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What is it?

One of the first formulas I like to implement with new MD9™ clients is AOH. I made it up a few years ago, it stands for Automate Outsource Hire.

Do you know what an automation is? Automations can build empires over night, but they can also crash economies. I used to have a mentor who was the CTO of a large multinational based in the heart of Europe. One day while on the topic of automations, he asked me how I felt about knowing that my job (which at the time it was creating marketing automation solutions) was to end other people’s jobs. 

I honestly had never thought of this cost cutting practice in this light before. He shared the story of a startup based in Berlin. They had roughly 300 employees who were all fired on the same day. The day after they finished developing all of the parameters for an application that would replace them. 

While some companies may find it worthwhile to invest all of that time and energy into vetting, training & hiring 300 people just to fire them later on, that is my definition of purgatory. Which is why I created the AOH approach. It saves time, money & heart ache. It is not only more kind, it is mathematically the more logical, cost effective and time efficient choice. 

Why should you start with automations instead of people?

  1. An automation won’t get offended when you never take it out for lunch or coffee. So it saves your “human-connection energy” for connecting with the key drivers of your business.
  2. Most automations, if you don’t build them yourself, cost exponentially less than the salary of a full-time employee, at least in the United States. 
  3. Lastly: investors love it because it slashes your financial overhead. If you know my family’s story, you know that I have a strong aversion for high overhead. High overhead is the highway to ruin during a recession. 

So now that we know what AOH is and why you should use it, let’s talk about how to implement it. 

Take Action:


If you have never used an automation before start small, like with IFTTT or MailChimp. These platforms offer very easy automations, after this, try setting up a chatbot using a tool like Botstar or a booking portal like this one using a tool like Book Like A Boss. From here you should have a stronger understanding of what automations can do, and be equipped to use Google to find more automations for your specific business needs.


If you have never outsourced all or part of a project before, I would suggest looking at the book Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker, specifically Section One. I unsuccessfully hired & hated working with several remote workers before stumbling onto this book. His clear cut processes and lists are an answer to prayer for anyone looking to get a start in the world of virtual assistants. Alternatively, there are several courses that charge upwards of $200 to teach you the same thing you’ll find in this $17 book.

When you are ready to test drive outsourcing, head over to Fivver ($) for cheap creative work, UpWork ($$) for middle tier VAs & TopTal ($$$) for heavily vetted, premium freelancers.


If you are a first time founder looking to hire your first employees, I’ve found that converting contractors and VAs to employees is the best way to select the right talent for your team.

Who should you hire first? I like going with a python developer, they can build so many custom automations that in turn allow you to spend less time finding, hiring and training for admin tasks that are now taken care of by unopinionated web applications.

Read more on this topic:

  1. Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business
  2. Top 15 Best Marketing Automation Books You Should Read
  3. Read These 3 Books Before Hiring Your First Employee: These books provide you with practical tips on hiring and communicating with your first employee.

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