Podcast 15: Outsourcing for Entrepreneurs with Espree Devora
This week’s interview is with Espree Devora. She is doing amazing work in LA helping startups get off the ground and we talk about one of her specialties: outsourcing.
It is also a landmark episode, because it is the first show with co-host Eliot Peper. Eliot was on the second episode of this show. He is an awesome guy, a great thinker, a lot of fun and he writes startup fiction thrillers. He is about to come out with his second book. Lucas and Eliot have a fiction bond with each other and it goes a lot deeper.
We discuss a book that has really caught my imagination lately: Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
I herd of the book before, but after hearing an interview with James Altucher, it really drew me in to finally pick up the book.
What’s the opposite of fragile? Many people think it is durable or flexible; like a pair of 15 year old jeans! This is indeed the dictionary meaning, but it is wrong.
Resilient is neutral, but not the opposite of fragile. The opposite of fragile, is something that takes stressors and becomes stronger.
Fragile is like a tea cup: it shatters under stress.
Anti-fragile is like a muscle; where the more you rip it the stronger it grows.
With jobs as well, there are fragile, resilient, and anti-fragile jobs. A sales person is a fragile job because if you insult someone or say the wrong thing you can get fired.
A bouncer may be a resilient job; you can say what you want and you can punch people out and you won’t get fired. It doesn’t help your job or make it better or worse.
There are antifragile jobs that benefit from chaos. An author or artist is an antifraigile job because if you say or do something that gets media attention it may cause you to sell more books.
Small Giants (15:40)
Eliot recommends a book called, Small Giants, by Bo Burlingham.
It focuses an profiles companies that are extremely successful and choose to remain small. They have all had the opportunity to expand but choose not to.
In Indonesia there are tuk tuk drivers. Eliot has been there a number of times. The streets are chaos, it is a war zone, there are industrial trucks driving alongside cyclists and it is a permanent traffic jam.
There are thousands upon thousands of Tuk Tuk drivers yet the one he had was so friendly. He would talk to people, give them treats and just because he focused on the human connection, he ended up having more referrals, that he never had enough time to serve them all.
Eliot can only imagine the lessons he has learned about humanity from building and operating that.
Espree Introduces Herself (20:45)
Espree is excited to be on the show and tells us that there are the most authentic and transparent conversations. Lucas is so real and has no bs, he shares his raw and honest insite with the world.
Espree started being an entrepreneur when she was a teenager. She feels she was born one and did things she liked. She didn’t know she was a producer, entrepreneur or podcaster. Everything she discovered she was really passionate about, she was already doing before she became it.
When she was a teenager she learned a lot of hard lessons. Espree spent tens of thousands of dollars on consultants,raising money or getting an expensive law firm. She thought that it was really cool to have an expensive law firm and the assumption would be to her getting venture capitalist money. She wanted to be the, “google” of action sports.
She made a lot of assumptions that were not accurate that led her to being passionate to moderating panels. Her experience was that she thought there was only one way, but she shows entrepreneurs that there is more than one way.
She feels her intuition is her oricle. She is afraid every day and every day takes a step forward no matter what. She loves moderating panels, connecting people, (although not being paid for it), and the world of startups.
She asked how she could combine all of those things together. When she found podcasting it brought it all together. She found packages of podcasting equipment for ten thousand dollars and realized she didn’t need that. She made that mistake before and bought a $25.00 mic. She uses fiverr to help her as well.
Tim Ferriss has a great podcast: The Tim Ferriss Show.
Time management is a big topic and everyone has a lot to do. If we prioritise our time and group things together we have time for the things that matter to us. All day long we make choice to put yourself in the place that we are in.
Too busy to read? Warren Buffett, is said to spend something like 80% of his time reading and is committed to ongoing learning.
Espree’s Podcast (36:48)
Espree’s podcast is called, WeAreLATech. It his #2 across all categories in Itunes new and noteworthy. She didn’t even know how to look that she was #2 and when she found out she took a bunch of pictures.
She created the podcast because it was an extension of moderating panels. A lot of investers follow ProductHunt and she uploaded someones app she never knew, and they made it to the main page and were able to get investors.
It was so awesome to be able to help with something so simple and make a difference in someones life. On her podcast, people can listen everywhere, and an investor may hear something they are interested in. She sees the podcast as a connector and wants to create exciting episodes.
Espree started with no knowledge and has learned it all. She has spent a lot of time on editing so she can take out all the boring moments. She doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time and just wants to add value.
She was able to meet with Alex Blumberg, who has a podcast called, StartUp. She tells us it is an amazing podcast and he is a master of storytelling. She was able to meet with him and learn about being a good storyteller.
The most valuable thing she has learned from the podcast startup, is that it occupies brain space. She likes that people think about her all week because she is occupying someones brain space in an amazing way. It is far more valuable than email or phone numbers, because it leaves a lasting impression.
Outsourcing her love life (42:40)
Tim Ferris gave a talk about how he outsourced his love life. She thought that was awesome and wanted to give it a try. She viewed dating as a distraction and wanted to focus on her company. Now she is openminded and hired a virtual assistant, who messages people, on behalf of Espree, and reaches out to people.
She does all the leg work, and Espree just shows up for the date. She never seen their picture and is very open minded towards getting to know them. She loves outsourcing her love life, and decided to take it to an extra level. She created a site for facebook using Striking. You can see her page.
She has found it difficult to meet people through all the things that happen to set up dates but she has had great success. She met a man she had an incredible connection with that was in the military but he had to go back. He didn’t want to put a burden on her and didn’t know how long he had to go for. She has taken a break from outsourcing her love life for a while, to focus on her podcast as well as she randomly met someone she is going to see where it goes.
Lucas asked if it could work for others, and she said if you are not fixating on looks, job, cars and money. She looks for integrity, communication, to laugh, ambition, drive, compassion, she is looking for things that are more important and permanent than money. Money can be lost and people’s look age.
How Do Assistants Filter For The Qualities She Needs? (50:00)
Espree tells us that it starts with hiring her team. She looks for the same qualities in the people she hires as the people she dates. They are pretty good at spotting the qualities as we attract what we are.
She has a site she shares about outsourcing your love life.
Espree appreciates and shows gratitude for the people she outsources to. It is really important to her, that everyone knows, behind outsourcing there is a person. She doesn’t feel it takes away jobs, but gives the opportunity for people to work up to a level of high paying jobs.
Please don’t outsource if you are not able to see the person behind.
She outsources her audio, artwork, she got her intro done with music laid behind it. She had a video on fiver with epic parque.
She used oDesk before and views them as her teammates. She asks them what their goals are in their life. She helps others find them so they can make additional income.
Lucas uses fiverr for his show notes and will pass on the link. Espree writes her own and it takes over an hour.
Espree credits all of her assistants at the bottom of her show notes. It allows her to have more time to eat healthier, exercise, and get all the things she needs to get done.
Next week we will continue the conversation.
Photographs by Modern Apparel
Audio mastering by Fiverr’s ariacreative
Show notes written by Fiverr’s ginakane
About the Author
Lucas Carlson is a hands-on consultant, author and entrepreneur. He helps founders discover opportunities for growth, both for their companies and for themselves. He was the CEO and founder of AppFog, a popular startup acquired in 2013 after signing up over 100,000 developers and raising nearly $10M in venture funding from top angels and VCs.