Every January, I think ahead about how I want to improve methods within my business. Since the calendar just changed into a new year, I’m thinking about time and how I can most effectively use it.
As entrepreneurs, we often have this inner discussion: “Should I value my time or my money more?” Both assets are so important, but which one should we focus on the most?
Today, I weigh in on the age-old question of “Time vs Money” and why it matters to you, the entrepreneur.
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Choosing Time or Money
When you work on a business plan and you have several important, time-consuming steps to complete it, you have a couple of options. As you face each task, you can either do it yourself, or you can spend money to hire someone else to do it for you.
In business, we see this dilemma as the essence of “time vs. money.” You have to think about this question: How valuable is your time versus the money it costs to have someone else do something for you?
As you work to get your business off the ground, you have to make these decisions about every little aspect. How do you handle these questions and come to the most useful conclusions? How do you know which direction will be most helpful in the end? How do you avoid stress, handle finances wisely, and know you’ve made decisions you won’t regret?
Keep reading for two answers about how to think strategically when it comes to your valuable resources of time and money.
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2 Mindsets about Time and Money
These two practical tips will help you develop a strategic mindset when it comes to decisions about time versus money.
- Get Help When You Need It
When I first started, I had no capital, so I did all of the tasks and busywork myself. I handled customer support, wrote sales copy, and looked after every other time-consuming detail.
Was that smart? Since I’ve learned so much more about starting and running a business, I might make different decisions about spending money to have someone else help me so I wouldn’t have to do all of those menial tasks. Obviously, I can’t actually go back—but if I could, I think I would have grown faster if I learned to outsource sooner. I could have created recurring revenue more quickly if I wasn’t so scared to invest on the front end.
Now, my goal is to have less things to do on a daily basis, not more. My team helps me do the required daily tasks so I can focus on the big picture details of running the business, such as networking, creating content, and developing ideas. Basically, I perform tasks that need my input the most. A few hours spent working on content creation is much more valuable for me to do than to sit and answer support questions that someone else has the ability to answer.
You might save some money mowing your own lawn every week, but if you hate it and feel like you want to spend your time with your family or doing another fun activity, you can pay someone else to take care of it for you. Or you might hire people to help you make a big move instead of trying to pack and load it all yourself before you personally transport all your belongings. I recently moved, and I hired a team of movers to help make the process less stressful. Great decision! The same principle applies to business, except in this case, you reinvest your time to grow faster.
You choose the trade-off for whatever you find more valuable. Get help where you need it!
- You Can Change Your Methods
When you start a business, you want to establish a source of revenue so you can experience independence. In the beginning, you might have to do some of the busywork to grow your idea into a real business opportunity. However, you don’t want to get stuck working on menial tasks forever. How do you figure out what works for you long-term?
Sometimes these choices will change over time. Don’t worry: You don’t have to feel stuck forever with the trade-off decisions you make now. Maybe you need to trade more time while you get your business up and running, but you can start to trade less time as it grows. As you expand your revenue and gradually trade more money and less time, you’ll get to experience more of the free and independent lifestyle you dreamed of when you imagined owning your own business.
Constantly evaluate what you do against what you outsource. Evaluate the cost of your time. It all needs to factor into the business decisions you make.
Make sure the decisions you make come from a strategic and thoughtful place, not just from habits of not wanting to spend money. Don’t be so stubborn that you refuse to hire someone and spend money on your business. You’ll end up burnt out! Pick some essential tasks and get help with them when you need it.
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