How to outsource any job or turn $12/h into $160/h

When I was 20, I turned a $12 per hour job into $160 an hour. It allowed me to travel the world and eventually meet the love of my life while quite literally working a 4-hour workweek.

Here’s how I did it:

A company agreed to pay me $50 for every one of their websites I moved to a new server. That fee amounted to about $12/hour. I soon found an overseas employee who agreed to do it for $10 per website, netting me $40 for around 15 minutes of work. And that’s the story of the first of over a hundred jobs I’ve outsourced over the last decade.

Watch the video version of this here (or just scroll on for the rest of the article):


It really doesn’t matter what you’re doing. You are leaving mounds of money on the table If you live in the US, Canada, or Europe, as 95% of the people reading this do, and you’re not outsourcing at least some of your work.

I’ve outsourced pretty much everything you could imagine from really commonly outsourced jobs like “content writer” to the extremely obscure, like “Selenium Developer.” In this video, I’m going in-depth into, spilling all my secrets about how I find and train the right people so that I can live the 4-hour work-week in real life.

Who am I

I run a remote worker agency, called Lil Assistance. I have a few dozen staff members who are trained in all aspects of running most online businesses. Everything from web and graphic design to SEO and writing. Customer service to photo and video editing..they are well-trained people who can do or be taught to do pretty much any job that can be done from a keyboard–and you can hire straight from my staff for as little as $4/hour.

This month, I’m running a contest. 1 winner will get a fulltime worker for a full month–worth around $800–for FREE. 1 month is long enough to build and launch most online businesses from the ground up, so make sure you stick around until the end of this video to find out how to enter. There will be some second and third prizes as well, and all winners will be announced on my channel.

This is going to be very sense, but by the end, you should know pretty much everything I know. Just make sure to grab your coffee.

When to start outsourcing?

One of the most frequent questions I get is when should I start outsourcing?

The common advice that business gurus give is that you shouldn’t start hiring until there’s too much work for you to do alone. I say bullocks.

I say start outsourcing right at the beginning.

Why? There are two reasons:

The common advice might be sound advice if it puts you face to face with your customers more, but it’s otherwise a huge waste of time.

Reason 1: Opportunity Cost

Imagine it takes an outsourced worker 20 hours to build your website. At Lil Assistance prices, that adds up to around $80. Can you even build your website faster than someone who specializes in web design? Spoiler alert: probably not.

Even if you could though, there’s this little thing called opportunity cost. Your local McDonald’s probably pays $15/hour and the national average Doordash driver makes around $20/hour. If you spend 20 hours on your website instead of Doordash, you’re effectively paying $400 for the website.

Last I checked, $400 is more than $80. Everything about the way I live my life changed when I made this realization. When I realized that every hour on this planet has some inherent value. The realization that I could pay someone to do what needed to get done and still have enough left over to learn a new skill, to explore myself, to teach my kids about life.

I’m not saying you should outsource everything, but every entrepreneur has some things that someone else can do just as well as them. I say outsource anything that takes you away from what you do best or what you really want to do.

The second reason:

Fail faster.

The honest to God truth is that you have around a 90% chance of failure no matter what you do. I’ve used up literal years of my life on businesses that ultimately failed. That’s not to say I didn’t gain anything from those failures, but I definitely learn just as much from a failed business when my staff does all the leg work.

There’s a key difference though: no matter how good you are, a staff of 1 dedicated person will always move faster than you (a person with other obligations). And a team of even 2 or 3 people with differing skillsets will pretty much always move faster than you could even if you were 100% dedicated to the business.

Also, remember your opportunity cost. When you put hundreds or thousands of hours into a business that ultimately fails, that time you lost could easily be valued at 5 times as much or even more than what it would have costed to have overseas workers build it.


How to find overseas workers?

So, you’ve decided to save your valuable time and outsource. Where do we even find workers?

If you’re resolved not to use Lil Assistance, there are dozens of other marketplaces to choose from. To keep this video from going over the 4-hour mark, I’m going to focus on 2 main ones, Freelancer and Upwork, their pros and cons, before telling you which website I now use almost exclusively.

Freelancer is one of the more established sites in any list of freelancer site. It’s been around for decades and it seems like everyone and their mother has used it. It’s also among the cheapest. You can list jobs for as little as $2/hour and projects for as little as $10.

But Freelancer has serious issues when it comes to quality and accountability:

1. People change their bids or ask for more money after bidding.

3 out of 4 people on the site will bid x amount for a project to get you to talk to them about the project–even for hours–only to multiply their price by 2 or 3. It’s not that the price is unreasonable. They usually come back down to the original price after you leave the conversation. They’re just seeing if you’re gullible enough to pay it. Obviously, I move on as soon as that happens and no longer mess around with that person.

2. When a price is agreed upon, they’ll often just start adding in hours that were never worked.

I generally know how long tasks should take before I start handing them out, so when phantom hours start being “manually entered”, I get suspicious. This is really 2 problems in 1. Sometimes, it’s just someone trying to take advantage of some poor sap who doesn’t know what they’re buying and sometimes it’s because the person you hired is actually outsourcing the work themselves–often to someone getting paid peanuts and has no idea what they’re doing.

