Aderson Oliveira: I had a great conversation with Paul Higgins. He is the founder of Build, Live, Give, which is a community of ex-corporate people that are looking to build a business that they love. An aspect of helping his community is showing how to work effectively with outsourcing providers. He said that a great way to get started with outsourcing is by hiring a virtual assistant. He also mentioned that he never saw someone who had worked with a VA in the past going back to their old ways before they had a virtual assistant. Lastly, he said that, on the contrary of what people usually think, outsourcing is also a great way to make money for the country that we live in.
Hello, hello, Aderson Oliveira here. This is the OuchSourcing Podcast where I talk to business owners, to specialists, to people that know a lot about outsourcing, they have experience with outsourcing, and today is no different. Today, I have with me Paul Higgins. Paul is the founder of BuildLiveGive.com, which is a community of ex-corporate people that now want to build a business that they love and they are proud of. Paul, welcome.
Paul Higgins: Thanks, Aderson. Great to be here and great to be contributing to your audience.
Aderson: Awesome, awesome. Paul, let's start with the basics here. If I ask you for a two-minute intro on your company, a little bit of your history as well, talk a little bit about that before we get to the nuts and bolts of our conversation today.
Paul: Sure. So, I think most of us, I'm assuming you've got people listening all over the world that most people relate to: a doctor or a general practitioner, a GP, and if you like it, I'm a doctor for people that have been in corporate, who've had a very successful corporate career, and then they've left to start their own business. Why I call myself a doctor is that I know lots of topics, and I've got -- I'm more of a generalist but I'm not a specialist.
What I do is really understand where people are at, the ex-corporates. Most of them are struggling with time. It's something completely new to them: running a small business versus being in a large corporate, and they want to expediate, and there's pressures at home around whether they're not delivering the income that they thought they'd promised their partner, they've got other pressures around their ego that they've not been as successful as they thought they would be when they left corporate, because they came from a very successful career.
Often, what they need is someone to help say exactly what the plan is because I've been there before, and then also, help them tap into specialists that can expediate, and some of those specialists will talk about, as we go through this podcast, is around outsourcing, which is one of my specialties. But, that's why I've sort of called myself a doctor, I suppose, of helping people to scale, and as you said, a lifestyle business, a business that they absolutely love, then they can live the lifestyle they really want, and then they can give back, which is how we framed Build, Live, Give.
Briefly, my story was no different to what I just explained. I was successful in corporate, I worked for one of the biggest companies in the world, worked for them for 18 years, it was a brilliant journey, I've certainly loved it, but I had a bit of a time bomb ticking. I've got a bit of a health issue. It's an inherited disease, and I knew that flying around the world, being in corporate, being in that sort of environment wasn't going to be conducive. So, back in 2011, I left and I basically did most of the things you shouldn't do when you start your own business.
I actually started a few businesses. I've named several, and few, not the right name, and really struggled. Then, I finally came across a mastermind, learned a really good way of expediating business, and now I do a similar thing for ex-corporates running their business. So, that's a little bit of my backstory on who I am.
Aderson: I just want to name drop, quickly here, for Paul. Paul did mention that that big company is Coca-Cola, but I'm going to namedrop on his behalf.
Paul: I spent most of my career in Coca-Cola actually not wanting to say I had worked for because normally either someone knew someone there or wanted a job there. So, it's just by default, I'm not used to saying the name of the company, but yeah it's a $190 billion market cap business. Not the best product in the world, but certainly one of the best-run businesses in the world.
Aderson: What you do is helping those people do the move, do the shift from their corporate lives to a more entrepreneurial type of lifestyle, a career, a business. Now, someone smarter than me once told me that the problem with smart people is that, usually, they want to figure things out, figure everything out by themselves. They want to do that themselves, and it's one of the things around outsourcing which is the ability that you should have to say, "Hey, I will not do this myself. I will give that to somebody else to do better than me."
Now, when you look back on your career, when you moved from your corporate job to doing your business, doing your own thing, your own thing. Have you taken it upon yourself to do everything on your own, I mean to do everything yourself, or did you, from the get-go, start to outsource already?
