Pay It Forward By Hiring Out

Can you pay somebody to do things for you … and boost your own freelancing income?

I’ve tested this concept, and yes … it’s completely true.

That’s why our second lesson in gratitude for this week is:

Pay others to do the things outside your expertise.

It’s a two-fold lesson, which I’ll explain in a minute.

First, I’ll tell you how I learned this lesson last year … and wound up with a housekeeper. It was a luxury I never imagined I could have.

It started over an argument with my husband, Craig. I needed more time to work, but the state of our house was starting to suffer.

Craig, who had already taken on all of our errands and cooking, not to mention watching our six-month-old so I could write, suggested we get a housekeeper.

I argued that we couldn’t afford it. After all, we still had debts to pay. And secretly, I didn’t want a stranger cleaning my house.

But from Craig’s point of view, it was a no-brainer. He was maxed out with his new duties and our house was in chaos.

While I sulked, Craig located and interviewed someone who came highly recommended: Miriam.

We gave her a trial run.

Afterwards, we were absolutely floored. Not only did Miriam take our house to a new level of clean, she also rearranged a few things. We ended up with a spic-and-span, fully-functional home. Plus, I had time to work.

I remember that Bob Bly talked about this concept during a teleconference a few years ago. He told us how he hires help for both his home life and his business needs. His general rule is that if he can make more money working in an hour than it costs to pay the hourly wage of the person he hires, it’s a good investment.

Makes perfect sense. In my case, hiring Miriam allows me to use that time to write for clients — which more than covers her fee.

Implement this idea and spend your time doing what you enjoy — and get paid for — instead of trying your hand at everything else. You can’t be an expert in everything — and you don’t have the time to do everything anyway.

That’s the first half of today’s lesson in giving.

The second thing to realize is that hiring other service providers is a great way for us to “walk the walk.”

After all, we expect clients to hire us for our writing proficiency, despite the fact they all know how to write. The difference is that although many can write decently … we are experts who know the subtle nuances that go into well-crafted, persuasive, wallet-opening copy.

It’s just like I learned from Miriam, who’s been expertly cleaning our house for nearly two years now. I thought I did a decent job cleaning … after all, who can’t use a vacuum? But, she elevated tidiness into an entire art form I didn’t know existed.

I encourage you to be grateful for and take advantage of any help you can get or hire out. Not only does it put you in a better position to capitalize on your own skills, it’s also a way to pay it forward to other freelancers and service providers.

If you don’t think you can afford it — remember Bob’s simple calculation above.

Do you agree? I’d love to hear feedback on this concept.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »

Click to Rate:
Average: 5.0
Published: December 27, 2011

10 Responses to “Pay It Forward By Hiring Out”

  1. I agree with the facts and the premise. Time is very valuable. Any time spent earning income can be beneficial if it is that time that is lost by doing these household chores in this case. If however, I am leading as a parent the 'household chores' are leadership opportunities with my sons & daughters that are also life lessons. Dusting, vacuuming,laundry, changing out a sink drain, etc. I need time with my children and to be a parent more than I need more time at work.

    Guest (Doug Plummer)

  2. A weekly maid service has been one of the best investments for me - I can focus on work because I know someone else has responsibility for the housework. Also, no more fights about dishes in our house, meaning in the hours where neither of us is working we can just enjoy that downtime, guilt-free!

    Jennifer Adams

  3. I've been a strong supporter of this idea for a long time. It's no different than paying my mechanic to fix my car or my dentist to look after my teeth. If someone does it better, for less than it would cost you to do it yourself, why not pay them to do the job they do so well 'and' free up the time you can use to increase your income?

    Do what you do, and do it well. Contract out the rest to experts in those fields and enjoy the real savings, instead of supporting a false economy.


  4. Thank-you, Mindy, for such an appropriate article on the use and valuation of time!

    I've find that most people are penny-wise and pound-foolish when it comes to how they use the most valuable resource of all- time.

    Your other point is also well taken that we "share the wealth" when we hire others.

    Again, thanks, your topic has struck a chord with me today!


    Guest (Kim)

  5. Agree. It can be tough to get past the "but I know how to do this" when considering hiring someone to say, mow the yard, clean the house, bathe the dogs. But the reality is that hiring someone else to do things you can afford to pay someone else to do just makes good business sense. And, in our small way, we are working to stimulate the economy by providing a portion of a job.

    On the other hand, there are a few things, that while I'm certain I could hire someone else to do, I want to do myself. I love digging in the dirt in the spring so I buy plants and take great pleasure and pride in getting them to grow. I have quite a green thumb.


  6. Hi Mindy;

    Outsourcing what you cannot do yourself has been around for some time. If you can hire someone else to do it for you, then by all means... go for it!

    Besides, you're now at the level (and have paid your dues) that you can afford that luxury (sometimes a necessity) so that you can focus on other things.

    You're not earning a six-figure income as a working copywriter. Give yourself a pat on the back and say hello to that new baby and the hubby for me!

    Sincerely, John Kidd AWAI Member since 1998


  7. A year ago, after Bootcamp, I had decided I would hire some help. I actually have the names of two people who do housecleaning, one who lives right on the property (I live in a condo.) I've hesitated to call them after a neighbor mentioned that a friend of hers had things go missing. But maybe it's time I did it. I'm not "rich" yet, but. . .I could certainly use the extra time. I'm by myself, so I'm 'it.' (The cats don't care.)

    I really need to get some help with the house stuff. . .looks like I'm going to be calling them this week.

    Thanks, Mindy!


  8. I agree 100% with Mindy's lessons. Doing what we do best and creating an opportunity for others to do the exact same thing is the perfect blend of smart time management and good old common sense. In our house, we rarely cook full meals the way we used to. Our local grocery store has an upscale Bistro offering dinners for $6.99. And I mean GOOD food - not junk. So why not take 2 minutes to pick it up and then take it home, instead of spending an hour fixing it yourself? Makes perfect sense to me.

    Guest (Michael)

  9. Dear Mindy and other AWAl members, I am not yet a member but because I don't have the money however I am willing to do this web surfing for you or any other member who needs help. I am not asking for any free handout I am willing to work as much as I need to so I can earn my membership fees. So if there is anyone out there reading this and wants to pay it forward Mindy has my email to find me. I am eagerly waiting for a response and hopefully some jobs. I want to be a member. Thank you everyone at AWAl, Renee Malloy

    Guest (Renee Malloy)

Guest, Add a Comment
Please Note: Your comments will be seen by all visitors.

You are commenting as a guest. If you’re an AWAI Member, Login to myAWAI for easier commenting, email alerts, and more!

(If you don’t yet have an AWAI Member account, you can create one for free.)

This name will appear next to your comment.

Your email is required but will not be displayed.

Text only. Your comment may be trimmed if it exceeds 500 characters.

Type the Shadowed Word
Too hard to read? See a new image | Listen to the letters

Hint: The letters above appear as shadows and spell a real word. If you have trouble reading it, you can use the links to view a new image or listen to the letters being spoken.

(*all fields required)