3. Language and communication is a more serious issue than you think.

The vast majority of the people on the site are India and Pakistan-based. I have nothing but love for people in South Asia, but their English is horrible. It seems like the vast majority of them speak enough English to make you think they understand your requirements–and maybe they think they do, but 9 times out of 10, there will be a fundamental breakdown in understanding what needed to be done. There are also many Eastern Europeans and Filippinos on the site, and they really aren’t better.

So, after all that, what are the benefits? Well, did I mention the price? Freelancer is really cheap and has many different types of people with many different skillsets. I will use the site occasionally when I need something very specific that I will likely never need again and shouldn’t take long. I will never use it for a long drawn out project or permanent employee, and I don’t recommend you do either.

Upwork is the most popular freelancer site in the world, and for good reason: they limit the number of people allowed in every niche based on demand, so nothing gets oversaturated, and they have real accountability in terms of punishment for fake reviews and the like. In my opinion, they also have pretty fair but more importantly, transparent, pricing.

It feels like Freelancer charges you for every little random thing. Give them enough time and they’ll figure out how to charge you for the electricity passing through your computer. Upwork on the other hand charges a flat 5% fee to the client and between 20% and 5% to the worker. It’s not cheap, but it’s clear from the beginning who pays what.

Upwork does suffer from some of the problems I mentioned in the Freelancer chapter, but overall, I would say the output is higher quality and the communication is better. Overall, it means a higher quality workforce ready to work for you. And you’re going to pay for it.

With only a few exceptions in my experience, people are mostly looking for $10/hour and up, with many looking for $25-45 or more.

For the record, I’m not saying that these people don’t deserve every cent they’re asking for, but I’ve had cheap freelancers who did a fantastic job, and I’ve hired expensive ones with great reviews who were atrocious. In my experience, price and reviews are lessor indicators of quality than you might think, and I’d rather not spend a small fortune just to find out whether. Also for me, the objective of outsourcing abroad is to save time and money, and at a certain pricepoint, that purpose is defeated.

So where does Lil actually get his staff from?

I have never told anyone this, but I almost exclusively hire straight from know, the jobs site. I’ve had so many ups and downs with so many freelancer marketplaces, that I’ve realized the best place to find solid, consistent workers is a good old fashioned jobs site.

The people who are on sites like Indeed, as opposed to those on Freelancer and Upwork, I’ve found to be consistent, well qualified, and most importantly teachable.

There are some caveats though.

They generally want more security and benefits. You can’t hire someone on indeed for a one-off project. They are looking for fulltime jobs with consistent hours and income.

They are also not always fully equipped to handle any and every job you throw at them. I’ve bought computers, I’ve bought software, I’ve paid for internet in foreign countries, and I’ve commissioned in-house courses for my staff that take weeks to complete.

When you hire a freelancer off of a freelancer website, they always have “their own way” of doing things. This might be fine for a one-off project or something that isn’t integral to your workflow, but when you’re trying to piece together a team of freelancers with all different skillsets and backgrounds, it can be difficult, to say the least.

The greatest part of hiring on Indeed, hiring for “teachability” as I’m describing it, is that you get to mould your staff into exactly the people you want them to be.

Where to target on Indeed?

A lot of you are probably rightfully curious about where my staff are located–where to find the best people. How do I actually choose who to hire?

India and The Philipines are the two highest recommended outsourcing countries in the world–and for good reason. They are low-wage, high-population countries with a high concentration of modern tech and adoption of the English language.

However, I will never again hire out of either country–probably nowhere in Asia.

I used to hire in both countries regularly at the beginning of my outsourcing journey. The truth is that the widespread adoption of English and the fact they’re commonly outsourced from, might actually be their downfall.

Most people in both countries learn English in school but never really take it further than that. Many, if not most, of their respective populations speak enough English to convince you that communication won’t be an issue. However, they really fall short in understanding multi-step and complex instructions.

It often doesn’t become obvious until you’ve already hired them, and if you look at reviews of my competitors, you’ll find this is a really common issue in the outsourcing world. A VA may tick all of the agency’s boxes, but when it comes to actually doing complex work, they don’t understand or need the same concepts explained over and over again–often until you just give up.

For the record, I don’t blame the workers. They’re just trying to do their best to provide a good living for their families, and I have also worked in my second and third languages–it’s not easy.

But as a business owner, it’s your responsibility to do what’s best for your company. I’m also not trying to say there are no good workers in those countries, there certainly are. But in my experience, it is harder to distinguish good from bad in those countries.

So I personally hire out of Mexico and other places in Latin America. They are typically more aligned with American work culture, and at least in my experience, more honest about their English abilities. They are certainly more expensive than people in India, but still significantly cheaper than hiring from the US or Europe. In my experience, places like Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil, are really good compromises, between price, skill, and language abilities.

What am I looking for in an outsourced worker?

More than anything else, I am looking for flexibility and reachability. And the reason is because not everyone is tai and willing to learn new skills or do things “a different way”—your way, the way you’ve spent years perfecting whatever it may be.

To wrap up this section,    In my experience, the two most important things are effective communication/language abilities, and teachability. Every other issue can be overcome, but without those two, good luck man.