Paul: A good question. The honest truth is that I didn't do it as quick as I would like to say I did. So, I spent the first 12 months basically throwing everything out that I've learned from corporate and sort of throwing it aside, and I just loved the freedom of running my own business. I was just working ridiculous hours because I was so passionate, I was so excited about this freedom, this newfound freedom that I had that I was doing bookkeeping, I was doing copywriting, I was doing everything in the business.
It sort of dawned upon me that, A, it wasn't scalable. So, I was giving people strategy advice on how to scale their business, but when I kept looking at my own, I wasn't actually taking my own medicine. That's when I really embarked upon a journey. So, in 2012, going to the Philippines -- actually, if I step back a moment, I went to one of the best outsourcing advisors globally, worked for one of the biggest management consulting companies in the world, and I basically said, "Just tell me everything."
I was doing paid work for them, and I said, "Actually, don't pay me for a day, and I just want to sit with this guy," and this guy would probably charge a lot more than I was paying or getting paid from the company, but it was really invaluable. I just said everything I could possibly do because he'd been doing it for 20 years and advising some of the best companies in the world on it. Effectively, one word came out of that, and that was Philippines.
The week after, I booked a flight to the Philippines, and because I used to buy companies on behalf of Coca-Cola and do a lot of mergers and acquisitions and due diligence, I was really good at picking suppliers. So, I basically got on a plane, did some research, and went and surveyed and interviewed the best companies in the Philippines, both large and small, and then sort of solved the solution for myself, and then that's when people kept asking me, "Look, you're so efficient, you seem to have so much more time, and how do you do it?" and then that sort of evolved into helping other people get into outsourcing.
Aderson: You brought a good point there, Paul, and I want to explore you a little on that point there that you mentioned. You said that you worked with this company and they were doing a lot of outsourcing. Was that a small or large organization?
Paul: Well, what I did was pick either end, so I picked one of the large players, and when I say large players, someone that just dealt with small businesses. So, they were about 2,000-seat business, which in the global sense, they're one of the biggest players, and then I picked someone who was about 140 seats.
I went through 16 different companies to get those too, but I wanted to pick one where I was a very small fish in a very big pond and I could actually see all the systems and the processes and learn from that. But, I also wanted to be someone that could actually talk to the owners and actually have our conversation and really be treated like a high-value customer even though I was quite small in the scheme of things, I only had a couple of people.
The combination of the two, I ran them for about six months, and fortunately, the small company buy-out, and that small company, now, is about a 600-seat facility, and that's just one of several companies we've worked with. But, I think doing and learning from both of those was really a key advantage. I suppose, for me, it was doing an MBA of outsourcing, the way that I went through it.
Aderson: On the outsourcing space, in general, right or wrong, I make this distinction between outsourcing large scale for large organizations, and I'm talking about IBM type of outsourcing initiatives, and then these small-scale ones that are more geared towards SMBs.
From your experience, in general, Paul, and I guess maybe looking back at your corporate experience there, is there too much of a big difference between the small-scale outsourcing and the large-scale outsourcing? Again, I understand if you don't have experience on that, but tell me a little bit about your views on that.
Paul: Effectively, the way I look at outsourcing, it's getting something done that you don't do yourself. So, when I see you, it's your direct team. For example, I've got a team of five people, but I've got a supplier list around the world of 300. So, I don't use all that 300, but I've got people for every particular component in nearly every geography, and most of them are English-speaking, but I've got people in Venezuela, in Jamaica, you name it, that I can tap into to achieve an outcome.
To me, I think outsourcing is all about it's not a geography, like I mentioned in the Philippines, but it's actually just about how do I expediate an activity when I don't have the knowledge in-house, and also where I don't need to have full capacity.
I listened to one of your guests recently, and I love the analogy they used that you just don't need to have someone full-time. So, if I looked at my corporate days, we often had people full-time working at 75% capacity for you and you were always paying for that. A lot of service businesses lose a lot of profitability because they can't maximize that 100% of people's capability, where outsourcing, A, you get the person, that's all they do, so they're an absolute specialist, they've got the best skills, and they've learnt the best about a particular thing, and also you can, therefore, buy the time that you need, not the time that is allotted to them.
