optimized… but no idea how to SELL online in ways that can be tracked, measured, and deployed simply. Everything feels way more complicated than it needs to be.
I know that feeling. Thanks for sharing Monica. Have you had a shot at selling yet?
I think the greatest thing holding me back is motivating myself to outsource. I know its a neccessary step, but I feel so connected to everything and it’s in part sue to where I came from.
I started making websites after I could no longer afford it (which did give me great experience in software engineering) but it also led to me working your typical demeaning fast food job. Combine less than 30 hours (they didn’t want us to have benefits) with that pay and bills, I had very little to spend. I’d save as much as possible but every little purchase was an investment. Aweber here, hosting there.
I had to do everything. From seo to graphic design (which is okay because its been of a hobby of mine for a dozen years). But because I’ve had to do it all. I feel like I’ve become a micromanager.
And this transition, from micromanager to a more hands-off approach is my wall.
It* being college in the above response. It’s early here, sorry.
Ready to let go a bit?
Thanks for another great post!
I be very honest when I say I have a bitter taste in my mouth from the word Outsourcing because I ended up Outsourcing myself out of job many years ago. I was working for a large company who outsourced my entire IT department for the wrong reasons and they ended up putting the entire company under.
With that said, you have opened my eyes to looking at outsourcing in a different light. Instead of looking at outsourcing staff as faceless drones, you made me realize that if I look at it as is if am contracting someone to do a service for me, it is much like hiring and employee or working with a partner. The Outsourcing landscape has changed a great deal since 2007 and this post in particular enlightened me.
With that said, my two biggest issues that I am facing is a need for marketing help for my blogs and business and someone to help me organize my posts and social media updates.
Marketing has always been my downfall and it is one area that I am not sure where to start. Even though I am active on social media and various forums related to the topics I write about, I have not found a way to engage people enough to want to work with me.
Even though I ran a project management staff for many years, it was much easier to organize others projects than my own. I end up stopping myself from doing my own projects because I analyse them to death whereas I was very successful when I was managing projects for other people or companies. I am spending too much time spinning my wheels trying to do other tasks when I should be writing.
I’m at a point now where my readership has increased a good amount but I am at a loss and struggling to get to the next level where my writing moves from a hobby to a business that can support me.
Thanks again for the great post and for allowing me to get my problems out in the open.
Yeah I think I a lot of people have that feeling about outsourcing due to their own jobs or jobs or their family members being shipped off overseas. The sad part about that is that in a lot of cases it does’t work out well for the company. I remember reading about a 5-star hotel in Australia that outsourced it’s phone lines and the quality dropped so much that they lost a star.
Chris talks about local outsourcing as well – Pat Flynn was one who outsourced overseas but now has chosen to have people local as the language or time zone barriers aren’t an issue.
Anyway, it’s well worth experimenting with, even if you just start small.
Two things actually are holding me back:
1) My intersts/businesses are too diversified. Between co-running a small mining exploration company (main job), and then doing marketing, website development/maintenance, and blogging about the post-secondary education system (hustling any way to get by)…
I have trouble effectively prioritizing and find my time sliced into fragments that are difficult to build into a cohesive, effective whole.
2) Second, I’m having difficutly generating effective writing now. I feel that research is taking up too much time (or else I’m not making enough time avaiable for it). I want writing content to be, on average, easier to fit into my schedule but I’m struggling getting there.
Wow that’s an interesting one!
How’s the mining gig going?
Big picture well, small picture not so well as, at least here in Canada, the mining industry has been hit hard by the global financial crisis which it is still living in the after-effects, coupled with depressed demand from China.
As an Australian I’m so interested in mining. It’s in the public consciousness so often as our whole economy is basically dependent on it but we hate them at the same time for the power they seem to have and the obvious environmental impacts.
There’s a few good guys though who seem to be legit into sustainable practices and empowering the indigenous people whose land they are using – so that’s positive.
Ah, that’s interesting. Canada as a whole is very resource dependent, and the province where I live (British Columbia) is a mining province. To give you an anecdotal example, all but one of my six accounting friends do a lot of work for mining companies.
One difference I think between here and Australia is the power that mining companies have. Although, in a weird way, we’ve kind of ended up in the opposite situation. Because of the environmental requirements here (and massive requisite lawyer fees) it’s depressed everything but the large mining companies because of the cost of securing resources.
So in a way, while large mining companies were less powerful they’ve actually become more powerful with new environmental regulations (and they also have the money/lawyers to handle complex regulations). Still, a difference between Canada and Australia is the level of influence at the national level. There are pockets where mining is a massive employer in Canada, but it’s not large enough as a whole to play an unbalanced role in federal politics.
The parallels are intersting though – former British colonies, very resource dependent, recent concerns about the environment, and complex relationships with Aboriginal populations.
I could benefit from more time! Yikes! A full time Mommy, wife, businesswoman, and a million other things. I am at a point where I need to outsource more, which means that I have to generate more income to hire someone to do it for me. I would also love to have more time to meet people in my niche, both, those who are an authority in the same field, and even more readers who need what I offer :).
Is that too much to ask for? 🙂
I have a million ideas to blog and to vlog about, and even more to produce ebooks, and need to put a book proposal together…but time, time is what I lack most.
A virtual assistant sounds perfect for you. Thanks for commenting, Elena. Always nice to have you around.
I think you are right… I am going to do it this month. OUTSOURCING, here I come! 🙂
First time viewing your blog. Came over here from ViperChill. Love your work and everything you have to say.
I’m interested in creating my own blog & business but find the idea of self hosting to be intimidating–afraid to spend money only to find that I don’t know what I’m doing or don’t have the necessary skills.
It’s a little embarrassing to say that, but that really sums it up. I’m not worried about content or even products and services, just the learning curve when it comes to learning about something I know comparatively little of, being webhosting and what it all entails.
Ramsay, I enjoyed seeing your interview with Chris. For me, I’m just starting out and not in a position to outsource yet but I’ve been following Chris and the whole outsourcing thing. I don’t think it’s ever too early to start learning about it so that when you are ready you can get started more quickly. I’ll definitely be checking out the book.
I also have to say that it has blown me away to see how everyone in this online business space has come out this week to show their support for the book. It seems every big name person out there has taken the time to go out of their way to support this. It’s a testament to the person Chris is and the value he provides. I actually got to meet Chris at NMX in January and he is such a down to earth person. Glad to see you’re supporting him as well.
Hi Melissa. Yep, people really love Chris. He’s very well respected as a no-nonsense kind of guy.
It was fun to read and even funnier to watch.Don’t take me wrong but I love this kind of things 😀
Glad you enjoyed it, mate!
What’s holding me back are all those little things that need to be done but that don’t form the core of my blogging business: social media, email, administrative work…
I already outsource some of that, but I’m still way too often distracted by other things while I should continue to work on that one big thing.
For example, I could be writing a blog post about something in which I mention a person, and then I have to think about something else I have to do in regards to that person, and so I note that down, but then I see my other notes, which lead me even further away…
Or I think “oh that will only take a jiffy” and I do that other thing, leading me away from writing my blog posts.
I feel like I’m constantly surrounded by buzz and noise, if that makes sense.
I know the feeling. Thanks for commenting Sofie.
At the risk of sounding to general, the tasks that hold me back the most revolve around the execution of my numerous ideas