In this episode of the OTTP Podcast, the past owner of the blog and podcast, Dan Andrews, interviews its new owner and Philippines outsourcing expert, Chris C. Ducker (pictured right, giving the Keynote at the recent Visayas Blogging Summit in Cebu Philippines) on why he made the purchase and what he intends to do with it!.
In This Episode…
You’ll hear Dan mention that Chris is the only guy in the outsourcing industry whose products he’s backed in the past (such as his Virtual Staff Finder) so he’s the perfect guy to take over the OTTP brand. You’ll also enjoy listening in on Dan and Chris’ talk, where they discuss, among other things:
- Why Dan sold this site.
- Why Chris is the perfect new owner.
- Chris’ future plans with OTTP.
- Lots of ‘quick’ outsourcing tips.
- How much you can expect to pay your home-based VA.
- Why the Philippines, why now?
- What inspires Chris to keep working hard everyday in an environment (Philippines) where many other expats don’t have a similar drive.
Mentioned in this Podcast:
In this episode, we discussed the following resources:
Yeah everybody! Thanks for joining me here at OTTP Podcast. It’s great to have you. It’s been a while since I’ve recorded a brand new episode and it’s so good to be back on the show. Today, I have a huge announcement, absolutely huge; I’m talking about the change in ownership of this blog.
For those of you who don’t know, I recently moved away from the Philippines to Bali Indonesia; I should go back and visit quite regularly because I do have a Filipino corporation and I also have employees in the Philippines and I’ve got tons of friends now there and I’m starting some businesses there but…
my main home now is in Bali, Indonesia. And this caused some tension for me on the blog.
There are two reasons:
The first thing is that when you’re a blogger you sort of looking for that decisive factor or what makes you different and here in the outsourcing blog, for me that was sharing my unique perspective as someone who lived in the Philippines you know a lot of my content was about my travel and these and that and by not leaving in the Philippines anymore, I sort of lost that edge.
The second thing is my good buddy one of the best friends that I made while I was in the Philippines, his name is Chris Ducker. I’m sure that a lot of you if you’re serious about doing business in the Philippines and if you have just started here, he is one of the other most visible people online and I’m not just talking about the Philippines right now. A lot of the business success at a blog like this, sort of led to the kind of services that Chris is currently providing and providing at such a higher level and I could really ever do. It’s like all road in the Philippines go through Chris Ducker.
At this point they should, as many of you know, I have been talking about Chris Ducker’s Virtual Staff Finder service here for months now. And I’ve been an affiliate for on a site and the reason is these, I really believe in that service like so much so. I could not be a stronger advocate for that. In fact, even though I spent a lot of time in the Philippines myself, the next time I hire a Filipino virtual assistant, I will do it through Virtual Staff Finder that is how great of a service it is.
So, as I was looking forward to the future of what I want for this blog, I basically decided if I wanted to go big or to go home. I think what I decided was to bow out and the primary reason is that Chris is in such a better position to provide fantastic content about the Philippines. He’s got 250+ employees in Cebu, he’s been living there for ten years. I just couldn’t be happier that Chris stepped up and was willing to purchase the blog from me and to take it to the next level. That’s the biggest thing.
I just want to say this before I get on to the interview with Chris where we talk about the hand-off and what are his intentions and stuff. Here’s the thing that I can guarantee everyone who subscribes this blog and to all our readers and everything. This blog will be better in Chris Ducker’s hand than it ever was in mine and I’m really looking forward to being a follower of this blog myself. The guy has incredible perspective and I know his intentions are to take things to the next level so I’m looking forward to that.
The second thing is that I’m going to continue to support this blog. I’m not going anywhere; I’m still an advocate for the Philippines. I’m still an active blogger and podcaster in the internet and I hope to continue to be contributing to this site in the future.
Anyway, thank you so much for being a loyal subscriber to the OTTP podcast. I hope you found it useful and entertaining. It’s been an incredible ride for me moving to the Philippines, moving my business there. It’s been huge my business, you know when I moved to the Philippines, ah well, what were we doing there, we had a $110,000 a month last month and a lot of that is due to the sort of advantages in the Philippines, the things that we’ve learned about business just for making such a radical maneuver. So, if you’re thinking about pulling up your spikes and move in to the Philippines, I still recommend it; I still think it is a great thing to do. And it certainly was fantastic for my business. Of course if you have any questions for me, continue to direct them here in the comments to the blog and I will follow up with each one of you.