I think that's outsourcing, and outsourcing can happen from getting a VA. All of my community members, I get them to get a VA through to when I was at Coca-Cola where we do call centers or we do 1000-seat businesses. The principles are no different.
Aderson: Again, I was really curious about that because I make this distinction, and maybe it's not that different after all. You mentioned something interesting there. You said that you have around 300 vendors or 300 contacts in your Rolodex there for companies and organizations that people can leverage, people can reach out to help them on, I would assume, many, many different aspects of doing your own business. Can you mention a few of those industries that you are covering on that 300 roster of contacts that you have?
Paul: Most people that have left corporate that are starting their own business, it goes from their brand strategy. So, what's your brand strategy? Then, it goes into your marketing collateral. So, what's your website look like, what's your landing page, lead pages, your marketing automation through to sales? Then, you need a graphic designer, you need copywriters. There's a whole host of things. So, really the amount of supplies are endless.
But, what I do is I listen, and I'm a podcast junkie, so I'm so honored to be on this podcast, and I've got my own podcast, but I listen to about 2 hours of podcast a day at about 2 1/2 times speed, and I just look for the best people in the world. So, I listen to them and then I basically get my team in the Philippines to categorize them. Then, for people that come into our community and people that come into my mastermind, when they say, "I've got this particular problem," I say, "Look, here's a high, medium and low value supplier. We've tested them, we've trialed them, we know they work. Just go and use them."
Because, I think one of the biggest risks with outsourcing is everyone says they've got an A game, but unfortunately, not everyone actually delivers an A game, and you can just get caught out so often where someone's brilliant at sales and marketing, but they don't deliver. So, what we do is take all that pain out for our community, and you've got so much to do anyway, the last thing you want is an outsourcing provider or a supplier to let you down, so we just really minimize that risk.
Aderson: You mentioned there pain, and OuchSourcing is all about removing the pain from the outsourcing undertake. What are some of those pains that you have seen over and over and over again, and because you have a vetted community of suppliers, you know that they will not face those problems with those people that you have selected? What are some of those most common problems?
Paul: One of the first ones is where you spend a lot of time briefing, building a relationship. So, you get someone ready and then they just disappear, particularly in the freelancing space. Or, you get a supplier that works really well, so you'll just depend on that one supplier, and once again, life happens and they disappear particularly in some of the countries that are not Western world countries, but they've got a lot of complexity in their lives. They've got a lot of family complexity, they've got, sometimes, economic pressures, things happen, so they just disappear. What I constantly see is people spending all the time up front, and they're just about to get the result that they really want, and then people just disappear. So, I think that's definitely one.
The next one is around the project collaboration piece. So, communication is absolutely critical and working different time zones can be quite complex. Always look at suppliers that are actually really good at communication and really good at updating. So, we want people to give us a little quick video. We use a platform called UseLoom, and just give a quick video each day or each week as to where the project is, so we know exactly where it is for the client, and also have something like Asana, Trello, Podio, and some form of platform that it's highly visible and highly collaborative. I find a lot of outsourcing providers don't do that, so therefore, it's really hard to communicate, especially if you're in different time zones. Therefore, time, which is the most important thing, the timeline slips.
I think the third one is cost blowout that people get you in by saying, "Yes, it's going to cost you this much," and then you get halfway through a project and then they say, "Actually, you know what? We've had a think about it, and you need this, this, and this now," so all of a sudden, your budget doubles, and you're on a tight time frame and you've got to deliver to that time frame, and then, unfortunately, you're sort of backed into a corner to actually use them. I think they're the three big ones that I see all the time.
Aderson: First one, reliability. The company, the individual, they have to be reliable. Now, I truly think that communication goes right after that, as you mentioned there, and communication goes back to the cost problem as well, because if you don't have proper communication, what will happen is that whatever was quoted, whatever was estimated, maybe they have estimated the wrong thing in the wrong way. So, a lot really boils down to communication. How come, Paul, in this day and age, this is still such a roadblock, such a problem to have proper communication? Is that culture, is that lack of experience? What is it with communication that people still lack that quite a lot?
