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Back to the Future of Entrepreneurship – Valuing your Time Currency

How valuable is your time? Have you associated a cost with time, whether monetary or not? In my experience, time is one of the few currencies an early-stage entrepreneur has in his or her wallet to spend. Workdays are filled with brainstorming sessions, networking events, and all the things that make entrepreneur life and the hustle exciting and new. You push yourself to the limits with a “get it done” attitude, basically putting in your time (no pun intended) and making your rookie mistakes along the way. Of these missteps, I believe not valuing your time as money could cost you in the end.

I think back to one of the greatest movies of all time, Back to the Future! How cool it would be to be like Marty McFly traveling back in time with Doc Brown changing the past and seeing into the future. What if this was a reality for you? You’re telling me that there is a time machine that can transport me back to when I started this entrepreneurship thing? Great Scott! I would give anything to travel back and correct all the mistakes I made along the way.

Before scheduling that next meeting or attending that next happy hour, you may want to rethink your time strategy and review the following suggestions in favor of placing a higher value on your time currency.

 

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Netflix and Chill – Think Again

I am not talking about coffee when I tell you that entrepreneur life is a grind! I don’t care what anyone says, there will never be enough hours in the day, days in the week, or weeks in the month to get everything done on your plate. Working two jobs to make ends meet, being so tired that you fall asleep at your desk – unless you are just the privileged among us, you must believe in yourself and your idea at all costs. Part of valuing your time is really trying to understand where the time goes!

Honestly, I have spent hours channel surfing and streaming Netflix, only to say that I have no time for my business the next day. Shame on me! Then, to make matters worse, I end up worrying about not having my work done. Crazy huh? I love the quote “worry is a total waste of time. It doesn’t change anything. All it does is steal your joy and keeps you very busy doing nothing.” I don’t know about you, but I have felt stressed out and super busy getting nothing done. What’s up with that?

I think Gary V, love him or hate him, makes a great point about entrepreneurship and time management when he said “you have made a decision that does not allow you any time, in your first year, to do anything but build your business. No more binge-watching Game of Thrones, slacker.”

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Failure – Opportunity for Success the Next Time

If my calculations are correct, the next time I fail you’re gonna see some serious opportunity! Wow…wouldn’t it be sweet when you eventually run into a bump in the road to have this kind of optimism? The time cost associated with failure, if you’re not careful, can be exacerbated if you forget to factor in the opportunity costs as well.

A recent article in INC.com got me thinking about time as money in my own business. It argued that “the key to finding the value of your time lies in finding the difference between what you gained from failure and what you would have gained had you succeeded. For example, suppose a thirty-minute sales pitch wins over potential clients and your business earns $1,000. Whenever your sales pitch is rejected, you have lost more than just thirty minutes of your time. You’ve also lost the opportunity to earn that extra $1,000.” Boom, mind blown!

I don’t say this to stress you out, merely to illustrate the point that your time is more valuable than you might think. Try looking at your time from a new perspective, what are you chicken? For years, with each one of my failures, I kept on doing the same thing I had always done and expecting a different result. INSANITY! Well…entrepreneur life can be bizarre – many times a little crazy…but I digress.

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Looking Back to the Future – Time as Money

Unfortunately, no time machine exists yet that affords us the means to travel back in time. Our time on this earth is limited – the here and now is all we have – this moment is our past, our present, and our future. Spending your time currency wisely is just one way to keep moving your business forward. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I hope you found value in it. Your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So, make it a good one.

It’s common knowledge that Mr. Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase, “Time is Money.” I end this blog with some food for thought from one of our greatest Founding Fathers.

“Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labor, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, it ought not to be reckoned the only expense; he hath really spent or thrown away five shillings besides.”

 

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