So, without further a-do, I’m gonna send you off for an interview with my good friend, Chris Ducker from chrisducker.com
Dan: Alright, so here’s the thing Chris, I don’t even need you for the sales pitch coz I’m on the phone this morning with my mastermind group, so a bunch of international jet set entrepreneur guys. Guys that have experienced having Virtual Staff Finder in the Philippines. They have done it themselves and they all, every single one of them used you service now. They are guys who have all been in the Philippines; they’ve all hired multiple staff by themselves and they are all telling me that, yeah, I used Ducker services four times now; I’ve used it two times now, I’ve used it five times now. Coz I was telling them about my going down with the blog and that you are the buyer now. I pumped all about that, they are all like that ,yap we all used VSF and I actually have not been a VSF customer yet coz I have a staff that I hire myself . And I’ve told you this that the next time I need to hire another staff in the Philippines it will go through VSF. And the reason is it’s that good. I have lived there for a year and a half, even though I have a staff there currently, I got all the passwords and keys to all the jobsites there, that’s how good it is.
Listen to this, I just want to tell you that little anecdote I thought that was funny, I mean, here are the people that you assume would be the worst target market for you coz they’ve been in the Philippines and got staff there and everything and they are all your biggest customer.
Chris: That’s awesome to hear, but you know I got to be honest it doesn’t surprise me. Because same birds flock together or similar birds or whatever the hell they say. That right there is a social proof in the making.
Chris: And I believe that if you do anything that’s worth its weight and you do it well and you look after people, then they gonna talk. And they gonna tell their buddies, their friends acquaintances, business contacts, so the rest of it. Everyone gonna know about it and I think at that point, it becomes not only a lot easier to be able to find additional clients within a certain circle. But it also becomes a lot more rewarding, because like I said that social proof is what is all about really.
Dan: Right! Well so, I have not prepare you today Chris as any of these question I was gonna hitch you up and put out the fire and see how you do it and we have done these a couple of times before.
I think everybody knows what Virtual Staff Finder is all about. It’s basically the best place in the world to find home based virtual staff for your business. It’s the cause leader and it’s the quality leader tight now; so you’re in the pretty hot spot right there. But tell me about the future, what’s next for the business for you?
Chris: Well I mean there are a lot of things that are in development locally here to be able to further our ability to be able to bring the best quality home based workers to our clients. So the market is big anyway, there’s thousands and thousands of people working from home here.
But obviously like any other industry in the world, you got to separate the poor players to the superstar what we try to do is we try and find the superstars, nine times out of ten we do. We are not perfect there have been a few Virtual Staff that have unfortunately not worked out but I mean in regards to percentage, that’s probably around 2 to 3 %, the rest of them have all worked out well with the people that have hired them. And so you know over-all the local market I’m very happy with. But that doesn’t mean we are gonna rest on our laurels and you know I want the service to be able to continue to grow and expand, hopefully for many, many years and I believe there’s a lot of legs form there.
So because of that, we now need to go out locally and we need to really focus and tune in on trying to find best people and that means actually creating those best quality people ourselves and manufacturing them ourselves . We have done a handful of free seminars here this year. That is what exactly we do, I’ve spoken to probably close to 500 Virtual Assistants and we’re doing another one next month in Manila but we will be going to Davao, you name it, we all be going to all over the country, that’s one side.
The other side is we put in together an online school of sort to be able to train homebased workers and, you know, hopefully, get to the point like I said manufacturing better quality people over here.
Dan: Something just sort of queer in my head. Let’s reset back to the beginning here, 3 years ago when I first heard about the Philippines, it was this promise of, I could have like a real fulltime employees, somebody that’s engaged fully in my business, working for me for 40 hours a week for $350. I remember, I heard that on some podcast somewhere and I was like on a plane literally the next week. So you know couple years down the line now we’re all twisted up; we’re mixed up together. What’s the same promise now? Like you know I heard that promise three years ago, what do you think the opportunity for someone not fully up to speed on what’s going on in the Philippines or what’s possible for entrepreneurs in the Philippines?
