I’m not sure when you are reading this, but I’m writing it the day after Thanksgiving. I saw a lot of stuff happen this weekend that made me think about the value of time.
If you are living in the US, the day after Thanksgiving is called “black Friday” because all the stores have huge sales to get them back into the black.
Now, Friday afternoon I was playing w/ my twin boys, but when my family got back from shopping, I heard stories about saving $20-$30 on some stuff… but having to wait in line for 2-3 hours to buy the product.
That doesn’t even count the time it takes to drive to the store, find parking and then fight your way through all the people.
This made me think…
If someone spent 4 hours saving $20…. how much did the actually save?
I’m not sure about you, but I value my time very highly. It’s the only thing in the world that I don’t get more of.
So, what do you value your time at? If you are working for a job, getting paid $8 an hour… then your time is valued at $8 an hour.
So, if you were shopping this weekend, and you spent 4 hours – it cost you $32 (if you are charging $8 an hour). If you value your time at higher – then it could have cost you a fortune.
Well, I personally value my time around $1k an hour. The reason…? If I spend a focused hour on a project, it will always turn into at least $1k (usually more).
So, when people call and want me to consult them on a project, I charge between $600 – $1,000 an hour depending on the client and the situation.
That is why I believe so strongly in outsourcing – because it’s usually a lot cheaper to hire someone to do a task – then to personally do it myself.
Last weekend we paid 2 people $650 to clean up my yard for the winter. It took them 7 hours each to get the job done.
So, If I would have done the work myself, it would have cost me $14,000 to do it (7 hours X 2 people X $1k an hour).
In that case – $650 is a no brainier.
Now, with that said… I want to show you some ways to free up some more personal time for yourself to get done the stuff that YOU have to get done.
1st – learn to cluster your time. One of the things that kills the productivity of online business owners is instant communication.
People want to answer their emails or phone calls the second they come in. I can tell you from experience that this will kill your productivity.
Every time you start into a project, you are interrupted by email, phone calls, instant messages….
Learn to cluster your time – take 60 minutes at the end of your work day when you are less productive… and then (and only then) answer your emails – and make phone calls back.
You need large clusters of time that you can focus 100% on a project so you can get more done faster.
2nd – Kill your email addresses. Have you ever tried to email me? If so you’ve probably got a response saying that you have to submit a ticket to my help desk.
First – so I can cluster my time
Second – because I’ve outsourced my customer support
I think email is the biggest killer of productivity in the world. I’ve turned off all but one of my email addresses – and if more then 10 people find that one out – then I kill it and start over. Beware of email.
So, what help desk software do I recommend? There are a lot out there – currently we are using www.kayako.com and it’s been great.
3rd – Charge for your time. You should not be giving away your most valuable asset for free. Every second that I am spending with a client, I am not able to spend with my wife or the twins.
We talked earlier about the value of your time… how much is your time worth? As you grow in your niche, people will start trying to get your time for free.
Beware of this – because it will quickly kill your productivity and your business.
Have you ever tried to call me? I’ve set it up where it’s impossible for anyone besides my wife to call me and get through. My assistant tells anyone calling requesting my time to visit www.JVWithRussell.com.
I have my call times clustered, and charge $300 for every 30 minutes that someone wants to talk on the phone.
I use a company called “Ether” (see the pic above) that charges the person and then lets them ring through to my line. www.Ether.com
The service is free to use – they just take a % of what your client is paying you to talk. You can bill people by the minute, hour, per call. It’s awesome way to make sure you are charging for your time.
4th – Replace yourself. Your goal as an entrepreneur isn’t to work forever – it’s to create a business that will generate the money you need to live the life you want.
So, from day #1, you need to be thinking about HOW to replace yourself.
The first thing you need to replace is your customer support. Do this as fast as you can. Then follow it with website design, writing, link trading, research… anything and everything else you can until your business can run without you.
That should be the end goal of your business. That is the dream that you, me and everyone is looking for online.
Replace your self by either outsourcing the tasks you currently do – or hire employees.
NOTE: When hiring employees – be sure to read “The E-Myth” by Michael Gerber and save yourself a few of the headaches I had before I read his book. You can get it on Amazon for about $12.
I hope that this newsletter has been beneficial. As your business grows, you are going to find yourself with less time every day. If you’re not careful, it will consume you.
What you started so you could have more time – will be taking every last second you have. Remember the value of your time because every second it precious.