I’ve been thinking … about how I spend my time

Some years ago I was paying someone to clean our very small condo. She came once a week for two hours and charged me $50 for her time. My mother-in-law was flabbergasted. She didn’t understand why I would pay someone to do a simple chore that I could easily do myself. I explained to her that, as a consultant, I could bill out my time for more than ten times that amount. Would it not make sense to pay this lady $50 and look for work that would pay me $500? My mother-in-law agreed it would.

So – looking through that lens then – how much money are we actually saving by doing things ourselves? How much additional time does it take when we tackle tasks we are novices at or that take time away from activities that can make money? What is the impact to our business when we are paying a premium for our time in lieu of paying a much smaller amount to hire someone else to do it?

But … full disclosure

I have made my own time tracking tools and my own project management tools. I have done my own bookkeeping and done my own editing. Rather than pay people to do the work that others can – and should – be doing, I was doing these tasks myself. Rather than focusing on my business and on making money, I have spent my precious time doing the work of others. And in speaking with many entrepreneurs, I know that I’m not alone in my folly.

The weird part is, how did I know the right approach with respect to my housework – which I was qualified to do – and not with respect to my bookkeeping – which I definitely wasn’t? Does it have something to do with the work that I like to do? Does it have to do with my being a control freak in some areas and not in others?

Lately however, I have been understanding myself a lot better. I am coming to know what I am good at – and what I am not. I’m understanding the kind of work that is imperative to the success of the business and making sure that I’m doing the work that only I can and should do. I am running the numbers to determine whether it makes fiscal sense for me to do the work personally, or if the business would be better served by hiring others to do it – while I get on with bringing money into the company.

So here are the important questions. Do we think about the real costs associated with saving money? And what does this have to do with our struggle for sales?

What do you think?

Until tomorrow, GUNG Ho friends!