Archive for February 2009

Bangkok, the city of Tequila

February 26, 2009

Last weekend, I went to Bangkok. I really love the cheap airfare there. I might start going like once a month. I stayed with my friend Matt who works for the aussie embassy. They hook it up!! He had like a super condo all paid for, a driver, a maid….it was great. I quite enjoyed staying there. I spent most of my weekend sleeping. My friends and I went out really late and kept feeding me tequila shots. Saturday is a haze of pool parties, naked swimming, after hour clubs, and dancing. Needless to say, I was pretty unproductive but I did have fun….from what I remember. And, I know mom and dad read this, so don’t worry- I did not end up bruised or broken nor did I get sick.

I got my Taiwan visa in a day though it was really expensive (150 US) to get same day service. I did go to my favorite indian place. They love me there and now I get a discount when I go. 20% off….sweeeeeeet. I bought bootleg movies and ate amazing Thai food. I was glad to finally get some good food.

Have a mentioned the food here sucks? B/c Taiwanese food is crap. And not cheap. I’m hoping my new websites take off soon so I can take weekend trips to places with good food. I smell Tokyo in my future.

Now I am back in Taipei and squirreling away my cash. I’m trying hard to make my fortune online and I am doing a lot of interesting things right now. I’ll see a payoff around April and May. So it is all work and some play for me.

Life moves forward….

I have a job

February 15, 2009

I got a job. I’m working as a teacher here in Taiwan for 10.5 hrs a week. I know. Only 10 hours a week? Yeah but it covers all my living expenses and gives me time to continue growing my web business, which is growing quiet nicely.

The downside is that I have to teach little kids and I hate little kids. I don’t think I could do it for more than ten hours a week anyways! And they give me a visa to stay here so that is pretty sweet.

Other than that- not much to report. I really should get out more but I really want to get the ball rolling on these last websites. I do go out a lot- but that is pretty much to the bars. In Taiwan, every club is all you can drink for 10 bucks. Insane huh? And on wends this big bar has free drinks. Its very good on the wallet. I hardly spend any money!

Not really digging the food here though. I miss Thai food and the great restaurants in Bangkok. I can’t find a good italian place and there’s no indian food here. I’m so glad I’m going to Bangkok next week because I am going to eat like a king!

Now that I found out KLM runs $180 RT tickets to Bangkok from Taipei, I’ll probably take frequent trips!

In defense of my CHEAP Virtual Assitant

February 6, 2009

My last post about my VA search got me lots of comments and a few trackbacks. Laurie and Kimberly, who both run web based businesses, wrote about it on their blog, and with some other people, are telling me you get what you pay for.

True. You always get what you pay for.

Except when you globalize and send labor to a cheap country.

I’d never work for 3 dollars an hour but in India, that is a decent wage. And, my guy in india (not affiliated with the actual service called “myguyinindia” – cool name huh?), works for 3 dollars an hour.

I can say that with cheap labor you do have some problems but with expensive labor you can too. After thinking about it more, I thought I was being a bit unfair. When I was an assistant, it took me some time to get used to my boss and him to me. So my VA has to get used to what I want and expect. That takes more than a week over e-mail.

This week was much better. As he learns what I want on a number of task, I don’t really have any problems. and the research he has come up with is great. Very detailed. I’ve decided to keep him.

Three dollars an hour is great for the tasks I have him do right now- automated, easy, simple. Is he going to be writing me articles and spin articles or sending out link requests? Nope! Laurie and Kimberly are right about that. For that, you need better help. And I plan on getting it. All this article writing for SEO is boring me so I’m going to have someone else do it. That will cost me more than 3 dollars but I’m ok with that. It’s a business expense.

But to the reality of the situation- You get what you pay for doesn’t really apply when the 3 dollars goes a long way in the person’s home country. I work for Asian wages (well top end asian wages) because I’m currently chilling out in Asia. Plus it’s easy and simple work I have to do. But why pay someone an American/Western wage when I get that same task down for a fraction of the price.

That is why businesses offshore. Save money. Cut costs. Welcome to a globalized world. Don’t believe me? Check out a site like elance! You’ll find people from all over the world selling their services and competing against each other.

For higher end stuff, I want some one with more skills. My article writer will probably be western, my VA is indian, my flash designer is Korean, my business partner (Christine from Almost Fearless and I are partnering) is American, and my social marketer (who I’ll hire when I get these new sites up and running) lives in Romania. Welcome the 21st century.

The internet allows me to get the best people all around the world and it is in that market that VAs compete.

Why pay more for something I can get cheap? My VA does what I need cheap. For 3 dollars an hour, I’ll type a more detailed explanation.