Paul: For me, I think it's experience is probably the key thing. I think a culture like when you're working in a company like Coca-Cola, I don't know how many countries there are in the world, Coke's in every one, right? So, multicultural, very complex, but they have really good systems of communicating. So, if you had a problem you couldn't solve within your country, you'd quickly be able to get help from the globe, so I think that we're very good at it, and that experience, over 18 years, that's just embedded in behavior.
Plus, for me, a little bit is just my natural style. I'm very good at communicating. So, my experience plus just a natural preference for that, I think, makes a difference, and often I see people that just don't have that experience. I think they're used to working with people next to them, so they still default to, "I've got to have someone next to me," and they haven't worked in a virtual world for a lot of time.
A lot of the clients that we have that come into the community, the BLG community and the club, they actually go through some training just to get them used to this virtual world, because it is very different, and for me, I've worked in it all my life. For me, it seems very natural, but for some people, it's very difficult. On the supply side, it's a similar thing. So, a lot of freelancers come from different industries or just don't have the experience. I think that's probably the key thing that I see, and that's why I always recommend that you go to an expert and you actually fast-track your experience.
As I said earlier, instead of taking all the time to do it yourself, because as you said, most smart people really want to do it all themselves, but I think the most important thing is to buy that experience and compact the learning as quick as possible, and that can get you to a better outcome in a lot faster way.
Aderson: As I mentioned before, you have a lot of experience with outsourcing, but is there any aspect of outsourcing that still frustrates you to this day? Is there anything that is still a roadblock for you? Or, not even a roadblock or something that you come across over and over again? We mentioned about communication, but anything that still frustrates you from an outsourcing standpoint?
Paul: I think one of the biggest thing is people spend all this time in marketing and sales, so it's all about getting customers, and they get very good at that, but the operation side of the business can't keep up with the demand. So, with Coke, when you're producing a billion bottles every second around the world, you've got to get really good at making sure that your quality's absolutely outstanding. I knew, over my 18 years that, yes, you can sell it, but you've got to make sure that is flawless every second of the day around the world, because Coke would only need one issue, and I know they've had a couple with benzene in the past, but you only really need one issue to destroy a brand overnight.
We had that at the core of what we did. If I look at a lot of the outsourcing companies, they spend so much time on sales and marketing, so much time on lead gen, that they actually don't have the systems and the operations to actually keep up with the supply, and therefore, they don't mean to, but they actually underdeliver, and I think that really frustrates me, and it's really hard to pick who that's going to be.
I've got them trained down, I've got certain questions, and I've got a technique to really getting to the core of, "Can they deliver it?" But, unfortunately, for a lot of people that just go in for the first time, they take face value and they trust someone, and then they're let down because they're great at sales and marketing, but they're just not good at delivering what they say they're going to do. So, that's probably the one key pain point that frustrates me the most in this industry.
Aderson: I just want to go back to a point that you made earlier, and you brushed through that, which is when we think about communication, as clients of providers, we have the tendency of saying, "Hey, it was his problem, his fault, he didn't communicate, or she didn't communicate, or they didn't communicate."
But, again, as you brushed through that, sometimes it's our fault. Maybe we didn't set up proper expectations. Maybe we didn't say how frequently we want to get updates from them. You mentioned that you get to the point that you actually train your clients, as well, on how to deal, how to best deal with vendors. Can you go a little bit deeper on that topic in particular?
Paul: Sure. Most people view the world through their own window. So, one of the first things we do is look at someone's personality preferences. There's a couple of key things we use, whether it's a disk which Tony Robbins has got a free one that you can get off his website, or there's Herrmann Brain, there's several. There's quite a few different personality profiles.
First thing is to really look at your preferences, because the world doesn't look at the way that you look at things. So, you've got your preferences, then you've got experiences, and then the other thing is a learning style. Everyone's got a slightly different learning style. There's a free questionnaire you can go on. It's VARK, and you can go on and see what type of learning style you've got.
For example, I had a VA recently like this, it was mainly audio that I was talking to her, and it was through video, but it was mainly audio, and I was talking to her about, "Do this, do that, etcetera," and it just wasn't sinking in. Once again, the first thing is I blame her, "Hey, she's not actually receiving the information. I don't think she's going to survive," and I always look at below the line and above the line. So, below the line is what she can influence; above the line is what I can influence.
