Ari Meisel – Empowering business through outsourcing
Last updated August 28, 2019
Today, we welcome to the show, Ari Meisel, whom he calls guru of gurus when it comes to increasing productivity. Ari is the CEO and Founder of Less Doing, a productivity platform. He is also the author of the Art of Less Doing and The Replaceable Founder.
He is intermittently involved in the world of outsourcing and one of the main pillars of optimizing your productivity is to outsource staff.
Derek: Hi, and welcome to another episode of the Outsource Accelerator podcast. My name is Derek Gallimore and this is Episode No. 212. So today, I’m really excited to be joined by Ari Meisel of Less Doing. So this is a productivity platform. Ari is known as the guru of gurus when it comes to increasing your productivity. He is the author of the Art of Less Doing and The Replaceable Founder.
But Ari really interests me, we got Ari on the show because he is intermittently involved in the world of outsourcing and one of the I supposed main pillars of optimizing your productivity is to outsource staff. So we learned about that here with Ari, and I’m grateful for his time so that we can tie in all of these learnings we do such as outsourcing into productivity which at the end of the day is what we’re all about.
So I had a great conversation with Ari. If you want to get in touch with Ari or know anymore about Less Doing then go to our show notes, which is at outsourceaccelerator.com/212. Enjoy!
Okay, hi and welcome back everybody. Today I’m joined by Ari Meisel.
Hi, Ari. How are you doing?
Ari Meisel: I’m doing great, Derek. Thanks for having me.
Derek: Yeah. Absolute pleasure. So, you’re well-known about the block of productivity. You’re the author of The Art of Less Doing and The Replaceable Founder and you are the CEO and Founder of Less Doing, which is a productivity and outsourcing kind of environment and I supposed philosophy. So, I’m really happy to have you on the podcast and learn more about that. I supposed initially, can you just introduce yourself?
Ari Meisel: Yeah, sure. So, I have been helping entrepreneurs to have opportunity in excess of what their infrastructure can support to create systems and processes that empower the teams and make themselves replaceable. That’s what I’ve been doing for several years.
Derek: Fantastic. How did you get into this? I mean, one of the phenomenal books from the internet I think for a lot of people which is ten years old now, is Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour Workweek. And I think introduced a lot of people to enhanced productivity and also to the concept of outsourcing. Was that a triggering point for you, how did you get into this concept of productivity and optimizing processes?
Ari Meisel: I wasn’t actually part of it. I mean, I’ve been a fan of Tim and a friend for a while now but that was not actually the sort of trigger for me. For me it was really out of a personal health crisis. So I was working in a real estate development project in upstate New York when I got out of college and I spent a few years of working my butt off and working really unhealthy. I’m living a really unhealthy lifestyle. When I was 23, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and Crohn’s for those who do not know, it’s a chronic inflammatory condition of the vaso digestive tract and it’s very painful, not really understood. It took me from working 18-hour/day down to barely an hour a day most times. And actually I’m really, really sick and weaker and weaker and then started to go through this journey of self-tracking and self-experimentation to be able to overcome the illness and a big part of that journey was identifying a new system of productivity that would help me get more done in less time and manage my stress in a systematic way so that’s reason for Less Doing was born from was that, that need to help people optimize, automate, outsource everything in our lives in order to be more effective.
Derek: Right? Well and how was the Crohn’s going? Were you able to put in more hours or occasionally managing that?
Ari Meisel: No, it’s been an incredible ordeal but as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been cured for the past eight years now.
Derek: Alright, alright. So outsourcing is obviously our kind of cool topic here and I’m just trying to get the message out there that everyone in business really needs to at least consider integrating outsourcing into their business, where do you see the whole outsourcing thing fitting in? I supposed initially, what do you define as outsourcing because getting your grass cut by the local gardeners is also outsourcing, but how do you define outsourcing?
Ari Meisel: Yes so, that’s a great question. I see it as an empowerment really and being able to have people focusing on what they do best in an ideal world and I also see outsourcing as the last line of defense. And I think that’s one of the big problems for most people, when they have problems outsourcing. I love doing this when I go and speak in an event with a lot of people, “How many of you here outsource something?”
I have several people who raised their hands most people will usually. Well, and I said, “Keep your hands up if you ever had a bad experience outsourcing.”
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And most of them would keep their hands up. The thing is that we’re very bad at communicating. Generally speaking, most people are bad at communicating what success looks like. So you really need to start and that’s why my whole methodology is optimize, automate and outsource. And I owned an outsourcing company for two years and outsource thousands of things a week for the past probably several years of my life. But I personally try to avoid outsourcing because as soon as you involve a human being, you open yourself up to error and more importantly disengagement. Because if you give something to a person that a machine should be doing, they’re not really going to sink their teeth into that and take ownership over it and really engage with the work.
So, I think that we need to see outsourcing as rather than what a lot of people, I think see it as, which is basically like a place to drop things like you don’t want to deal with or you don’t like dealing with and just make it someone else’s problem and I think it’s better that it becomes the last line of defense and you get to make it somebody else’s challenge.