Chris: Everything, literally. It goes actually beyond; I feel it goes beyond just manpower. The ability to get things done at a cheaper rate is one thing. But I mean it will really depend on the kind of business you either operate or wanting to operate. In terms of the Philippines, you can rally achieve anything wanting to outsource certain parts of your business here, whether it be just hire a couple of VAs to help you build online presences or get someone to physically run your office for you when you travel around the world. Whatever the case maybe, it’s all here.
Dan: Let me give you an example, I’ve got this domain “lifestylebusinesspodcast.com”. What I want someone to do is I want a dropbox in my audio files every week, when I record this episode I want to give them a protocol for how to edit that and I want them to create the blogpost. Now for someone who has not trained up this kind of work could very well be full time work combined that maybe with their scheduling some interviews or other podcast for me or preparing some research for me bringing my podcast to some directories to get more SEO exposure. If I’m looking to hire somebody like that through VSF what would your consultation to give me? How much money would somebody like that cost me in the Philippines now a days?
Chris: Now a days you will spend more than what you were over a year or two ago; that kind of person gonna cost you $500 a month.
Dan: Okay, part of the presses, you heard it your first. That’s insanely ridiculous value. One thing that I can tell you from my experience that’s different from two years ago. Now, like two years ago you are paying $350 for that person, now, you paying $500, I would be so much happy to pay $500 now, than the $350 then. Because I do think that late years in terms of what they know the Filipinos have become so much more switched on, so much faster, impart because of the kind of work that you’re doing there. Would you agree with that statement? You think I’m with that there, you think I’m fantasizing?
Chris: No, no, no, you’re absolutely not going mental or anything that’s for sure. The fact of the matter is, is that particularly the work at home outsource market here in the Philippines has become unbelievably popular and grown unbelievably huge over the last 3 to 4 years. I mean, we got a guy called Tm Ferris to thank for that a little bit. The fact of the matter is, not only has it grown in terms of mass, in term of volume, but it has also grown in terms of focus and in terms of deliverability. In terms of just to generalize knowledge base of people here now, and you’re right, the VAs of today are not the VAs of 2, 3 years ago. They know how much they’re worth, they’re not stupid, they know they do a great job, they know they provide a fantastic service and they know they can do it better than pretty much anyone n the planet for the price somebody pays for them. Because of that, if you don’t pay the person what they believe they are worth and what you believe you should be paying, obviously you find a common ground between the two; but if you don’t pay what you should be paying them, they’ll be off, you’re not the only Virtual boss out there. There are other people out there who are looking for the superstar that you got on your books. You need to look after them, you need to pay them properly you need to be a little flexible, but ultimately it’s a much more sophisticated market than it was 2, 3 years ago. Hell of a lot.
Dan: It’s such an incredible evolution. I remember having emotions like two years ago I was worried that my employees would find my blogs, you know, like if they will find my blogs they’ll gonna out me; they’ll gonna figure out that this is something like a strategic manipulative move and I’m underpaying them or they’ll gonna demand more money; all this stuff. And then, two years on to it, they are all reading my blog and I can find that everything is fine; everything is cool. And Now, I’m taking to the next level where they don’t even want to read my blog, they’re bored and they are off reading Seane blog coz I think he’s way cooler than me. So it’s like the four evolution of sophistication now, they finally figured out that it’s not even worth their time.
Chris: He’s a strappingly handsome young fellow. I’m sure that’s probably got have to do with it as well. It’s funny I mean I’ve had exactly the same situation with virtualbuisnesslifestyle.com where some of my employees and I got what, 270 as of now. I know they read my blog particularly obviously the people that work very closely with me and my marketing department, HR, Operations and that sort of type of thing. I know they read the damn blog, I am well aware with that, and we have had a couple of people in our marketing dept, go ahead and resign because they feel that they can make money working at home and all the rest of it. But in 2, 3 months later they’re back with their toe between their legs and they understand obviously that working at home is not all that it’s go t to be. Some people can do it, some people cannot. The cons are pretty heavy, in other words they don’t get their tax paid by the company; there’s no tax contribution, there’s no social security contribution, there’s no Philippine health or PAGIBIG which is a housing loan contribution.
