John Jonas is an internet marketer and the founder of onlinejobs.ph. He is known as the guy to go to for how to replace themselves and live the 17-hour work week. He’s all about spending as little time working as needed, and spending more of that time with family, golfing, and helping others live the lifestyle he lives.
Mike: What gave you the idea to create an a resource for finding virtual assistants and other workers online?
John: I created it for myself! In 2008 there wasn’t a good way to find people in the Philippines. I was frustrated with having to go through a service and being at the mercy of what someone else thought was a good fit for my business. I wanted a way where I could decide for myself who is the best person, as well as not pay a 3x markup fee on someone’s salary every month. So I created what I wanted so I could find talented workers and have them work from home.
Mike: Why specifically Filipino workers?
John: There’s a combination of 6 cultural attributes that makes the Philippines different from anywhere else in the world.
1. They’re very westernized. They watch American movies and TV. Elementary school is often taught in english. They think the way we do so communication isn’t an issue.
2. They’re honest. My workers have access to my credit cards, bank account, paypal account, personal email… They don’t want to steal from you. They just want to work for you.
3. They’re loyal almost to a fault. If you treat them well, they’ll never quit. Even when they get a job offer from someone else making much more, they’ll keep working for you. This changes our commitment level towards teaching them.
4. They’re very well educated.
5. They have computers and internet access. The internet isn’t super fast, but they all have access at home. This helps avoid typical outsourcing middleman markups.
6. They’re not entrepreneurial. They don’t want to steal your ideas. They don’t want to steal your domain or your business or your software. They just want a job.
When you combine all these cultural attributes you’re much more likely to have a better outsourcing experience with the Philippines than almost anywhere else in the world (including first world countries)
Mike: Your domain name, OnlineJobs.ph is a descriptive, keyword name. When I searched “onlinejobs,” it was the first two results returned from Google. That said, ph is a county code TLD for the Philippians. Have you had any difficulty using dot ph with a US based target audience?
John: Not really. I mean, occasionally someone says “Wait… dot ph?”. But usually people know that we only deal with the Philippines so .ph makes sense.
In terms of search engine rankings, we’ve never seen any issues with it.
Mike: You also founded replacemyself.com. Tell me a little bit about this and how it differs from online jobs.ph.
John: ReplaceMyself.com was born out of people wanting to know how/why I was hiring Filipino workers. I started teaching it and put the website together to deliver trainings to Filipino workers on behalf of their employers.
OnlineJobs.ph is the database where you find workers. ReplaceMyself is where you learn how to find/hire/manage those workers.
Although…today most of the teaching I do from ReplaceMyself.com can be found on OnlineJobs.ph
Honestly…the training’s we’ve provided to VA’s at ReplaceMyself.com are a bit outdated right now. We’ve mostly stopped doing it. We’re currently re-inventing that training as part of OnlineJobs.ph
Mike: Is it really possible to replace yourself? I mean, can you really outsource the majority of your work and still be successful?
John: Yes! I’ve been doing it for 12 years now. I’ve worked about 17 hours/week for the last 8 years. I’ve seen lots of other people do it. The key is to hire long-term people rather than project based or contract workers or freelancers.
The other key is to make decisions about what your business will do based on who has to do the work. If you have to do the work, don’t take on that kind of business.
It’s not an overnight thing. Hiring Filipino workers isn’t a magic bullet. It requires effort. But from everything I’ve seen over the years, hiring a Filipino VA gives you the best shot at lowering your workload in an affordable way.
Mike: I imagine you outsource 🙂 this but how easy or difficult is it to launch and run an online business?
John: It’s hard. It takes a lot of hard work. Not physical labor, but thinking work. And most people aren’t willing to do that much hard thought work. They just want someone else to tell them exactly what to do step by step. That kind of a business won’t succeed online very often.
In order to launch and run an online business you have to think through lots of processes.
And yes, I outsource everything except the thinking. I do the thinking and people in the Philippines do the actual work.
Mike: Are there any success cases you can share? How would a guy like me replace myself?
John: I see success stories all the time. So often that they almost became commonplace for me. Here are some more in depth case studies I did a while back:
as well as a few success stories we’ve published out of the thousands we’ve seen:
There are really two keys to replacing yourself:
1. Hire someone in the Philippines to do something you are currently doing in your business. Don’t outsource something you don’t know how to do. “Insource” (bring someone into your company) from overseas and get them doing something you do know how to do. Get something off your plate. The distinction between something you do and something you don’t know how to do is critical. You can only replace yourself if you work on outsourcing things you DO know how to do.
2. Don’t expect success the first time. Be willing to work with the person over and over until you get it right. Not until “they” get it right. Until YOU get it right with THEM doing the work. It takes patience.
But once you get it right once, the second and third times are easier and easier. Pretty soon you’ve gotten 2, 3, 10 hours back in your life.