Happy Horror Month. There’s plenty to be scared of these days—for real.
One of the scariest things is how fast time can pass—especially if you’re not doing everything in your power to be fully aware of it and fully reap the benefits each day presents.
We’re a month away from Info-SUMMIT where I’ll celebrate my 40th anniversary in this business.
I’ve had 40 years of high-pressure, high-wire “without a net” entrepreneurial activity—starting, buying, developing, selling, succeeding in and failing in businesses, going broke, getting profoundly rich, and helping clients in hundreds of different fields.
From those 40 years, here’s what I’ve come to believe to be the single biggest “secret” of extraordinary personal, financial, and entrepreneurial success combined:
The use or misuse (or abuse by others) of your time.
As a small business owner and entrepreneur, who often wears many hats, you don’t need me to tell you that the multiple demands on your time are extraordinary. As such, time is the most valuable asset you possess.
You need time to solve problems. Time to invent, create, think and plan. Time to gather and assimilate information. Time to develop sales, marketing, and profit breakthroughs. Time to manage. Time to network.
But how many hours of your day will be “directly generating revenue hours?” And how many hours will be consumed with commuting, filling out government paperwork, dealing with vendors, etc.?
For argument’s sake, let’s say one-third productive and two-thirds dealing with the other stuff, which is pretty generous.
Sound low? One study of Fortune 500 CEO’s revealed they averaged only 28 productive minutes in a day. It’s even harder to be productive today, given the explosion of time-intruding technology. But let’s generously make 33% of your time productive.
That means you need extraordinary measures to match your demands, fight off time-wasting activities, and make better decisions.
In a casino, you have no idea of time. There are no windows and no clocks on the walls. This is by design. They would strip your watch and phone from you on entry if it was allowed. They do not want you to be aware of the passing of time.
In your world, you need the opposite environment. You want to do everything you can to be very aware, all the time, of the passing of time. It is to your advantage to be very conscious of the passage and usage of minutes and hours. Put a big, nagging clock in every work area. Use a timer if you have an activity that you spend a lot of time on—such as the phone or answering emails.
The salesman who is half as good at selling as a competitor, but twice as good at efficiently routing himself and clustering prospects can make the same amount of money.
To squeeze every ounce of productivity out of your day, you must seek leverage and learn how to turn time into money. In terms of productivity, leverage is, in essence, the difference between the base cost for your hour and the amount of money you get for it or from it.
One good way to evaluate your personal effectiveness is to measure and monitor this differential, hour by hour, for a week. (If you need help measuring this, you’ll find the formula for it on pages 24-26 in No B.S. Time Management For Entrepreneurs Book).
Once you know that number, use it to start eliminating or delegating tasks and activities that just cannot and do not match up with the mandated value of your time.
For example, letting go of the client who consumes far more of your time than they will ever be worth…hiring someone to do your filing so you can work at “the thing” that makes you money.
The degree to which you achieve peak productivity will determine your success. So you need to do everything you can to be aware of your time and employ strategies, methods, and tools to squeeze as much out of every day as possible. Safeguard your time and wisely invest it. And bring to wrath anyone who steals your time, wastes it, or abuses it.
NOTE: If you are an entrepreneur, your time is valuable and you find yourself constantly running out it—then I’d recommend picking up a copy of my NEW book, No B.S. Time Management For Entrepreneurs. In it, you’ll find out how I manage to do all that I do and how you can manage to fit everything you want into your day too.
Here’s what a couple of people have to say about my first edition of this book…
“My income for July topped $20,000—not the $10,000 I had as my goal…Thank you seems like such a small acknowledgement for such a gigantic boost in my business productivity.”—Arlene H. Eakle, The Genealogical Institute, Utah
“People often ask me—‘Tony, you’re a writer, salesman, workshop trainer, leader of multiple organizations, father of three young children, in good physical shape. How do you pull it off? My answer: your book! I read it every six months. The amazing thing is, I spend fewer hours, my income keeps rising. Your advice can make anyone a master of time, not a slave to it.” –Tony Rubleski, Author of Mind Capsule, V.P. Sales, Captive Audience Advertising, Michigan