Time is Money

Is time really money?  It is for many millionaires.

So says Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours:  You Have More Time Than You Think.

In an article she wrote Wednesday in USA Today, Vanderkam shared some interesting findings from a business contest sponsored by a non-profit organization called Count Me In, which provides support to women entrepreneurs.

Many finalists in its “Make Mine a Million $ Business” competition crossed the million dollar mark, so the staff began researching why these women were so successful.  The answer, as Vanderkam says in her article, may surprise you!

One thing they had in common was that they all used grocery delivery services, before they made their millions.

These successful business women made a shift in how they viewed time and money.  They made a conscious decision on how they would spend their time, choosing to focus on areas with the highest payoff.

Vanderkam explains,

Time spent on one thing is time not spent on something else. You’re unlikely to build a million-dollar business spending an hour you could be chasing a $50,000 contract in line at the grocery store in order to save $10.  You grow your assets by being “focused on what you’re best at” – both at the office, where these entrepreneurs had learned to delegate tasks, and at home, where they outsourced grocery shopping, and sometimes cleaning and laundry, too.  Even during the start-up phase when they were watching every penny.  They knew that you can spend time to save money.  Or you can spend small amounts of money to save time, and use that time to earn a lot more.

That’s an idea that we could all stand to consider.  Yes, Americans need to be better about living within our means.  But if we want to boost our household finances, we could spend more time on routine household chores – cutting coupons and making our own laundry detergent, for instance.  Or we could spend those hours learning negotiation techniques to ask for a raise, updating our resumes, or even taking on freelance projects.

The first set of actions may be easier, but the latter can generate a bigger return.  After all, there’s a limit to how much you can cut.  But, at least in theory, there’s no limit to how much your income can grow if you  value your time and use it well. Just ask these million-dollar business owners.

I read this article in USA Today, which I affectionately call “America’s Hotel Newspaper,” from a hotel in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in the midst of a business trip.  I’ve been traveling a lot over the last three weeks for my job.  Which is all the more reason why I need to keep my highest payoff areas in mind, and delegate the rest.

But it also leads me to consider my other life areas, outside of my career, as well, and begs the question, “What’s the best use of my time right now?”

Asking that question an hour ago led me to turn off the TV news in my hotel room and write this post.  What will it lead you to do?

You might also like:

Speak Your Mind