I went back and got her to do the VARK questionnaire, and I actually realized that she was nearly 100% visual. So, what I was doing was constantly talking to her, but she couldn't see it firsthand, and once we saw it firsthand -- we use that program UseLoom now where I record everything on the screen, I record me talking to what's on the screen, and all of a sudden, she gets it.
I think it's about your personality profile, really understanding that, the second is around your learning preferences, and then coming up with some really good techniques. We have what's called a no-rank debrief. When I was at Coke, we actually got the top fighter pilots in the world to come and present to us around the team, and it was brilliant. After every mission, they used to have what's called a no-rank debrief, which is, "What did we do well and what could we improve for next mission?" and there was no rank. So, whether it was a general or whether it was the person, the engineer, they all had equal say.
We do a similar thing. Every time we do a project, we get a client to do a no-rank debrief to improve for next time, and it sort of takes away that emotion of, "It was a mistake, it's learning, and what is that above and below the line?" Those three things alone can make a really big difference, and then we've got a whole suite of tools that we also make the difference. Because, we're in the best time of the world or in the best time in our civilization around technology, but often, people still default to things like email and think that email is going to communicate. Once again, if that's written and someone's very visual, it isn't going to work. So, we use a whole suite of tools to help do it.
There, a couple of the key things that we do to train someone, because it's a new skill, it's a learned skill, it's something that they've never done before, so we sort of train them on that to make sure that it's successful and they're not going -- in Australia, we've got a saying where you go the ball, not the player. So, in the soccer analogy, which is the world's game, it's a bit the same that you really want to focus on what the ball is and not the player, and often, if you look at your processes, the way that you're training, etcetera, go there first before you actually look at the individual and the personality.
Aderson: You mentioned there VAs, virtual assistants, you mentioned a few times. Is that the first type of professional that someone coming from the corporate world and trying to run their own business, is that the first profession that they should look for?
Paul: Yes, spot on. So, the most critical component in scaling any small business is the business owner's time. That's the one thing that doesn't change, we all get 24/7, and how you use that time and how you compound good decisions is what will make or break a business.
A rough rule of thumb is about 50% of most people's time is spent on admin. People say, "No, that's not right," and then what we do is a personal productivity order, and we go in, and then they realize, "Yeah, actually, you know what? I spent an hour and a half on social media, I spent an hour and a half on emails. I booked all these appointments, I put all of this stuff in my sales CRM, I did all those menial tasks. Oh, actually you're right. There was six hours today that I actually could have someone else done that."
If you said to someone, "It's going to take you five years to be successful and make a profit, and actually bring home a commercial wage," most people would say, "No, I won't be in that. That's too long," but if you could say to someone, "Actually, what happens if I could get you there in two years or two and a half years? What a massive difference," and most of that comes from using of VAs so that you can actually work on your business rather than working in your business.
Aderson: You know what, Paul? I have to admit, I'm guilty as hell on that one. I have been running my business for 11 years, and now, this year alone, 2017, was the year that I got, for the first time, two VAs, actually, and it has been changing my life. Again, I'm guilty as hell, but I'm changing. I'm learning, I'm changing, I'm learning with people like yourself.
Paul: The thing I always say to people is, "Can you go and find one person that's used a VA, and not that specific individual, but a VA, they've used them and ever stopped and gone back and said no?" and I'm yet to ever find someone like that. Even in corporate, I had an executive assistant in all my key senior roles, a critical team member for me because I knew that they basically gave me double the time.
So, I think it's critical, and to be honest, the simple math is let's say, you're $100 U.S. an hour is your rate, and a good VA these days sort of range between $8 to $12, $8 to $15, depends which option and how trained they are, it's a no-brainer. It just makes perfect sense, and unlike you, I've actually got multiple VAs, and now I've got a project manager as well.
All those suppliers and everything now, I basically have a meeting once a week with my project manager, and she actually manages all the detail, because to me, once again, good decisions implemented quickly is where all the growth comes from, because I saw it in my Coke days, and that's why Coke was so successful and continued to be successful, so I'd just take that and I'd apply that for small to medium businesses.