So you know those entire thing do adapt; the health insurance, dental, accident insurance all that sort of stuff which I gave all my staff. And once you have that and you don’t have it, it’s a bit of reality check; particularly if you have young children and things like that. What if they get sick for 3 to 4 days and you have to put them in the hospital, the bill come through and you don’t have the insurance that Chris used to give you. We’ve had few people leave and then come back and say we made a mistake; we really want to come back and work with you. Which you know, as long as they did good when they are with me, I don’t hold a grudge. If they did a good a job and there’s a position available, then I’ll give them my second chance. Everybody deserves a second chance, right?
Dan: I benefitted from quite a few. So couple of things, when I was ready to put my other blog and podcast on the market, I was really hoping that you would come through and be the buyer. To be honest because you are the only guy in the Philippines that I know can really stand behind, not only that, but I would do it anyway. I have stood behind by your product since day one because I know you personally, we’re friend and the products are just that good. So my question to you is what are your intentions with my former baby? Why did you step up to buy this from me? I mean, do you have a clear strategic idea what you gonna do with this blog and podcast? But you have your own podcast already, I’m sure a lot of people have listened to this show virtualbusinesslifestyle.com podcast as well. What do you plan on doing with this; you’re just taking more work man, what’s going on there?
Chris: Well, I got a few people to help me out remember that. I bought OTTP just to make sure that you have some food for the next year. I want to help a buddy out man coz I heard you guy, you know with a cup on your hand I want to make sure that you are alright.
Dan: The visas are so expensive over here man, oh my goodness, it’s not the Philippines for sure.
Chris: My heart bleeds.
Now man look, I mean with all joking to one side; thank you very much for saying what you said about to back me up and stuff, I appreciate it. But yeah, you are right, we are buddies and we have spent a certain amount of time together and chatting on Skype and face to face and all that sort of stuff. My main reason for purchasing that blog and its affiliations online was because you’ve done such a good job in building it up all the time that you have it, honestly speaking, this is gonna sound a little bit egotistical, but I honestly did not want anybody else to get a hold of it and screw it up. You started it when you’re in the Philippines and OTTP is not outsource to any bloody world.com you know. I just feel very, very passionate about the Philippines and obviously the outsourcing industry it has given me a fantastic lifestyle and you know all the rest all of things that go along with that. For me, my main reason behind buying it coz you did a great job building it up, I wanted to continue, I want to obviously have it evolved, hopefully into a slight different animal. Your content was very much based around the country and the travel and working with Virtual Staff and things like that and that’s great. And that will continue to be part of the site; we will continue to grow with that part of the site as well. But really for me I want it to be absolutely without a doubt the number one resource for anyone whether be entrepreneur, business corporation, wanting to do any kind of work. I want it to be really the one stop for business sin the Philippines.
Dan: I’m really glad that it’s in your hands and there’s something that we can continue to stand behind and continue to put content there. You know you’ve done the impossible in some ways; you made the Philippines simple for people, you know, if you guys are interested in hiring staff just go to virtualstafffinder.com. So let me ask about something that I am curious about. You solve the staffing issue, I am curious about you the entrepreneur, sometimes I feel like I’m trying to decode your success. I mean you’ve got a million people working for you, your making that hand over fist, you’ve got this incredible intensity and desire just to keep it going in some ways in a place where you are quite singular, you’re not going to the polo auto coffee café and hang around with the bunch of other guys that are just laughing in their bells for money. What is it that drives you in this place for you, you’re out there and there’s outpost in the Philippines, you come to the office your dinner done every day. How do you get this stuff done man? How can we be like you?
Chris: You wouldn’t wanna be like me.
Dan: What is it that keeps you going man? Why are you so driven to do this?
