Outsourcing and Gold Rushes

Have you heard of a trend called ‘outsourcing?’

It’s a task that you can’t or don’t want to perform that you pay someone else to do. Goals and parameters are discussed, money is exchanged or bartering takes place, and stuff gets done.

Cool, hey?

Actually, if you think about it, outsourcing has been a part of our society for a long time.

Think of a royal family back in Medieval times. Royal castle life outsourced many aspects of their day-to-day: tutoring for the royal children, a chef for food prep and many household staff for tasks such as laundry, emptying chamberpots, gardening, caring for the horses, feeding the livestock, cutting firewood, filling oil lamps, etc.

Sounds kinda dull to me.

Now think of a young Wild West in the early 1800’s. Settlers and pioneers were eager to start their new lives in a new land of promise. Towns were being built, railways were being planned, whispers of gold rushes happening across the country filled the ears and captured the imaginations of adventurers, dare-devils, and criminals alike. What did outsourcing look like back in the Wild West? A fraction of it was heavily focused on construction, infrastructure, and agriculture. I imagine the local forms of outsourcing were reliant on bartering. Neighbours helping neighbours, and farmers helping farmers, in exchange for raw food sources, livestock, or an exchange of manual labour during barn construction.

That sounds a little more exciting to me.

Now think of outsourcing in the modern day. By golly, what don’t North Americans outsource? We frequent coffee shops, improve our fitness levels with personal trainers, hire bookkeepers to deal with those nasty little papers called receipts, and many people rely on a school system to educate their children. Plumbers, copywriters, accountants, sales funnel consultants, dentists, virtual administrative specialists, mechanics, web designers, architects, transcriptionists, farmers – all different forms of outsourcing.

Now that’s cool.

My current forms of outsourcing are housekeeping and babysitting. I recently moved to a large property in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. Along with mowing the large front and back yard, I’m responsible for maintenance in the garden (watering, weeding, and harvesting), occasional care of the chickens (feeding, watering, egg collection, and herding them back home when they escape), pool cleaning (skimming, pump cleaning and Ph balancing), caring for the handful of fruit trees and berry bushes, and also caring for the house itself.

Although I love this life and the ability to live out a personal dream of moving towards self-sustainability, it’s a lot of dang work. Combine property maintenance with caring full-time for my toddler and trying to run a business and guess what I have? A severe lack of time in my day!

I tried to juggle it myself for a few weeks. I thought I could handle it. I thought it might even be just a wee bit easy. Ha. Guess what happened? I didn’t do so well. In fact, I sucked. I started to fall behind on my ‘chores’ (and as a side note, I love telling myself that I have chores to do each day….it feels so modernly rural!), I started sleeping less, was quick to become impatient with my toddler, and was eating more junk food to “save time.”

Now that’s not cool.

I finally got real with myself. I let that nagging little voice in the back of my head that I usually shush come to the forefront and scream at me “You need help!” Thankfully, I listened (I don’t always do that). I hired a housekeeper and the same week, my neighbours introduced me to a teen who’s looking for babysitting work before she goes back to school in September.

It’s only been two weeks since this support has been in my life. Guess what’s happened in that time? I feel like a weight has been lifted, not just from my shoulders, but from my entire body. I’m already sleeping better and starting to once again actually feel refreshed when I wake up in the mornings.

Although the housekeeping is only a few hours a week, I’ve been able to nearly double my productivity with that same amount of time already!

Although the childcare is only 4 hours a day, 3 days a week, I can already see how I’ll be able to at least double my productivity with that same amount of time!

Now that’s cool x2.

I’ve actually broken my time down into losses without the support and gains with the support, which I’ll be sharing in a future post.

On a related note, I haven’t blogged since late 2016. That’s way too long of a period to have not blogged for. Like, an embarrassing long amount of time. I like writing, for the most part, however, I never make it a priority. One of tasks I’ve been able to do this week with my increase in productive time is write this post you’re reading now.

Cool, hey?

My productivity gains have already encouraged and inspired me to accomplish even more – this is how I know these two forms of outsourcing are giant leaps in the right direction. They are personal in nature but they’re supporting my business, my health, and my family.

I couldn’t ask for any more of a gold rush than that.