When most people think about an “assistant”, they think about someone who’s frantically helping a high-paid CEO or celebrity.
Nowadays, though, an assistant is so much more – and you can benefit from one even if you don’t have a fancy job title or a big bankroll.
In fact, you don’t even need to hire one specific person. You can access “teams” of virtual assistants ready to help you.
For example, I subscribe to MyFancyHands.com – a team of USA-based assistants who will perform a litany of tasks on your behalf, starting at $29.99 a month.
They can help you with all kinds of things – business, personal tasks, chores that take up too much time, or nearly any kind of task you just don’t feel like doing yourself.
I joined FancyHands very early and have an “unlimited” plan, so I use them for EVERYTHING! To get your mind going, here are 99 things I’ve personally outsourced to them in the past few years:
1. Find a highly rated doctor in my area, make an appointment, and sync it to my Google calendar.
2. Cancel a catalog that keeps getting sent to me (it’s such a waste of paper!).
3. Call the manager of the grocery store – tell him that the guy at the deli was extremely helpful. Details inside email.
4. I ruined my boyfriend’s favorite t-shirt in the dryer! Here’s a picture of what’s left – please help me find another one.
5. Call Whole Foods and see if the product I just saw on Shark Tank is available.
6. Find the best deals on 300+ pairs of socks for homeless people in my area.
7. Track a UPS package I haven’t received – my mom got confirmation it was delivered.
8. Find uplifting communities in Bucks County, PA for my sister.
9. Find a car battery within 10 minutes of where I live.
10. Call Costco and see if they have Boulder baked vegetable sticks in stock.
11. Help me organize a virtual baby shower.
12. Find somewhere I can donate food to.
13. Call in and cancel my supplements subscription.
14. Help me figure out how to submit an article to O! magazine.
15. Book a massage for my boyfriend and I after 7pm tonight.
16. Find a Mercedes dealer close to me and book an appointment.
17. Find somewhere that will deliver filtered water on a weekly basis and set up my first appointment.
18. Find places where I can volunteer. I particularly love working with the homeless and/or kids and would love to work in the afternoons.
19. Find the Homeowner’s Association associated with my house.
20. Find specific herbs that are good for anxiety.
21. Help me find places I can advertise my event in NYC.
22. Help me find friends for my boyfriend. He just moved to NYC. Here are some activities he’s into – please suggest clubs or meetups.
23. Find furniture stores that have contemporary furniture and are highly rated.
24. Call the electric, water, and cable companies and set up appointments for them to come and set me up. (I do this every time I move for all of my utilities. They also cancel the utilities from wherever I moved from.)
25. Submit my Kindle books to different sites and advertise my free campaigns.
26. Help me figure out how I can create a nonprofit.
27. Find a retreat area within 4 hours of me that’s $200 a night or less.
28. Helped me find weekly farm delivery in Wichita, Kansas.
29. Find a grocery store that carries a specific type of gluten free pretzel.
30. Cancel a gym membership.
31. Help me find the best train route. My friend is coming from Philly, I am coming from NYC, and we want to meet up and go to Woodstock, NY.
32. Help me find activities for my mom to do in Bucks County, PA.
33. I’ll be on layover in Atlanta – can you help me find a place to get my hair blown out?
34. Clarify the weight policy for Delta’s first class. Their website is confusing.
35. Call the top 3 clubs in Las Vegas and get availability and pricing for table service for 12.
36. I’m on a girl’s weekend and just stained my favorite dress! Please help me find a dry cleaner near zip code 02201 that can remove this stain and have it back to me within the day.
37. Help me find things to do when I visit my boyfriend’s home city of Wichita, Kansas.
38. Call Omaha Steaks and find out why our gift cards weren’t delivered.
39. Find products on other sites that are showing up as unavailable on Amazon.
40. See if there’s someone on Fiverr who records radio pitches and has at least 3 5-star ratings.
41. I just got an email that said “Never eat this specific carb ever.” When I clicked over to it, it was a long video without controls. Curiosity is getting to me – can you watch it and tell me what the carb is?
