Trying out virtual assistants

I’ve set aside some of my play money to try out virtual assistants. I want to learn more about delegating tasks effectively, because that’s something that’ll help me a lot in the future. Help with online research, document and presentation design, and miscellaneous tasks would be appreciated, too. There’s always that urge to go and just stick the money into my long-term investments account, but I think this would be a good long-term investment as well.

I’ve been focusing on virtual assistants from the Philippines because I want to help out and because I’ll have fewer language barriers. (It may be a good opportunity to pick up a dialect, even!) Over 80 virtual assistants and companies have registered on VA4U. The best practice seems to be to go with larger companies that can coordinate different kinds of talent and cover for gaps in staffing, but it’s hard to get a sense of size in the list.

And every time I come across someone who confesses to be a computer geek, or someone who has a computer science degree, the teacher inside me feels a pang. I want to give them more interesting work than what most people might give them. Something that matches their strengths and helps them develop the skills they want to have. Yes, I know, I’m technically hiring or contracting with people, but I want to treat them as partners and help them develop anyway.

So I’ve started asking these potential virtual assistants what kind of work they love to do and what they want to get better at. Maybe we can find something that will work out for everyone. =)

Have you tried having a virtual assistant? How was your experience?

Ever been curious about it? What would you outsource?