Derek: Right, right. And what sort of segment of the marketing are you focusing on in. I recently read an article in Forbes about this guy that’s going around inquiring one-person companies and the biggest company he had found was $37 million revenue and there is one person running the show. And there are incredible businesses now that are popping up as a result of the internet and automation, and processes and everything just becoming kind of turn key and dial in. Is this the sort of market that you’re aiming at to basically increase productivity without necessary having to scale or do you think the message also applies to companies with a hundred employees and just getting things ticking along better?
Ari Meisel: So it’s interesting because somehow, I’ve gone really lucky and my system has been able to be acquired to everything from solopreneurs to Fortune 500s, to the US Army, and the British government. And so it really had run a wide range and applied to multiple situations because I tend to focus on three main areas, which is communication, project management, and processes and there’s elements of those at every level of scale. But having said that, I certainly had worked with people who had a side hustle and want to be able to manage that really effectively and a whole group of none employee operator businesses, which is the tax term here in the US for companies with no employees basically.
Ari Meisel: And it can be done, it actually can be done and there are companies that have hundreds of outsource contractors and if you can (inaudible) good process in place then you can do that.
Derek: In this whole, like international employment and also outsourcing forms of employment, it really is changing the gameplay of commerce, and it’s also changing the nature of employment, isn’t it? It’s just really, kind of skewing everything, isn’t it? Employment really is changing before our own eyes now.
Ari Meisel: Yes, I think that what’s happening is that it sort of forcing the hands of the people who were really old fashioned and unable to be agile and sort of change with the times. And there are people who still think that, “Yeah, we have to in the same route, somebody like how can you not just like open your door and shout out to your assistant and have them do something.”
And I think about rancorous people in a battle way on both sides of things because then you have the person who their principle, who is not able to be as noble and agile. Then you have the talent whose also not able to be as noble and agile, and it’s kind of like, there’s a whether or not you believe in aliens, to me it’s the idea of thinking that in the vast universe that we lived in that were the only life, intelligence life-form is delusional. So at the same time, in the same way, I’m thinking that somehow magically in your zip code will exist the greatest character writer and the best of graphic designer and a really great developer, like it’s crazy, and your limiting yourself. And not just outsourcing to your own people but in terms of being able to work with clients and I have clients that’s twelve times where I am right now, and I couldn’t do that if we don’t have outsourcing, if we don’t have local resources and all these different places that we get access at the touch of a button.
Derek: Yeah, absolutely. You know, there are seven billion people out there. There’s a big marketplace beyond your geographic catchment and this is what I also tell people in the Philippines that before you are restricted to your own local market which had a lot of restrictions but now, they really do have access to the entire world and the wealth and opportunity that it brings. And so your Less Doing basically features a lot of structure, a lot of process discipline, and then with the outsourcing as a kind of cherry on top. We, maybe at outsource accelerator, we go about that different way, we are specifically trying to encourage people to outsource but a lot of our consultations, it’s not necessary about how to outsource but how to manage and how to get the new outsourcing clients up to speed in terms of developing processes, process mapping, working between our teams so it seems, you know very much the same things that were tackling. What do you see as the core skills and the core requirements to take people from the kind of scrappy entrepreneur kind of existence to a more process-oriented operation?
Ari Meisel: So one thing is timing and there’s always sort of a balancer and I think people need to apply and what I mean by that is a lot of these people try to approach these little processes in place too soon. And for most companies, the place where you should be focusing outsourcing a process is when you’re between 300,000 and a million dollars in revenue. Up until that point, you need just be bringing in sales and I think people missed that sometimes or the opposite, they just keep focusing on sales and they just drive themselves to the ground and they become victims of their own success. It’s kind of like a sweat spot where you have to really focus on the systems and processes, and it’s just part of the growth that takes place. And if you can sell communication, you can sell house management, you can sell your process management then there’s going to be things for you to do, sort of each of these fields that makes sense and that’s incremental and really grow with you.
Derek: Right. Fantastic. So it’s kind of putting most processes in place, and then people graduate towards building a team and building a process, and kind of it’s that progression, isn’t it?
Ari Meisel: Yeah, exactly.
Derek: Okay, fantastic. So you have a course on this area and I want to get you back for another podcast so we can actually deep dive into Less Doing itself but if people want to get in touch with you or if they actually want to do, is it the replaceable founder?
Ari Meisel: Yes.
Derek: How do they go about that?
Ari Meisel: So, everything is at lessdoing.com, then people can find out about me, and blog, and the podcast and all the courses and everything, and the Replaceable Founder is there as well. So, it’s all lessdoing.com and they can just click on the Replaceable Founder.
Derek: Fantastic! Thank you so much Ari.
Ari Meisel: Thank you.
Derek: Okay. That was Ari Meisel of Less Doing. If you want to get in touch with Ari or know more about Less Doing, then go to our show notes, which is at outsourceaccelerator.com/212.
And as always if you want to email us or ask us anything just drop us an email to [email protected]. See you next time.