This same philosophy is what Donald Trump credits his fortune with - he says he outsources anything that costs less than $100 an hour. Ducker lists things like:
- research website keywords or blog post topics
- respond to customer emails
- create web content or translate existing content into new formats (like turning blog posts into slideshows)
- post your content on social media
Ducker's book would more aptly be called Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Build Your Dream Lifestyle. His advice isn't just for productivity or time management, it's about doing more of the things you like and less of the things you hate.
I bought this book because I enjoy Chris Ducker's blog. I hoped the book would be like a really long, in-depth post - and I was partially right. Each chapter reads like a stand-alone blog post, which makes it easily digestible. However, it also means he repeats the same information over and over and over - including highly-specific info like public holidays in the Philippines or reminding you not to use all-caps when writing to your assistant.
Perhaps my biggest beef with his book is his push for hiring overseas. (I will admit that I could be biased because I'm USA-based and my clients outsource their marketing to me instead of overseas.) "Section 4: Stay Local or Go Overseas?" promises to be a chapter weighing the pros and cons, but quickly turns into building the case for overseas outsourcing, highlighting the benefits of lower wages and cultures which are eager to please their bosses.
While you may pay higher prices to keep your assistant(s) in your own community, you're also keeping your dollars in your local economy. I think that's a valuable thing which shouldn't be glossed over in favor of lower costs. It's something entrepreneurs should consider against their value system - especially because many small business owners take pride in being ultra-local.
Overall, the book is a decent overview for the entrepreneur who has never outsourced a task and needs advice on affordable solutions.
The companion workbook is $27 and contains 36 pages (including cover, intro letter, table of contents).
Possibly the most valuable pages are the "Lists to Freedom," where you are instructed to brainstorm on the tasks you should outsource. These pages are mostly instructions with just a few blank lines for your brainstorming. Ducker distills a chapter from his book into 3 pages for the workbook, and the content is much better in this format.
The next element, taking up the bulk of the workbook, is "10 Elements to a Good Job Description." Each element takes a page, and honestly, almost none of them need a whole page (like "time zone")... especially when Ducker's example for the element is only a sentence.
The following nine pages are a guide to interviewing, complete with an assessment sheet for the interview. There's nothing groundbreaking in this section - you could find all the same information (albeit not in worksheet form) on any hiring website. A whole page is dedicated to "your questions" (meaning: blank).
Six pages outline a monthly/quarterly performance review containing basic questions like "How well does the employee understand his role?" and "Are you happy with your employee's performance?" It's a decent start to a performance review, but there's no instructions on what to do with it once you have it. (And if you need a worksheet this basic, you probably also need a little instruction on how to use it.)
Finally, the last few pages contain a timeline and list of tasks for the business owner diving into outsourcing for the first time. By the end of six months, Ducker's timeline has you hiring two virtual assistants and taking a week off from your daily business management.
If you like having the convenience of a basic hiring kit in one PDF, it might be worth the cost. But if you're ok with using Google for a minute to find basic hiring information, don't bother with the workbook.
I purchased the materials outlined in this review and did not receive any compensation for writing it. The links contained are not affiliate links, so I'm not making any money if you click them.