42. Help me figure out a way to bring green juice on an airplane.
43. Help me find an event space in NYC that meets my criteria (details inside email).
44. Look for bowling leagues for my friend.
45. Call Philadelphia airport to see if there’s a delay.
46. Cancel a shipment.
47. My Apple password won’t reset – please call them and get it figured out.
48. Have frequent flyer points added to airlines for me.
49. Help me find 30 people who have healed their PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) for an upcoming book.
50. Contact blog owners that meet my requirements and see if they take guest blog posts.
51. Find the cheapest deal on this hotel in Barcelona.
52. Find stats for my upcoming presentation.
53. Contact this software company and see if they’d be open to offering my book readers a free trial to their software.
54. Find baby shower games for me for an in-person baby shower.
55. Find a specific onesie that my sister would love.
56. Call people and invite them to a baby shower. (Some of the people on my sister’s list didn’t have voicemail and I couldn’t get a hold of them.)
57. Help me figure out what book markets are trending in different countries.
58. Help me find a housecleaner for my mom and book an appointment so I can surprise her.
59. Call the trash company and find out what days trash gets picked up.
60. See if my idea is within Amazon’s terms of service.
61. Please find out if this product is Mac compatible.
62. Spanish speaker needed to call a hotel in Mexico.
63. Help me figure out the best places to get credit card points.
64. Help me find an apartment in Philadelphia that meets my friend’s criteria.
65. Report people on Twitter who have stolen and are now trying to illegally sell my information products.
66. Help me figure out how to get chicken noodle soup delivered to my sick boyfriend’s house in Wichita, KS.
67. Switch names on my Burning Man tickets.
68. Help me find crowdsourcing companies.
69. Take this PDF and put it into Excel format.
70. Help me find someone to officiate my sister’s wedding.
71. Give me ideas on keeping a specific someone away from my sister on her wedding day. (I’m her maid of honor and this is her #1 request.)
72. Help me find a press release writer who can write in Mandarin.
73. There’s a program that will sync your monitor screen with the sunlight outside, but I can’t remember it. Please find it out. (It’s f.lux.)
74. I keep hearing about this “7 minute workout” – can you find out what it is?
75. I can’t figure out how to use Boomerang – can you teach me?
76. My ad won’t post on Craigslist, can you please post it?
77. Help me find a neighborhood in Vegas to move in that meets my criteria.
78. Help me find a house to live in. (When I lived in Oregon, I actually signed the paperwork to go move to a house that I never even saw, completely trusting my assistant team.)
79. Find the cheapest flights to Thailand.
80. Find some of the longest running NY Times bestselling books.
81. I found this Coach bag at a yard sale – please help me figure out which kind it is.
82. See if you can help me find a way to buy a course that’s sold out.
83. Find out who owns a site and contact them.
84. Help me price out backpack supplies for an entire school. (This was also for charity.)
85. Help me find out which airlines have main hubs out of Vegas.
86. Help me find discount cutlery for an event.
87. I am envisioning a specific type of necklace. Please help me find it.
88. Please count votes up.
89. Report people to PayPal (also people who were stealing my courses).
90. Help me figure out how I can apply to a mastermind.
91. Figure out the easiest ways to invest in silver.
92. Please find people currently going to school for stenography. (I needed a transcriber.)
93. Research an Arizona law. (I was trying to get out of a parking ticket.)
94. List out 10 wacky things I can request.
95. Help me find somewhere within a mile of where I am that can fix a hole in my sweater for about $10.
96. Find a soundproof office I can rent for a few days.
97. Help me create fliers.
98. Make dinner reservations for 6pm at Vic and Anthony’s. If they don’t have availability, please call these 2 other places.
99. Please retrieve all my old MySpace pictures and sync them to a Dropbox folder.
If you’re planning on doing these types of things anyway, but find yourself dreading them, you may as well let someone else take care of them. It gives other people a job and lets you focus on what brings you pleasure.
And if you’d love to learn more about outsourcing, check out Work Less To Live More: Outsourcing Edition.
Disclosure – MyFancyHands is my affiliate link that gives you a special deal and me a commission. And I wouldn’t recommend them if I didn’t use them myself and LOVE them.