Small Biz Book Club: Help From Contractors

Author: Sarah Bruyn Jones Date: May 12, 2014

To ease the workload of launching a new business, try this.

The Small Business Owner: Anthony Codispoti, co-founder and business director of Activist Eyewear in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Book: The 4-Hour Workweek, by Timothy Ferriss

Why I Read It: I had sold my previous business and was looking for my next venture. I received the book as a gift, and it gave my brain food for thought.

Biggest Takeaway: When I launched my first business, one of my first thoughts was, “I’m too busy. I can’t get to what I want to do.” So naturally, I thought, “I need to hire someone.” That is a lot of risk to take on. Plus, because a new business is so small and lean, this person would have to perform five very different tasks, and he or she wouldn’t necessarily be an expert at most of them.

But this book showed me that there is no reason I, as a small business owner, can’t hire contract workers or remote workers.

So rather than hire one full-time person, I now say, “I’m really looking for three different people.” Ferriss’ idea is that you can hire part-time and remote personnel, and that was a huge light bulb for me. I’m getting higher quality work done in less time, and I’m not paying for downtime.

Applying Lessons Learned: We found a contract patent attorney, and our bookkeeper lives four states away.

I’ve also hired researchers to get the word out about our glasses.

They develop lists of bloggers and other media types and send out template messages. I don’t have time during the day to sit down and do that, but it is a very necessary task.

When the follow-up comes from people who want to interview me and see the products, then I speak with the media. I am more free to focus on these more impactful events.

Who Should Read It: I think of people like me, entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs, because I see so many lessons in the book that are applicable.

But most of the book is still very applicable to people who have no interest in running their own business and are just looking to be more efficient and productive.

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