Time, Money and Why Free, Isn’t Free!

The subject of this post is one that Lynette and I have discussed with many of our members on a personal level.

So, let’s talk about Time and Money and Free. We treat time and money delicately when in reality, they should be two of the clearest aspects of our business.
 
In fact, when it comes to charging for or placing value on time, we do our research, we nitpick…and especially when it comes to putting a dollar amount on it, we are well…frugal (to use a nice word :). 
 

And then there’s FREE. Have you ever really thought about the value of FREE? I could go on about this topic, but will let you continue reading this post which, in the end…makes my point.We’ve discussed the importance of investing (not spending) in ourselves as we are the greatest asset in our businesses.

 

Free Isn’t Free

What is you ROTI (Return On Time Invested? I’m not talking about the time your clients pay you for.  I’m talking about the time you spend doing administrative tasks, creating a DIY website, or customizing a free service for your needs.

Your time is yours, correct? Yes and no.

Yes, you own your time and no, you don’t need to pay someone else for it. But your time is an asset and it has value, so how you spend it determines if your return is more or less than its value. Make sense?

In fact, time is your most precious and irreplaceable asset.

How you spend your time will directly impact your bottom line.  Unlike other assets, you can’t save it up for a rainy day.  You can’t buy more time.  You get 24 hours in a day like every other business owner out there and when it’s gone, it’s gone.

“I just want to make a living. I’m not interested in dissecting the meaning of life,” you may say.

What DIY Really Costs You

You decide that you are going to build your own website from scratch.
You will have complete control over the structure, the layout, behind the scenes SEO, and more. There’s no waiting for an outside firm to update your site. There’s no risk of looking like 50 other sites because you used a template.
Sounds great, right?
Not so fast.
  • What FTP will you use?  Do you even know what an FTP is?
  • Do you know any HTML? Do you even need to know?
  • Have you ever created your own CSS file?
You’re smart. I’m sure you are able to learn all of these things. The real question is how long will it take? Let’s assume it would take you 120 hours, or one month, to learn these things and build your own site.
When you perform work for clients, you are earning $50 net profit for every hour billed.  If you were to pay yourself a fair market value, the cost would be $6,000 ($50 X 120 hours).
Before embarking on this DIY adventure, you request proposals from a couple of reputable web developers.  You learn that it would cost roughly $3,000 for someone else to create the website of your dreams.
The reality is, you don’t actually have to pay yourself.  So, why spend the cash on someone else?
Great question.
First, and most importantly, if you do it yourself, you will miss out on the chance to earn $6,000 if you had been performing work for a paying client. 
After paying someone else $3,000, you would still be ahead by $3,000 ($6,000-$3,000 = $3,000)
Not convinced yet?
More reasons why you should consider outsourcing:
  1. Total project time: An expert is going to be able to complete a project faster than a beginner.  If you need to hit a deadline or simply need it done fast, outsourcing helps.
  2. Expertise: While your result may be “good enough”, an expert will bring all of their tools, tricks and insights to the table.
  3. Better than cloning: You can’t be doing two things at once.  By outsourcing, you can ensure that two things are getting done at the same time in a professional manner.  This can accelerate how quickly you will hit revenue and profit goals.
This my friends is the reality of doing business.
There are certain circumstances in which you may still wish to build it yourself.  You may just be starting out and simply don’t have the capital available.  You may not be established enough to use that time serving profitable customers.  Each business is unique.
All of this is ok, just recognize that you are in essence paying yourself less than market value, and your path to profitability will be longer.
Remember, your time has value. 
Take a minute to calculate how much your free resources and services are costing you. If your time was an asset you could record in your financial statements, would you be ok with showing others how it is being spent? 
Do you still think free is free?

Do you have Squirrel syndrome?

Just like our dogs are, we an be easily distracted by squirrels. We refer to those properly as distractions.

Most successful business women have A type personalities. That is great news because we are go getters, always on the move and we can take on a lot of tasks.

The bad news is we are easily distracted by things that happen around us in our business, at home, and with our families.