Chris: It’s gonna sound like such a cliché. It really is, but for me it’s just about my family, it’s just about providing my kids a freaking awesome future. I’m telling you right now, I will not hand over one of my businesses to one of my children. I am not Donald Trump; I am not doing that. I will open several doors for my children. But they gonna have to make it on their own, I’m not gonna give it in a silver platter that ain’t gonna happen. It’s the family; it’s about making a lifestyle that they can really enjoy living and just man, just you know focus on that. ]
But the passion just to grow the businesses, and come up with new ideas and innovate as much as possible within the space, that’s just me. I am just a passionate guy regardless of what I ever done in my life years in years ago. I publish a Hong Kong movie magazine back in the UK for Hong Kong movie fans. When I started that magazine it was basically for me because there is no other magazine out there like it. I knew there was a certain amount of people who wanted to read it. Little did I know that it was gonna take me to Hong Kong several times a year. Little did I know it’s gonna put me into a position where I was gonna be making a documentaries on Hong Kong Cinema and bringing people like Jet Lee, Simon Yam and Anthony Wong and all these big big actors in Hong Kong over the UK for midnight screenings in London China town and you all these sort of stuff. I never thought that all that was gonna happen but the passion just drives you. It’s like a river you know once it starts flowing you just got to go with it baby. That’s what it’s all about.
Dan: When you were a like a young single back pack in a day, did you feel that you have this stuff figured out like, yeah I want to be an entrepreneur like this, is the way it’s gonna go or will you just feeling your way out trying to do the best work that you could.
Chris: You know what, I don’t even start calling myself an entrepreneur until that 3 years ago and that’s a fact.
Chris: That’s a fact. Looking back on it, I guess I was an entrepreneur because I was doing a lot of consulting work and all these sort. I have not had a boss for many, many years and so looking back on it. It was really only when we set up the Live2Sell Group and I started growing. When we started it, we only had 30 seats in the office and we only had 7 employees, so the place was fundamentally empty. Now when I’m there and I look at it we got 3 floors in a five storey building and 270 of staff. Man, my wife used to be the HR Director, right? Now I got like 8, 9, 10 people working in HR. It’s a shocker and when I look at it I’m thinking myself now I’m an entrepreneur, I built that up. Coz that’s what an entrepreneur do, they start something, they build something and they continue to build on it. And that’s already what I’ve done with the Live2Sell group. Everything else that I have done above and beyond that like VSF. I never thought I’d be able to get people like that, you know, these guys are online gods and I honestly did not think that that was gonna possible to do stuff like that . But it just shows that if you got enough passion, enough balls you just gonna get out there and take it. And that’s what all is about.
Dan: I see you nothing that I admire and nothing that I tell people about you and I see you doing the work. Having done it for so long you have that confidence to be decisive to make a decision and to move forward that way it doesn’t get in the way of your work so I fell like when you go to your office twice a week now or whatever, and you schedule any hours in that office, you’re working for 8 hours. And lot of people including myself who are just getting started we second guess our self a lot we kind of spend lot of time on a rack. When you look at the blog and you look at the kind of the prolific amount of content that somebody who has 250 of people working for him gets done and I know you generate the content yourself and then to look at somebody who’s making excuses that they cannot find enough time to write a blog, it’s absurd.
Chris: I never expected to be as popular on the podcast world as I am now. I mean if you ask me 18 months ago when I started the blog whether you know a blog post would after 18 months have regular 70, 80, a 100 comments on a post and 200+ comments on some post, if you would ask me that I would have call you a mental person . That’s the thing, that chances are and everybody that knows me, knows that I’m not bullshitting when I say this, if it have not taken off, if it have not become popular as it has, if it there was not 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 thousand people downloading every podcast episode, if that was not the case, the chances are I probably would not put as much energy into it. Because I would not feel like it was worthwhile. I’d rather try working something else and building something else. Sometimes when people ask me how the hell you get all this stuff done, yeah, I got people helping me obviously, but I’m the one driving it, I am the one behind it, saying here’s the list of 15 people I want in my podcast for the next 6 months, book this bloody interviews, do it now. I never anticipated that it will be popular as it becomes, but it’s awesome, I bloody love it, it’s brilliant. Just the opportunity to publish the original content produces this podcast and hopefully whole bunch of people at the same time. It’s what it’s all about, right?. Tropical NBA also a cash plug and just great. And the affiliated podcast that goes with it that we are now is also fantastic, that is what all is about; doing something that makes a difference.
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