To be a successful entrepreneur (or mompreneur!) you must have a clear focus on time management and creating wealth.
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I worked as a receptionist right out of college for a busy salon and day spa. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, the lessons I learned at that job helped me understand the basics of being an entrepreneur and how important time management is to a successful business.
Entrepreneur’s Sell TIME
Time is money. Each day you have a set amount of hours dedicated to your business, whether you offer a service or create passive income. Those hours, or time, are what you should focus on “selling.” Each block of time creates wealth. If your time is wasted, that is time you will never gain back. You can always earn extra money by increasing your prices or offering more products, but TIME is something that you can never earn back once it’s “spent.”
The Right Mindset
As an entrepreneur you must change your mindset regarding what you do. Try to think about your business as blocks of time that you sell.
If you can think of each hour as a sellable block you will become more adept at scheduling your day.
Think about it this way:
If you have a meeting scheduled at 9am and another at 11am, what happens to the 10am hour? It gets wasted. You can allow your 9am to run over, eating up some of 10am. Then the remaining minutes of the 10am hour do not leave you with enough time to actually carry out anything.
What if you scheduled your first meeting at 9am and your second at 10am? First, you would make sure that your 9am meeting didn’t run over. Second, you would be finished with all of your meetings by 11am instead of 12 noon. Now the second half of your day has a large block of time open for doing other productive (sellable) work.
Let me give you some examples.
- You are a blogger: Your main priorities are creating quality content and reaching readers through social media. If you spend time on other things related to blogging, they have the potential to cost you money. If you spend half a day tracking down another blogger you are trying to collab with and they seem to have dropped the ball, you are loosing time. Those wasted hours could have been used to create a viral post that made you hundreds of dollars.
- You sell a service: You are a hairstylist or a graphic designer or perhaps a fitness trainer. Each hour of your workday has the potential for making x amount of dollars depending on your hourly rate. Clients who no-show or who run late are using up the time they have purchased from you.
- You create passive income: perhaps you write ebooks or maybe you sell products on amazon or ebay. You can still think of each hour in a day as sellable time. For instance, if you have a customer who is unhappy and wants a refund is it a good use of sellable time to go back and forth with them over email, causing anxiety and stress? Or is it a better use of time to quickly issue the refund, write the loss off on your taxes, and be done with the whole thing in less than five minutes?
- You are a homemaker: You time is important too! Do you want to spend a whole day dealing with bills, the cable guy, laundry? Or do you want to organize tasks into efficient blocks so that you have time to enjoy the fruits of your labor when done?
Here’s an example from my receptionist days.
When booking hair appointments, they ran either 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 1 hour and 15 minutes- depending on what the client was having done.
If I booked that hairstylist a 9am 30 minute appointment and then booked a one hour appointment at 9:45am, the 9:30 to 9:45 spot was left unfilled. If that particular hairstylist’s schedule looked like that for the whole day, there might be a full 3 hours of time broken up into little 15 minutes spots throughout the day. At $100 an hour, that stylist would be out a full $300 for those little 15 minute gaps.
On the other hand, if I booked that hairstylist back to back with no 15 minute spaces (but a lunch break of course), they might have three hours at the end of their day that go un-booked. The upside of this is that those blocks of time are available to people wanting a last-minute appointment. OR, that stylist would get to leave three hours early and be productive in some other area of their life, not standing around the salon for a few minutes here and there while loosing money.
If you added up all the lost moments, time-wasters, pointless emails, etc. that fill up your day, how much money does that cost you?
For me personally it can add up to a lot. Most of what I do is write. I write for my academic work, freelance writing gigs, and for this blog. I can’t write in little 15 minute bites, I need at least an hour to write something solid. So if I can cram all the meetings, phone calls, bills, whatever into a solid block of time- I’m left with other solid blocks of time to create the content that pays me.
See how it works?
When we began implementing this scheduling system at the salon, there were some people who were on board and there were some people who were really resistant to it. The resisters argued that they wanted little 15 minute gaps so that if they ran over, they wouldn’t be late for their next appointment. It was a valid point- but there were some stylists who always ran over and some who stayed on schedule. The one’s that stayed on schedule pulled in 6 figures every year.
Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of money and time. The people who were resistant to this way of time management? Well, they weren’t the one’s pulling in 6 figures a year. The 6 figure stylists came in, hustled, banked, and usually went home early.
There is a sense of ruthlessness to this method and you don’t have to sell your soul to make money or be productive.
BUT, you must be ruthless in protecting YOUR TIME.
Your time is the only time you have. It belongs to no one else (well maybe your kids- just a little bit). So BE RUTHLESS in protecting those blocks of time so that you can turn them into something meaningful.
Before I switched over to my Erin Condren planner I used the Action Day planner system because it went well with this method of time management. Now that I have made this type of day planning a habit I can be more flexible in the ways I use my planner. If you are new to this way of thinking however, the Action Day is good for keeping important blocks of time in focus.
I know which kind of entrepreneur I want to be. Do you?