Today I want to discuss a concept that’s absolutely critical to both an online business and your personal development. In short, we’re going to discuss the concept of how “your time really is money.”
To start, let me tell a little story…
It never fails. Every time I talk to one of my uncles, I have to listen to him complain about his most recent trip to Wal-Mart. It’s always the same. He can never get a parking spot up front. So many parents let their screaming kids run around the store unsupervised that the place is a zoo. The shelves are always empty when he’s looking for certain products that he wants, so he has to purchase a different brand instead. Then has to wait in line so long his feet hurt.
One of these days I might break down and interrupt him before he finishes complaining, but I’m related to the guy so I try to be nice. Once he’s done with his spiel, I always ask, “So why don’t you shop at Target instead?”
“Oh, Wal-Mart is so much cheaper than Target. I can’t shop there!”
The “Cheaper is Better” Mentality
I know that my uncle isn’t alone in his reasoning. Plenty of people waste their time— not to mention their sanity— going to Wal-Mart because they think it’s “cheaper.” How would they even know if it’s cheaper, if they’ve never checked out an alternative?
Personally? I think it’s pretty ironic that people are willing to fight crowds, buy things that aren’t even the brands they prefer, and stand in line for twenty minutes before they can pay … to save five bucks.
Driving an Extra Five Miles to Save Three Cents
It’s not just Wal-Mart. People are willing to drive an extra five miles to find a gas station that’s three cents a gallon cheaper than the last one was, or they spend an extra hour on the highway to get to a hotel that’s $5 cheaper than the ones they just passed by, even though it’s 2 AM, they’ve been on the road all day, and they’re exhausted.
I don’t know about you, but my time is worth a lot more than that. I’m sure you’ve heard the old sayings: “Time is money.” “Penny wise, dollar poor.” There are dozens of others, but I’m not going to waste your time with them now. (Bad joke, I know.)
Treat Your Life Like a Business
If you’re starting to see my point, it’s a good idea to start treating your life like a business. Let’s say you spend an hour each week going to a “cheaper store” in order to save five or six dollars. The time you spent going to that store could have been spent with your family, doing housework, relaxing at the pool, or whatever else you’d like to have time to do. Is missing out on all that really worth a few bucks?
What successful CEO would pay an employee twenty dollars an hour to spend half the day searching for ways to save three bucks? Probably none … because the whole idea is actually a waste of time and money.
I’ve taken this approach with my own online business. It’s easier to pay someone to do various tasks for me in order to free up my own schedule to work on the critical things that can’t be outsourced. This serves two purposes: more things get done in less time, and I have adequate time to spend on the important tasks at hand. When I try to do everything myself, I wind up rushing, increasing the possibility of accidentally making mistakes.
I love creating systems because I enjoy seeing a plan become a reality. Sounds nerdy, but I consider it to be my core genius. According to Jack Canfield, one of the authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books, everyone has a core genius—one thing that they love to do and do so well it doesn’t even feel like work. That’s how I feel about systems, and I’ve found that it’s easier to have someone else help me out with the other aspects of my business if necessary than worry about doing them myself.
You can easily use this business approach with your own life. If you spend 4 hours a week cleaning and doing routine chores, it might be a better idea to hire someone to do these chores and invest this time elsewhere. Your argument may be that cost is an issue, but I’m sure that a young teenager in your neighborhood would love to mow your lawn, wash your car, and help clean up for a reasonable rate.
The next time you find yourself complaining about the lack of hours in each day, I’d like it if you thought about my advice, because time really is money.Take Action. Get Results.