Aderson: Paul, let me ask you a question. Within the BLG community that you have built and you are growing there, do you make the introductions to the suppliers or is there anything else beyond that? Can you tell a little bit about that?
Paul: Yeah, we've got a natural progression. So, we've got a free Facebook community where people can come in and they can just share their experiences going through this wonderful journey of swapping from corporate into running their own business. Every day, you come up against problems that you've never faced before, so it's so great to just be able to post that and someone answers it and supports you.
That's sort of the entry level, and then we've got a membership which we're about to launch which will sort of tap into the resource pool. As I've said, I've got just -- I'm like a Google for small businesses. I've got so much IP that's sort of sitting there and will allow people to tap into that in a way that they ask a specific question and then they can go exactly to where it is and that can save you years of time trying to find it yourself.
That's sort of the second level, and then the third level is a paid mastermind where we meet weekly, and you go through your one thing from last week, your biggest win, your biggest challenge, and that challenge then, everyone adds their experience. So, that's bringing in works in clusters of five, and we'll sort of roll those out so that it's only an hour of someone's time each week, but we see massive acceleration of performance based on that.
Then, for some clients, we'll also do advisory work, which is one-on-one. I'll also do some angel investing. So, there's a nice, natural progression for people, and to be honest, I've built this just because when I left corporate, I couldn't find anything like that. There was a lot of startup groups, there was a lot of accelerators, but there was no one that really understood my world, and unfortunately, all my friends in corporate actually didn't understand the new world that I was going into, so I couldn't really talk to anybody, and it's really hard.
If you think working in corporate's hard, like working your own business and you've done it for 11 years, it's super, super difficult, and to do it alone makes it even harder. What I want to do is create a really safe environment for people to thrive in. Eventually, they build a business they love, they live a great life, and then they can give back to the community so the world can be a better place.
Aderson: Awesome, love that. Paul, one of the ways that we learn as business people, as human beings is with mistakes, problems, challenges. What I would like to challenge you now, if you are open to that, is does any situation that, maybe, went wrong, or maybe something was not done in the perfect way, the best way, the right way, and maybe yourself or maybe someone within your community have gone through what I would call a horror story. Hopefully, something that ties back to outsourcing, maybe working with a supplier, maybe something went wrong there. If anything like that comes across your mind, then what were the lessons that were learned from that particular situation?
Paul: There's so many situations if you look at the board or community. But, if I look at my specific situation where every current book about MVP, minimum viable product, is make sure that you've got the customer first and then you build the infrastructure. But, because of my corporate background, I just thought that I will build it and they will come.
I actually built a team of around 15 people in outsourcing, so either based in the Philippines, and it was working for me beautifully, so I thought it would just naturally work for others. So, I sort of grabbed the team, built it up, and then went to get customers, and I just didn't get customers quick enough, so I was just basically bleeding cash. I promised my wife that, within two years, I would be giving her a certain amount of money every month so that she was comfortable, and we agreed to an amount of money, and I wasn't reaching that, so that created enormous tension in our relationship.
As I mentioned before, I've actually got a kidney disease, so I'm about to have end stage kidney failure and get a transplant and go on dialysis. So, I had this ticking time bomb of I couldn't go back to corporate because of my health, and I just wasn't achieving what I'd set out to achieve from a financial point of view, and that started to take a real emotional toll.
I think for anyone watching this, my biggest learning out of that was make sure that you've got paying customers and make sure that you scale appropriately based on customer demand rather than building something and then hoping that customers will buy it. Now, that sounds very logical, and looking back on it, I can see exactly the mistakes that I made, but I think working in a community now where you've got people that have gone through those learnings and can actually help and stop you.
I eventually got there; it took me five years. But, wouldn't it have been great if it had actually been two years and I would have generated more money for my kidney foundation so that less people can have the disease that I've got? That would have been brilliant, but unfortunately, I didn't get there as quick as I wanted because of doing what I did. So, I think that's probably the biggest pain point that I had personally and professionally, and what I want to do is help people avoid those mistakes.
Aderson: We won't be able to cover that topic in this short conversation today, but if people want to get to know more about how they can validate an idea before they go full-blown and they invest the time, the energy, the money to put something up there, what would you advise people to read? Is that a book, is that a methodology? What is your advice there?
