Friday, April 8, 2011

Help me help you.

I often think to myself, "What's the first thing I'm going to do when I become a ridiculously rich entrepreneur?". The answer tends to vary, (though 'acquire a pure gold statue of myself' makes a frequent appearance on the list). Lately though, the answer has been the same: hire a personal assistant.

Why do I need a personal assistant?

1) Everyone who's anyone has one, and having one means you're probably a) rich and b) important.

Like you, I have no idea why she's famous. But I do know she has an assistant.

2) There's seriously not enough time in the day to get everything done. Making the choice between watching the Top Chef finale and picking up my dry cleaning is a LOT harder than it sounds.


3) The urge to use the phrase "I'll have my assistant call you" is becoming unbearably strong.

The more I think about it, though, the more I realize - there's no reason I should have to wait until I'm rich - I could get an assistant RIGHT NOW! How? Well that leads me to...

IDEA #6: Personal-Assistant Time Share

Here's how it would work:

-You and 3 others would log onto my website, let's call it "," and browse the list of available assistants.
-You would choose which assistant works best for you and your associates based on the person's experience, industry exposure, or location.
-You'd then plan out the assistant's weekly schedule based on the needs of your group, and hire the assistant via my website. And....

BOOM! You're rich and important.

So, let's say you decide that you need assistance Mondays and Tuesdays. On Mondays and Tuesdays, you have a personal assistant. A real life, at your beck-and-call, "leave a message with my" assistant.

I know some of you have some burning questions about this, some of which I think I can anticipate:

1) What's the difference between this idea, and just hiring a part-time personal assistant?
  • For one thing, hiring an assistant at all, part-time or full-time, is a hassle.  If you plan to hire someone yourself, the tax implications of taking on an employee become a bit overwhelming.
Wait...was I supposed to register for an Employee Identification Number before hiring Susie?!

  • If you use a website to contract out someone (the way I'd want to), you'll have a hard time finding a website to let you browse their list of available assistants. (Go ahead and google it...we both know you're going to). So, you have to spend a lot of time and energy just to *see* if there are assistants that fit your criteria.
  • If you make it past both of these steps and manage to successfully hire a part-time assistant, you are likely to be stuck with a stringent, 4 hour per day schedule that cannot be changed because your PA has obligations to other clients which can't be moved. (With my site, signing up with 3 friends/colleagues would increase flexibility, allowing you to switch out days/times when your friends can accommodate you)
2) Don't sites like this already exist?
  • If you're asking this, there's a good chance you live in a big city. Sites like and have become fairly popular in NYC, Boston and San Francisco. These sites don't offer you personal assistants, though, they offer you one-off errand fulfillment. Great services, but not the same thing.
  • Several of the websites out there that do tout themselves as "assistant providers" are similarly task-oriented. Hour25 in NYC is one such site. Assistants are hired by the hour, and for a specific duration of time.  This is great if you have a big project you're working on and need an extra hand for a few weeks, but not so great if you're just generally busy, and want someone to be on-call when you need them.
I envision my core customer being someone who's extremely busy, but not extremely rich (and not-yet ready to shell out the tens of thousands of dollars it would take to hire a personal assistant full-time). Maybe this person is a small-business owner, and needs someone to help interview employees. Maybe she's a workaholic who spends 13 hours a day at the office, and needs someone to keep track of her personal calendar (parties, dates, weddings, etc.). Or maybe she's just a busy professional who can use help making appointments, booking travel, picking up dry cleaning, and walking her dog.

And how can you deny Mr. Fluffkins?

The point is, we can all use a little help, and I think this is one way of providing it. But who cares about what I think: what are YOUR thoughts?

Holler back.

Shoutout to: bestweekever, wallpaperstock, tucsoncitizen


  1. Mr. Fluffkins is my fav part of this whole post.

  2. seems I don't have an actual comment. Just wanted to let you know I read these. And I like them :)