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Does Time Equal Money?

time equals money

You’ve heard the saying “Time equals money.” But have you ever really stopped to think about it?

The truth is that low-level thinkers go through their lives believing that time does, in fact, equal money. These are the people who happily trade their time for dollars, hoping “to get a good job,” and striving to be a part of the middle class.

In other words, they are the politicians’ and corporate leaders’ dream – the brainwashed masses who give them the power they so desperately crave.

But high-achievers absolutely do NOT believe that time equals money. We know that money can always be replaced, but time can never be recovered once spent.

And because of that fact, we know that time is MUCH more valuable than money.

Champions and high-achievers in all walks of life all believe in the power of speed. We all use our money, in fact, to buy speed.

For example…

If you want to learn how to play an instrument or a sport, you can go through a long, slow process of trial-and-error as you teach yourself how to play.

Or, you can pay for lessons and master the skill much more quickly.

In business, we can insist on learning all kinds of necessary skills on our own, such as marketing and copywriting – which are the two most-important skills for wealth creation, regardless of whatever product or service we happen to provide.

Or, we can participate in mastermind groups and get personal coaching and consulting in order to learn these critical skills much faster.

Those of us who understand how business and wealth truly work are ALWAYS in this second group.

(Although, in the past, when I didn’t “get it,” I wasted way too much time and left way too much money on the table by trying to learn everything on my own. Ouch.)

Here’s the bottom-line…

While the stubborn, penny-wise-pound-foolish do-it-yourselfers are taking, say, six months to produce an effective marketing piece, we high-achievers use 1-on-1 and group coaching and consulting to create, test and start profiting from that same piece in just one month.

In other words, we invest in ongoing coaching and consulting because we can’t stand the thought of wasting those five months “working on our marketing” when we could have been bringing in revenue and profits all along. We do the math and realize that the extra revenue and profits we can generate over those five months far outweigh the investment in the coaching and consulting that makes that success possible.

In a recent post, I discussed some of the brilliant concepts Michael Gerber discussed in his classic “The E-Myth.” According to Gerber, there are three distinct phases of a business’ growth: Infancy, Adolescence and Maturity. As he cautions:

Understanding each phase, and what goes on in the business owner’s mind during each of them, is critical to discovering why most businesses don’t succeed while ensuring that yours does.

So let’s get a basic understanding…

Infancy

This phase is all about you being the technician (or “doer”) of every aspect of your business. You work long hours – often seven days a week! – juggling all kinds of tasks to make sure your business survives. In this stage, you ARE your business (it may even be named after you: “Joe’s Plumbing,” “Mary’s Kitchen,” etc.).

The key in this stage is for you to understand that your business cannot stay in this stage forever (although that’s really all that most business owners want – to have steady work without having to answer to a boss); that it must grow in order to survive and flourish. This is where most business failures occur, because the owner refuses to move beyond being a technician and make fundamental changes to the business.

Adolescence

This is where you need to start putting a support staff together to allow growth to happen. The first kind of help you need is to bring aboard a technician with the experience and know-how to do the work necessary to your business that you don’t know how or don’t want to do.

At that exact moment when you hire your first employee, you become a Manager. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t become skillful managers. (Instead, they default back into their comfort zone of being a “doer” of more and more activities in their growing business, causing all kinds of stress, overwhelm and chaos.) At that point, you choose one of three possible roads to the demise of your business:

A return to the simpler state of Infancy – until you eventually realize that you don’t own a business – you own a job (and a crappy job at that). When you tire of the daily grind, you simply close the doors forever.

Faster and faster growth, until the business spins out of control and self-destructs of its own momentum.

Stubbornly “hanging in there,” running around being the “doer” of everything, until burnout occurs and the business ceases to exist.

(This third alternative is the way my first from-scratch-to-multi-million-dollar-business suffered its spectacular collapse. Because of that experience, I’ve saved countless business owners and entrepreneurs from suffering the same fate by spotting the warning signs and helping the business owner to make crucial changes before it’s too late.)

Unfortunately, this is the fate of 99% of businesses, “a condition of rampant confusion and tragically wasted lives,” as Gerber puts it.

Maturity

The third phase is maturity, exemplified by the best businesses in the world. Your passion for growth must continue in order for your business to succeed. You must develop an entrepreneurial perspective in order to survive and push your business forward.

Exactly what that is, and how to develop it, is a critical and complex topic we’ll save for another day.

Or you can just let time keep ticking away, passing up on another day, another week, another month, or another year of potential revenue and profits for you and your family…