It’s that time of year. The new year is upon us which means it’s time to review the past and look towards the future. Most people set new year’s resolutions in order to better themselves, their life, and their business or career. And yet, how many fall into the same old habits just weeks into the new year?
If there is one thing you should focus on this year in order to improve your business, it is this: Maximizing your time.
Time. It’s the most valuable asset we have. Anyone can make more money. But no one can create more time.
Time vs. Money
As a business owner, are you trying to “do it all” in order to save as much money as possible? Or, are you focusing your time and attention on those activities which you’re best at (and in turn will help your business to grow and generate the most revenue, long term)?
In other words, are you spending your time working in your business, or working on your business?
Example: If you hate accounting (or aren’t good at it), are you doing it yourself, or hiring it out?
How is your time spent? Are you spending 5 hours on a task in order to save $100? If so, your time must only be worth $20 per hour…right?
Are you spending your time on those things that only you can do to grow your business? Or is the majority of your business day spent on those tasks that could be hired out for pennies on the dollar of what your time is actually worth?
Calculate what your time is worth. If you charge $200.00 an hour for consulting, then why would you spend 5 hours on a task that could be hired out for $20.00 per hour by someone who is an expert in that field and can complete the task in less time than you, and do a better job of it?
Warning: there is a trade-off in the time vs. money game. You can’t hire out everything or you’ll spend all your money. On the flip side, you can’t do everything either, or you’ll have no time.
Boot-strapping a business is important, especially when starting out. However, there comes a point when the value of your time far outweighs the need to be overly frugal with your hard earned dollars.
What are you spending your time on? Are you penny wise but pound foolish?
Time = Money
We’ve heard it a million times. But do we ever stop to think what it means and how it actually affects us?
Waste your money and you’re only out of money, but waste your time and you’ve lost a part of your life.
How many people camp out in front of a store to get the best deal or latest item, first? How much (or little!) is their time worth?
How many people will drive across town to save $0.05 a gallon on gas, yet waste an hour doing so? Isn’t the time spent driving (and using additional gas!) more valuable than the $0.05 saved?
In business, as in life, there are only three things that can be spent, each one important, and each fulfilling a specific need. These three things are:
No matter what we do, these are the only 3 things that can be spent.
As a small business owner, it’s quite likely that you have more time and energy to spend than you do money. Although it may be easy to justify spending all your time and energy on a task, you could be wasting your most valuable resource: your time.
Time is More Valuable than Money
You can always make more money. If every last cent was taken from you, it’s always possible to make more. The same is true with energy. No matter how much energy you exert, after resting for a period of time, you’ll have rejuvenated your energy.
The same cannot be said about time. Each of us is given a finite amount of time on this earth. Although some are given more years, each of us has the same 24 hours in a day that has to be spent. How we use that time is what is most important, and what separates the truly successful from the unsuccessful.
Human beings are funny creatures. We place value on things which are easy to replace, and yet, neglect to find value at all in that which is priceless.
Finding the work/life balance is tough. Trust me. I know. I struggle with it every day. But one thing I do know is that one day you’re going to wake up and wish you had more time, and that you’d spent more time with your loved ones while you could, instead of working non-stop.
If you can maximize your time, you will automatically maximize your profits. How many people are content to waste time? And at the end of their life, how many of those will wish they had more of it?
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.
So, I raise the question again. What are you spending?