Like most of you, I have numerous email accounts that I use for different purposes. Actually, I probably have more email accounts than most people since I own three different companies.
A few years back when I started getting really busy, I outsourced the management of a few of these email accounts to virtual assistants. They would check the email, take care of the email messages that they could, and forward me emails that they could not handle.
Since I practice what I preach, all of my businesses have operations manuals that list out step-by-step instructions on how to do common tasks in my businesses. All of my staff use these manuals and update them as needed. That way, if I need to fire someone or hire someone, the new person can hit the ground running very fast with minimal training.
Outsourcing my email was no different. We made a list of the common types of email I receive on these particular accounts and how to handle them. They simply referred to that whenever they received email. Over time, we added to this list which further reduced the amount of email they sent to me.
I don’t want to respond to email. 95% of email responding is SW (Standard Work) as I describe here, and SW doesn’t increase my income. I need to focus on IW (Improvement Work) instead. That means I need to work on as little email as humanly possible.
I kept one or two of my “main” email accounts for me to continue to check. Yet, over time, as my businesses continued to grow, I knew that I had to outsource those email accounts as well. In other words, I had to outsource all of my email.
Emotionally, I didn’t want to do this. We all dislike giving up control over certain things, even us Alpha Male 2.0s.
Finally, about two months ago, I did it. I outsourced all of my remaining email accounts to other people. It is now impossible for you to email me directly. Here’s how I did it.
First, I set up a new encrypted email account at ProtonMail. The only people who know who this email account is are a few people on my staff and Pink Firefly. That’s it. No one else knows what this account is and never will.
Then, I had my staff check all of my email accounts, all of them mind you, even my “main” ones, about twice a day. We continued to expand the operations manual on how to handle certain email messages so they could handle them instead of me.
On those few emails that have to go to me because they were impossible to outsource for whatever reason, my staff forwards those to my secret encrypted email account, and I check that about once every other day.
You might wonder what “impossible to outsource” means. Examples of this would be emails having to do with my investments, communication with my attorneys and bookkeepers, working with guys who are working on brand new projects with me, and things of that nature; stuff I must personally be involved with. But that’s only a small percentage of the overall email I receive. All the rest of that stuff is now handled by my staff.
How has it gone?
Well, getting started was rocky. My staff had a shitload of questions at first. “What do I do with this email?” “What about emails from this source?” And so on.
But today, it’s pretty nice. If I wasn’t outsourcing any email, I’d be spending a good 60-90 minutes a day on this crap. Today I spend about 25 minutes per day on average on total email management, and my goal is to get this down to 15 minutes or less.
The less time I can spend screwing around with email, the more time I can put into IW, because that’s where the money is. Not email.
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