Did you ever find yourself sitting with a colleague and the most pressing topic you were on when you began your conversation, was 4 topics ago?… and the discussion you started, was still not resolved? Then yes… you are afflicted with squirrel syndrome!

Now that we identified your affliction what do you do?

When you sit down and list your goals at the beginning of the month, and then the end of the month rolls around… are you often not accomplishing them? Do you miss them by a landslide or nose? I bet if you thought about it, it would be in direct proportion with the things you let distract you.

So now that we have a diagnosis, and we know what it is causing, what is the antidote?

Simple: it’s change.

Sounds easy enough right? Actually, no…change is not easy and it does not come easily to many of us. But,  if you become aware that your distractions are in direct proportion to the goals you miss, wouldn’t you want to change?

All it takes to change is to refuel the passion you have for what you do. Become aware of wanting to accomplish your goals; your commitment and practice will help this change be a natural part of your daily routine. And then your success will be in direct proportion to the amount of energy you put into your comittment to change!

Our deepest desire is to succeed isnt it? Then change will be worth it!

Do you suffer from Squirrel syndrome? What do you do to treat it? Please let me know in the comment section below!

Social Media Explained, Part 2: Facebook

Facebook has become a favorite destination for people, businesses, and organizations to connect and share information because of its easy to use and interactive features.

It’s the most multimedia-friendly of the big three networks as members can post text, pictures, audio, and video, and can share their location too. It also offers tons of applications and widgets that can make your Facebook Page engaging and fun.

In a nutshell, Facebook works like this: Users sign up for a free account and then make connections with other users on the service by “Friending” them: When you find someone you know on Facebook, you request to be their “Friend.” If the request is accepted, you can see that person’s profile information, status updates, photos, and more.

Users who you accept as a Friend can, in turn, see your profile, status updates, and photos. If you don’t want to share all your information with the public or all your Friends (for example, if you connect with coworkers or family members), there are privacy settings available to limit who can see what information you post or is posted about you by others.

Facebook is a great place to connect with your own friends, family, and colleagues, but it has also become an incredibly powerful platform for businesses and organizations to build community, engage with prospects, and encourage customers and members to spread your message to a larger network. Small businesses and nonprofits are encouraged to create a Facebook Page rather than personal profile.

A Facebook Page, like a personal profile, provides an information hub that users can choose to “Like.” Liking a Facebook Page is not too different from subscribing to a newsletter. Facebook users will Like a Page to stay updated on events, promotions, and news, or to simply show their appreciation or endorsement. Anyone can build a Page —businesses, associations, actors, musicians, nonprofit organizations, politicians, etc.

A big advantage to creating a Facebook Page is that you do not have to accept requests for connections. When someone likes your Page, anything you do post to your Facebook Page will show up in their newsfeed. This is how the network effect kicks in. If you post something that your fans like, they will share it with their friends who may very well decide to connect with you too.

Finally, Facebook Pages are public, meaning they can get picked up in search engines and give you and your organization and its website, even more exposure.

What’s also good about Facebook?

• The user base is huge, and that means many of your customers and constituents are already there.

• It’s easy to use.

• You can post any type of multimedia content, including videos, photos, and links to external content.

• You can separate your personal and professional use.

Tips for Success:

 People who connect with you or Like your Page are interested in what you have to say and appreciate what you do for them.

 Use that to your advantage by posting exclusive updates, photos, sales/promotions, and other content that will help to form an even closer bond with your customers and members.

When you post interesting content or exclusive promotions, your fans will Share or Like your message with their Friends. This can create an incredible network effect to drive more followers, email subscribers, and ultimately business.

How are you using Face Book for business?

To Be Yourself or Not To Be?

I have always been attracted to people who have the courage to be what some may call “different” when in reality, they are simply being themselves.

I interviewed Nika Stewart, founder of Ghost Tweeting. She always has something new and fabulous to offer others, specially when it comes to doing business.

I know we all know this, but sometimes while trying to figure out our branding puzzle, our approach to new people, our new 30 second pitch…we sometimes lose sight that more and more people want to connect to people.

Watch Nika and I talk about how the authentic approach to life and business continues to win.

 

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons