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Experience with Virtual Assistants (VAs)?

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  • Experience with Virtual Assistants (VAs)?

    I'm listening to Tim Ferriss' 4-Hour Workweek.  He really extols virtual assistants for outsourcing a lot of chores and work-related tasks.  I think it could be helpful for me, especially since I have such a hard time finding quality help for home maintenance.  Can't find time to make all those phone calls while working and it's the last thing I want to do when not at work.

    Anyone given this a whirl?  If so, which service did you use and how much did you pay?  What kind of stuff did you have them do?

    The concern of credit hacking and identity theft is something Ferriss discusses, but pretty much says "It's eventually going to happen to you at some point, but the likelihood your assistant will do it is tiny."  That doesn't mitigate my anxiety much, but I may try it anyway.

  • #2
    No experience here.  What sort of work-related tasks were you imagining them doing?


    • #3
      I won't use them much for work. However I am being asked to do a journal club in a few months and could ask a VA to make a handout on an article.  A good one could go through all my billing and double check that it's reconciled correctly.  Even better would be if they could call in to meetings on my behalf and take notes for me while I see patients (doubt that will fly though).  I could task them with finding efficient ways to use my education fund and find cheap/free cme articles.  I don't like doing any of that stuff with my time.


      • #4
        After listening to Ferriss as well (love his podcast FYI) I really tried to get into this.

        It's tough, I've found it impossible. On the VA side you end up with offshore companies and it's really difficult to find what you're looking for.

        For individual projects I've used, have found that you either get:

        1. Unbelievably low quality work or

        2. Pay some real money for good quality, enough that it might not be worth it.

        I had to create a survey where residents would assess each other and tried to use Upwork. Was very clear in what I wanted, tried to spell it out, what was sent back to me was to be honest offensively inadequate. This was from a person in the USA who claimed to be experienced. I gave some example questions and he literally copied them into a google doc and then forwarded it to me along with an invoice for 2 hours work.

        For another project I needed a lit review and paid a guy online to do it who was a canadian PharmD. he did a great job but I think I paid $200.

        I would never trust anyone I've dealt with in this space to do the things Tim suggests like making bookings, flights, etc.

        It sounds like an amazing idea, I just haven't been able to make it work.