One of the things I have learned as I assess the habits of successful people is this: for many of them, Time is Money!
Many of us assume money is a very important resource (and rightly so) however, so too is time. When you start to quantify (express or measure the quantity of), your time, you start to realise how precious it is and spending it with people who are not adding value or you undertaking work or activities that have no future benefit to you, your family or society, is a waste of a precious resource called Time.
If we start with start-up entrepreneurs for example. Many try and do everything themselves, focusing on the money they can save by doing so. While sometimes this is a good strategy, there are other occasions when you would do well, to pay or barter with someone and get this task done by an expert in that field.
Many of us try to be disciplined when it comes to spending money but few of us are as strict, when it comes to how we choose to spend our time. When it comes to money, we look to invest and yet when it comes to time, we seem to just spend, spend, spend! To build a business or become a successful business man or woman requires (amongst other things), a person to practice financial discipline i.e you wouldn’t go out and spend money like it’s going out of fashion when you have a company, debts or bills to pay and yet, day after day, after day, we spend our precious time, doing things or spend time with people, who add no value to our lives. The point I wish to discuss is the notion that some people spend time to save money while others spend money to save time.
There is a story about a lady who gave up a lucrative career in the corporate world to set up her own firm. To say that in the early days, times were hard for her and her children is an under-statement. They scrimped, they saved and they bought second hand clothes. Of course her friends thought she was crazy given she had given up a high paying job but this lady simply focused on building her business organically. No short cuts for her; her clients were her priority and she relied on word of mouth to build up her client base.
Then one day she hired an assistant. Her mother was mortified, stunned. Here was her daughter earning a quarter of what she used to earn and now, she was hiring a Personal Assistant? But this lady did not panic. She simply explained to her mother that her client relationships were paying off, she was getting new clients but this also meant more admin work for her. In her line of business, she had to make sure all her paperwork was up to date and that it conformed to rules and regulations. She explained that she was now in a position to charge her clients a high hourly rate and with her assistant taking on more responsibilities, she was thus able to focus solely on bringing in money and not administrative work that was required, but did not add to the top line i.e the company’s gross sales or revenues. In fact, hiring an assistant enabled her to increase her revenue, while at the same time, working fewer hours per day, enabling her to spend quality time with her children in the evening.
You could also use another example. Say the photocopier or printer broke down. Yes, you could try and figure out how to fix the hardware by Googling and then taking another 3-4 hours opening up the equipment and trying to fix it when in fact, an expert may only take 30 minutes to fix it.
Now, I am not advocating spending money like it’s going out of fashion, but sometimes we need to value time as much as we do money; for time is money. Value your time and spend it wisely doing things that will bring you returns in the long run, be they: higher revenue growth, a good salary, a healthier life, a good life for you and your family, education for you or your family members, or a good friend/mentor. To read more posts by Miriam, click HERE