Paul: There's a lot of great material about this. Ready, Aim, Fire is one book that I highly recommend. There's The Lean Startup as well. So, you can read that. I've actually built a whole methodology. I was coached by one of the best startup guys in the world. He actually went around the world setting up ecosystems like the Silicon Valley in other countries, and I basically took his IP, my Coke IP, and all my practical experience of those three areas and then put it into a platform where I say to people, "Okay, brilliant, you've got an idea? This is how you go and actually validate that idea based on my own personal experience." So, there are three things that I think someone could go and learn from.
Aderson: Paul, we are coming towards an end here. Before I let you go, what would be one thing that you'd like people that, going through this conversation, they would leave this conversation knowing about? I mean, what is the one thing?
Paul: I think it's work to your strengths and then you outsource everything else. What I mean "outsource everything else", definitely, if you don't have a VA, start with a virtual assistant. I think that's the number one thing, and then work out some real trusted suppliers where you're not making traction. So, you might be bringing in sales, but you're not good at marketing. You might be great at leadership, but you're not good at systems and processes. Wherever you're not naturally great at and you know you're not going to do it, outsource in that area, and there's no better time to start than straight after this podcast.
Aderson: Awesome. Anything else, Paul, that we haven't discussed here that you feel you still need to put the message out there? Anything else?
Paul: I think, sometimes, outsourcing can get a bit of a bad rap because it's basically people say that you're taking jobs from the country that you live in. But, to me, I think we're all global citizens these days, and it's really where you pay your tax is the most important thing. So, for me, every time that I tap into outsourcing and people help me generate revenue globally, it actually goes in to support my country, which is Australia, where I live.
I think it's a bit of a misnomer that you're taking people's jobs. I actually think what you're doing is creating better revenue streams by selling products globally, because there's no better time to actually work on a global stage than what there is today. There's never been as many credit cards waiting to actually buy something. So, I think just reframe it, and I see outsourcing is a great way to make income not just for yourself or for future generations, but also for the country that you live in.
Aderson: Let me mention that, Paul, I think it's worth mentioning that when you say outsourcing, it does not necessarily mean that you are doing that with another country. You can be outsourcing to your next-door neighbor. Again, just a side note here.
Paul: Yeah, it's just unfortunate that, in Australia, we have a brilliant standard of living, it's a great country, but the general labor rates for small businesses are very difficult. So, in Australia, we typically default for some activities outside, but I think there's also a quality and a value index, and just one other quick tip is look at the value, not the price.
I always say to people, "On your car, which is carrying, probably, the people that you love the most, would you put the cheapest tires on it?" and most people say, "No, I find some value equation between what I'm compared to pay the quality and the length," do the exact same thing with outsourcing. If it looks too cheap, it normally is too cheap and it's too cheap for a reason.
Aderson: Paul, before I let you go, I just want to give you the opportunity to let people know how they can reach out to you, what is the best way, how can people find you?
Paul: The easiest way is the Build, Live, Give website. So, that's BuildLiveGive.com, and you can subscribe and listen to our podcast. We've got a podcast where we interview fantastic ex-corporates that are going through the journey themselves and they share a lot of wisdom. So, there, that's probably the best place, and also, for me, personally, if you want to know a bit more about me, you can actually go to my LinkedIn profile, which is just paulhiggins555, and you can find me.
Just as a quick side note, I thought I would get the Paul Higgins domain. I know there's a few of us in the world, but unfortunately, the manager for One Direction, his name is Paul Higgins, so nearly every Twitter handle, social was taken by him. So, that's why I had to come up with paulhiggins555, which is a bit of play on the fact that my mom and I are actually born on the same day. So, that's why I've named it 555. Sorry, same date, not the same day, just to correct myself there.
Aderson: Paul, again, thank you very much for your wisdom, your willingness to share your knowledge there. By the way, all links mentioned by Paul will be available in the show notes, so everything will be there. You don't need to be taking notes right now. You can check the page there. Again, Paul, thank you very much, really appreciate the time, your willingness to share in your openness. Thank you very much, bye,
Paul: Thanks, Aderson, great to be on.