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A SOHOer's Savior

One homebased writer waxes poetic about the virtues of hiring a personal assistant, and lets you in on his hiring, training and management secrets.

This story appears in the May 2000 issue of

Fifteen years ago, I did something that has improved my quality of life more than anything-I hired a personal assistant. She does my routine tasks as well or better than I could have done them. (The vast majority of respondents to my personal assistant ads are female so I use the feminine article here-no sexism intended.) That wrings 16 hours out of a 10-hour workday because it frees me up to do things I'd rather do. And she doesn't cost me a dime. In fact, she makes me money because with the extra time I gain as a result of her work, I earn money in excess of her salary. Besides, it's simply fun to have a nice person around-working at home can get lonely.

My assistant runs my errands, does light housekeeping, makes meals, tends plants, maintains my aquarium and is a sounding board. (She, for example, reviewed a draft of this article.) My previous assistant was handy, so he used to fix things around the house.

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