Outsourced Wednesdays: Wicked Tickets


Most of the time, outsourcing is well worth it. Occasionally, there will be a glitches of miscommunication that you chalk up to lessons learned. But every great once in a while, it all comes together; fate gives you a big toothy grin and the results are better than you ever expected…

Here was my original request:

I’d like to take my wife to either an evening or a matinee (daytime) show of Wicked in Chicago within the next two weeks. Please give me the basic prices and availability for buying direct from the theater. Also do a quick check on Craigslist for any decent offers.

And here was the response:

The prices vary based on the seat, and the day. If you go during the
week (tuesday through thursday) the prices range from $32 (per ticket)
for the upper balcony to $85 for the front row. If you go on a weekend
(friday through sunday) the prices range from $37 for the upper
balcony to $90 for the front row. I am not sure that these are the
right prices, however, because on craigslist wicked tickets are selling
for over $100, but those prices are taken directly from the Wicked,
Chicago website

There are a pair of tickets for sale on craigslist for $89 each, but
they aren’t front row.

I also happen to know about a little local secret. There is a drawing
held before each evening show, where if you win you can get one or two
$90, front row tickets for only $25 each. They only draw 10 people,
but it’s worth a try. Check this website for details.

You can probably guess what comes next…

I asked Hank to show up for that drawing each day he was able to for the next week. But he only had to go once. He won tickets that first evening.

My wife and I tucked our daughter in bed and had a neighbor come over to the house. We drove downtown, pulled up in front of the theater, exchanged our car keys for tickets on row B, and Hank took the car back home to relieve our neighbor from holding down the fort.

Hank moves back home to California in a month, after which he’s headed off to Hawaii for college. I know he’ll continue to do great “virtual” work for us, but I’ll certainly miss having a local!

Keeping it legal: paying your virtual assistant


I was recently asked about the logistics of paying our virtual assistant. It’s actually pretty simple.

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Outsourced Wednesdays: Going Local


We started in India, then moved onshore. A few weeks ago, I added a new assistant to the roster, and he lives right here in Chicago.

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3 Surprises from Personal Outsourcing

Entrepreneurship, Outsourcing

Taking a quick break from the usual outsourcing examples this week. I’ve been thinking lately about how our experience during the past year of Personal Outsourcing has differed from my initial expectations. As I read and talk to more people that are trying it out, I find these differences are not uncommon.
#1- I’ve used it [...]

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Interview: Toronto Star


I had an enjoyable interview with Francine Kopun last month, and this morning her story on personal outsourcing ran on The Toronto Star.

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Outsourced Wednesdays


Each Wednesday I’ll be posting actual task requests I’ve made to my assistant, including his response. In addition to sparking ideas for what to outsource, hopefully it’ll highlight aspects of what makes for effective (and less effective) task definition and communication. So let’s get started…

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GetFriday Alternative Makes the New York Times

Entrepreneurship, In print, Outsourcing

A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by a nice fellow named Dan Fost. He was originally interested in hearing about my experience in shifting from GetFriday to a domestic assistant. In the course of our conversation, I ended up filling him in on the secret little business that we’ve been scheming on over [...]

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5 Tips for Outsourcing to a Personal Virtual Assistant


After the initial intrigue, most people that I talk to about outsourcing to a virtual assistant have one common response: “But what would I outsource?” Tim addresses this in the 4HWW book, and here are some additional thoughts based on my experience over the past couple of months.

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Forget Friday


From overseas to across-the-street: our new virtual assistant is top notch!

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Our GetFriday Virtual Assistant, part 2


Our first outsourced task was mostly a success. Our next two requests were a lot simpler: check airfares to India, get quotes for car insurance.

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