Increasingly for entrepreneurs, the most pressing issue in their lives isn’t money, it’s time. Time is the new currency and how we spend it will ultimately determine the type of income and lifestyle we can expect to have.
Do you know how you can tell the difference between a wealthy person and a poor person? A poor person will spend their time to save their money, whilst a wealthy person will spend their money to save their time.
I don’t believe you need to wait until you are wealthy before you start defending your time. In fact, I think the fastest way to achieve success and increase wealth is to invest in protecting your time right now. This will allow you to focus your energy on the things you do best.
I remember when I hired my assistant Vicki to come on board. It was well before I could really afford it. In fact, when she started working for me our office was a bench in my laundry. That’s well over a decade ago. But although it was a stretch, it proved to be one of the smartest moves I could have made. You see, I knew my strengths were in Speaking, Marketing and Sales. I backed myself to be able to create opportunities but I needed someone with the ability to follow up, manage the client relationships and take care of the backend. These are Vicki’s unique abilities and you will find few people who can do it better than her.
So as a result of having someone like Vicki in my corner, I was able to achieve significantly more than many of my colleagues. It wasn’t long before many of the speakers, coaches and consultants who had started around the same time as me started asking how I was building my business so quickly. I openly told them that because I had Vicki I was able to achieve more and stay focused on what I did best. Most of them told me that they could not afford help and how lucky I was. It wasn’t luck; it was the courage to back myself and trust that I could achieve more if I made the investment.
The problem is most people are waiting for their clients to invest in them before they invest in themselves. Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. As I repeatedly say to clients, THE FIRST SALE IS MADE TO YOU. You have to buy that you are worth investing in and you need to back that belief with action.
I see this time and time again with people who are considering joining the Marketers Club. Some people’s self-talk is I can’t afford this yet. I’d love to join and I know it would really help me but first I need to make some more money and then I’ll join. I’ve been hearing things like this all my life. But the truth is, these people never find the money to invest in growing themselves because they are trapped in a scarcity mindset.
As a result, instead of ever knuckling down and working on the most important money making activities, they spend their days buried in the STUFF. This is a habit and the truth, as painful as it may be, is you are where you are because of the habits you practice. If you find yourself getting distracted by shiny objects, constantly starting things but never finishing them, saying yes to people when you mean no, or giving away your services instead of charging people for them, then recognise that these are all habits that are limiting your progress.
If you are constantly saying things like I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME, what you might really be saying is I’M NOT SPENDING MY TIME ON THE RIGHT PRIORITIES. One of the reasons highly successful entrepreneurs are able to achieve so much, even though they have the same amount of time each day, is because they are CLEAR about where to put their attention. The key to utilising your time well is first being CRYSTAL CLEAR about WHERE YOU ARE GOING. If you are not clear about your direction, you will be constantly slowing down to contemplate, consider and assess what appears to be opportunities. As Zig Ziglar said, “Beware of distractions that come dressed as opportunities.”
The fact is the key difference between those who are making meaningful and measurable progress and those who are simply ‘BUSY’, is one is laser focused on their goal and the other has a HABIT of being distracted by shiny objects. FOCUSED ENTREPRENEURS appear to have more time because they are not wasting time being distracted by things that don’t matter. As Covey said, “Most people are caught up in ‘the thick of thin things’.”
Take out a piece of paper and a pen and write down this question right now.
What are your 3 most important money making activities?
Take a moment to write down your answers to this question. In doing so you will likely learn a number of things:
- If you found this a difficult exercise to do, it means you are likely spending a lot of time on non-essential or non-revenue producing activities.
- Once you’ve identified the 3 areas, the next question is how much time to do you spend on these area each week? Again, you may learn that you are too often distracted by the STUFF!
Entrepreneurs too often fall into a trap of believing all their issues will be solved with money. The truth is, you will never truly maximise the income potential of your business unless you develop the HABIT of DEFENDING and VALUING your time.
The harsh reality for most entrepreneurs is that the bank balance will reflect not only your sales and marketing abilities, but how and where you choose to spend your time. Ask most entrepreneurs why they went into business and you’ll hear a similar response: To create MORE FREEDOM and CONTROL. If it’s freedom you are after, it starts with protecting your time!
If you take the time to identify your most important money-makers and seek to increasingly outsource the non-revenue producing activities to others, you will quickly see a rise in your income levels. You simply have a HABIT of doing things. If you begin to break these habits, you will start to create the wealth, freedom and time you seek.