If you find yourself whining that â€œthere arenâ€™t enough hours in the day,â€ know youâ€™re not alone.
But you should also know that the biggest challenge isnâ€™t needing more hours, itâ€™s having the skills required to utilize those hours effectively. Whoever first said, â€œtime is on my sideâ€ (it wasnâ€™t The Stones, btw), probably never owned or managed a business.
If you ARE an owner or manager of a business, you wear an important title; youâ€™re the boss. But for many business owners, that title doesnâ€™t mean much because theyâ€™re constantly working below their paygrade â€“ meaning theyâ€™re doing the tasks that could easily be completed by someone whose time is, frankly (and respectfully), worth much less. This phenomenon isnâ€™t exclusive to any one industry. Itâ€™s a universal problem faced by organizations of all kinds.
Time, money and people
These are the main resources in your business, right? So, which of the three is most in your control? If you answered, â€œyour time,â€ then you are correct. Even though you canâ€™t change or stop time (how you wish), you have 100-percent control of how you spend it. Hereâ€™s how Iâ€™ve learned to make your time work for you â€“ not against you.
Know your worth
How much would you say an hour of your time is worth? $200, $300, $400? A business ownerâ€™s time is highly valuable â€“ Iâ€™d say closer to $400 than $200. But business owners also tend to be control freaks (in the best sense), so itâ€™s natural for them to take hold of a problem and convince themselves no one else is capable of solving it. If you find yourself frequently muttering the words, â€œif you want something done right, youâ€™re better off doing it yourself,â€ you are headed in the wrong direction.
The thing is, most of the time, someone else really can do it â€“ and for much less than what your time is worth.
One of my Board Members at TAB told me this story after we had discussed this topic a couple meetings ago:
He and his business partner agreed to assign a value â€“ $400 an hour in this case â€“ to their time, then work to ensure they spent their time on the right activities. So a few weeks ago he noticed she was leaving the office with keys in her hand, and asked her where she was going. She said she was going to pick up their important client at the airport. Our TAB member replied, â€œhow long will you be?â€ She said it would take about three hours to get to LAX and back. He mentioned that would cost the company $1200. He suggested they arrange for a car to pick up their client at a cost of $150. She did, and folklore has it that she landed a large contract while they were waiting for the client to arrive. Not sure thatâ€™s true, but it sounds great for this story, right?