The Way We Work
August 31, 2012 by Guest Blogger

By John Rampton, founder of

Being an entrepreneur is hard, and finding great talent to help you scale your business can be especially difficult. However, having the right team is a major key to success in the startup world. But here’s a hint: you don’t have to be limited to people in your local area. Here is what I’ve learned about becoming a successful entrepreneur with online workers.

1. Entrepreneurs don’t have time

My quest started about 3 months ago when I was searching for a researcher for my blog. I needed someone with expertise in pay-per-click marketing to write some killer posts and do research for me. I tried out several sites, but one day I was reading on a well-known affiliate marketing blog,, about oDesk. Zac said that he had used the site several times and had a lot of success finding great people to write killer posts. So I gave it a try.

I discovered that entrepreneurs like myself can leverage these talented online workers to manage their workflow more easily. The average job I post takes about two minutes to put up, and within 24 hours I typically have 30+ people that have applied for the job. The site makes it easy to navigate their profiles and choose the best contractor for each particular job, and as an entrepreneur this time in invaluable to me. Spending 30 minutes or less each day on things that I can hand over to my online team has been amazing and has helped me grow my business 10x in the past year.

2. Most entrepreneurs don’t have a lot of resources

The first project that I posted on oDesk was to find a couple of good people to write posts for my blog. I hired about 5 or 6 people, and found one in particular that worked out really well for me: a technical writer from Pakistan named Imran.

I started off having him write an article or two, then it turned into 10, then 20, then 100 articles for me. He’s been one of the top writers that I have ever worked with, so I kept hiring him to complete my articles. oDesk has been there for me the whole time to facilitate the payment transactions, and one nice feature that works really well for many contractors is the ability to get paid through MoneyBookers. Many services out there don’t allow this or only pay through Paypal. This has made my life very easy as Imran lives in Pakistan, where Paypal isn’t accepted.

Without oDesk, I would have never been able to find the help for my blog. Since finding Imran, I have found countless other people willing to help me out and work with me on my projects and tasks, at a rate I can afford.

3. Entrepreneurs need major help, and most of the time they don’t realize it

oDesk has been great for finding researchers, writers, and a variety of other helpful roles that have helped me and my business jump to the top of the search engine rankings. Entrepreneurs can benefit immensely from this. For example, the second person I hired through oDesk came to me the next day with 10 different things I needed to do with my website to make it better. I don’t know if this is typical of every contractor, but I loved it. Some of his tips are still on my website today and have helped me convert many visitors.

Entrepreneurs think they can do everything, but unfortunately they can’t. All they can do is work as hard as possible and do all that they can. Online teams can help take you to the next level, a level that you can’t reach alone. Perhaps most importantly, with online contractors, your business can become scalable. Plus, some of the best relationships I have formed with my team have helped me realize things that I need to be doing to make my business grow, most of which I would have never known had I not found the amazing online team I have today.

So here’s my final, bonus tip: Let your business grow. Allow it to grow to be bigger than you. Build real relationships with your contractors and it will come back to you tenfold.

John Rampton is an entrepreneur, writer, full-time computer nerd, and founder of Follow him on Twitter at @JSRampton.




  • Abhi

    Hi All,

    It is a fact that there are many intermediate persons out there with outsourcing business. Arial might have found one of those in hi first try. I am a contractor on oDesk and from my experience, working directly with developer will surely put you on a successful completion of project instead working with such intermediaries. What intermediaries do is take a job and than transfer to local developer or one he has hired. Communication goes too and fro and all valuable information get lost in between resulting in disaster to project.


  • Arian Kooshesh

    I’ve become fed up with freelancer. So many people on there know what to say to you to get a job then will vanish for 2 weeks, knowing what a complete hassle the dispute process is. I might try odesk next time I need a content writer, thanks John.

    Case in point, recently I was hiring someone out to make changes to do some javascript work. A gentleman from india with good english approached me, said he knew what he was doing, but in the end only managed to give me half-assed work. I disputed, and lost. I decided I wouldn’t use freelancer anymore.

    Honestly, most sites remind me of dating sites. You have to wade through 20-30 losers to find the gem.

    • John Rampton

      Try it, you won’t be disappointed. They have a really good system that protects both sides. Not saying that you won’t find a couple losers (which I have as well) but I have managed to find several key winners that have helped launch my business to 10x what is was!

    • Chau Chi Thien

      Hi Arian,

      I could understand your situation. I am a contractor on oDesk, you can have a hint on the history of the contractor: the comments from other employers about him. It is not make sure that your job will be 100% done but it will greatly lower your disappointing.

  • Natalie Tucker

    Great points John, networking is such a valuable tool and the team approach is huge. Finding a great resource like this to gain quality writters for your blog will free you up to focus on other areas to grow your business.

    • John Rampton

      Thanks for the great comment Natalie! Quality writers are a big part in having people come back to your blog!

  • Zac Johnson

    Excellent article and thanks for the mention! I love using oDesk and currently have a few open jobs right now. It makes the process for finding quality and low cost work much easier!

    • John Rampton

      Thanks Zac, it’s always good to see a comment from the person that introduced me to oDesk. It’s a great system, thanks for getting me set up with them!

  • James D. Castle

    I consulted the other week for a trivia company out in Florida for setting up iPhone and iPad apps for their company. Needless to say they were very lost, and needed a lot of help. A local developer out there almost screwed them over till I was asked to help. It was an awesome experience to know that I helped them with their business model in this new venture of theirs. I love helping others and making a name for myself.

    • John Rampton

      Glad you’re able to step in and get paid for doing so. It’s always cool to hear from people helping do the work!

  • Brian Snow

    Great Article John!

    • John Rampton

      Thanks Brian, glad you enjoyed it!

  • Mitchell Wright

    Great post John. I always hire 5 or 6 for the same job, then end up keeping maybe one for the long term.

    • John Rampton

      It’s how a lot of the big boys do it! It’s a sure way to find premium people online!

  • Franklin Manuel (@askfranklin)

    Really great post John. I’m an Entrepreneur myself and haven’t used odesk. I’ll give them a try. Great seeing people making money online.

    • John Rampton

      Thanks Franklin!

  • Tony Cohn

    John is right on the money with this one. Its always so hard to know when to ask for help. You always think you can do it all. Great read

    • John Rampton

      Thanks buddy! Key to success is really knowing when you need help and when you can do it alone. You’ll eventually always need help!

  • JohnB

    “Build real relationships with your contractors and it will come back to you tenfold.” – This is so true!

    • John Rampton

      Relationships are key in any business! Sounds like you’ve got the relationship thing figured out! Keep up the good work John!

  • Devin Harper

    I couldn’t agree with you more. It has never been easier to start a business. Sure it takes loads of hard work and time and lots of trial and error, but ODesk is a remarkable resource and if you tap into it, I really believe ANYONE who really wants to build a business can do it.

    • John Rampton

      It’s true, anyone who wants to build a business online can use oDeck to help them build it!

  • Mitchell

    John mentions that out of the 5 or 6 he hired he only found 1 good person that was a great fit. I think that’s a great point and tip. Don’t give up on outsourcing because it didn’t work out the first time. There’s people that do great work and that will be an excellent fit for your team, it just might take a little bit more time and resources than you initially thought.

    • John Rampton

      Thanks Mitchell. It does take a couple people to get one killer person!