How would you like to earn $600 per hour? How about $2,000? $10,000? Sound enticing? Well, if you know how valuable your time as a business owner could be, this shouldn’t sound that enticing at all.
Why? Firstly because this ties a specific, fixed value to your time. Granted, earning $10k per hour is a lot of money, allowing you to earn $20 million dollars a year if you work 40 hours per week, but it still requires you to actually be there, doing the work in order to make the money.
In order to earn money this way, you are required to work in order to maintain your current pay. I find the concept of working to grow your bottom line much more fascinating and much more worthwhile.
Delegating tasks or outsourcing isn’t enough for entrepreneurs. It may free up your time, but if you are still doing work that maintains your current income, you aren’t focusing enough on growth.
This concept follows the same principle as E-Myth author, Michael Gerber’s mantra of “Work ON your business, not IN it”. Working IN your business, as Michael explains, really only makes it more difficult to grow, since 100% of your time is spent handling the day to day operations and 0% of your time is spent on growing or improving your business.
What you SHOULD be spending your time doing is taking on the visionary role of the entrepreneur. Michael argues, that taking on this visionary, leadership role will allow you to build a “World Class Company”.
If you own a doll making company, should you be spending time making the dolls? No, at least not in the middle-early stages of your business. What about supervising those that make the dolls? Again, no.
As soon as you can afford to hire someone to complete operational or manufacturing tasks, supervise your different departments or any routine task for that matter, you should most likely do it.
The less time you spend handling the operational and routine tasks the better. If these tasks keep you busy enough, chances are you are making enough revenue to hire someone else to do it. Why is this so important? Is it to spend more time with your family or friends? It can be, but it is mainly because you have a vitally important job that you are not fulfilling if you are stuck handing the various tasks of your business.
What is this important job? Leading and creating more wealth for you and your company. Lets start with leading. By leading, I don’t mean managing. By leading, I mean steering your company in the right direction, making sure your company as a whole is perusing the best, most profitable (and promising) projects. This way, you are ensuring that your projects, which are literally, your business’ investment portfolio, are the safest, yet return the most amount of money as possible to the bottom line.
There is an equally important, if not more important aspect of serving as the Entrepreneur-In-Chief of your company and that is creating MORE wealth for you and your business. Now that some of your time is dedicated to ensuring your current projects are as efficient as possible (in terms of risk and return), you have an even more important task as an entrepreneur: finding new cash flows.
This means innovating new project concepts that can deliver more revenue for your business. And once you have drawn up the initial concept, hand it off to some of your creative people to start developing it and implementing it, so you can get started on creating another new income generating concept.
We can take this one step further though. Why restrict your time to only innovating new projects? Why not use your time to put together more businesses? If you follow Gerber’s mantra of “working ON your business” you can consistently create new businesses and projects, all different kinds of income streams and then delegate further development and implementation to others. All you have to do is lead, tweak and watch the revenue begin to flow in.
The true beauty of this system lies in how efficient you are with your time and how well you implement Gerber’s mantra into your work flow. If you are ruthless in restricting routine, management or operational tasks so that they are delegation-only items, then 100% of your work-time can be spent growing your income rather than maintaining it.
Here, you aren’t earning $100, $500 or $10,000 per hour because these are fixed numbers. Your value per hour will actually continue to grow exponentially the more income streams you develop.
This is the true essence of entrepreneurship. You will be serving as a full-time business starter, rather than part-time entrepreneur, part-time manager, part-time line item supervisor and part time manufacturer. You will be finding more and more ways to create income and you will be filling your personal and business portfolios with successful, income producing, sellable assets!
Please note, however, there are times (depending on the business) where showing your employees that you are willing to get your hands dirty as well and help them with their work is important for your employees’ motivation. Never neglect your employees and always keep their needs and motivation in mind.
While it is important to be as efficient with your income-growing time as possible, you should set aside some time for ensuring your employees needs are being met. You will always do this better than any manager, since their productivity affects your wallet.
This income-growing concept may apply more to established businesses and less to new businesses. However, having this idea in mind when you start to grow will allow you to build your business around this idea early, making it easier to implement.
Newer business owners with little revenue will find it extremely difficult at first to delegate as much as possible, however keeping this idea in mind will allow you become more productive with your time as soon as the opportunity arises.
Note: Steve Pavlina wrote an excellent article about valuing your time. It is a very insightful article, it has strongly influenced my view on this matter (and this post) and I encourage you to read it.