Virtual assistants that are affordable and super helpful

What kind of virtual assistance can you get for $25 a month?

Until I tried FancyHands I would have said “nothing worthwhile.” But my friend Chad Burton persuaded me to try them, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

Under the “starter plan,” FancyHands virtual assistants will handle 5 tasks per month.

Five tasks for $25 per month may not seem worthwhile, but that’s the surprise. At least if you’ve never used a virtual assistance service before.

First of all, you can get more than 5 tasks your first month.

FancyHands offers incentives options that, if you agree to them, give you up to 10 more tasks for free. The incentives are things like downloading the mobile app, or connecting your Facebook account.

I strongly recommend you agree to the options and load up on the free tasks.

So why does FancyHands give you free tasks so easily? Simple: they know you can easily cancel after the first month if you’re unimpressed.

And FancyHands knows you probably need to re-develop a “delegation mindset.” To do that you’ll need to practice more than 5 times in the first month.

Personal confession: My delegation skills had seriously atrophied (that’s what happens when you run a solo law practice for years and get used to using technology to do things that used to be done by live humans).

At first, I couldn’t even conceive of tasks I’d want to give to a virtual assistant. But I had 15 tasks to use, so I had to come up with something.

I’ve now assigned 6 tasks, and –despite my initial skepticism– I now grasp the power of a virtual assistant service like this one. Here are some examples of how I’ve been using FancyHands.

First, I had a toilet problem that I’d been putting off calling a plumber to fix. Why? Well, I despise calling service companies to set up routine appointments.

So I offloaded that to FancyHands. I sent in a written request telling them what I needed, but I didn’t bother to tell them when I’d be available. They had access to my personal Google calendar, because I enabled that when I set up my account (and they awarded me a free task for connecting my Google calendar).

Think about this for a second.

The FancyHands assistant could set up my plumber appointment without me having to waste time telling them when I’d be available. And when they made the appointment, they simply put it on my calendar. They even put key information in the notes section (e.g. name of company, phone number etc.). Bing!

Oh by the way, just to be clear: you aren’t assigned your own dedicated assistant.

Stop pouting, and read on…

All tasks are handled by a pool of virtual assistants, which is actually better because the tasks get done faster than they would if you had a dedicated assistant. (trust me, I’ve had dedicated VAs before so I speak from first-hand experience)

Next, I needed flowers sent to someone in Las Vegas. Talking to florists to select flowers and arrange for delivery is another task I despise. I happily used one of my FH tasks for this (feeling like I was rubbing a magic Genie lamp as I did).

I supplied FancyHands with the address in Las Vegas, and told them I wanted something that cost between $50 and $60 dollars, more or less, and told them what to put on the note card. The flowers were delivered the next day, and someone in Las Vegas wound up happy. (someone in New Orleans named Ernie was happy too).

By the way, FancyHands won’t submit credit cards on your behalf.

Stop pouting again!

FancyHands can make purchases on your behalf for up to $200. How can they do that?

Well, they use their credit card, and add the charge to your monthly bill. In other words, they can make small purchases for you in a way that’s secure and convenient.

Next, I asked them to find me a pest control company. I needed one that would take credit cards, and was easy to work with. I  just wanted some basic research. And, here’s what I got back (click on image below to enlarge).

Screen Shot 2014-07-27 at 9.04.30 AM

I love that they did the research using Yelp reviews. That’s what a modern assistant should do (yet many traditional office assistants wouldn’t do that). You see where this is going, right?

Obviously, I’m now addicted to FancyHands.

Maybe you’re interested in trying FancyHands too.

If so, you can get 50% off the $25 monthly price, if you click here (full disclosure: if you do they’ll also give me a $15 credit. And I’ll use that to support my growing addiction).

If you have any questions about FancyHands, shoot me an email.

And if you try them out, come back post a comment here to let other folks know how it worked out for you.

Thinking is hard, and changing bad thinking is harder still

Most people can’t rethink the way they think. So they keep thinking with the same patterns.

That’s a premise of Think Like a Freak, the most recent book by the authors of Freakonomics —a book that aspires to help people improve how they think. The first piece of advice is simple to state, but hard to retrain your brain to do.

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