I felt like the final third of the webinar for “Core Module 1: The Mindset” had some really important stuff related to building a foundation for your business. It’s so important to be clear in our minds what we need to do in order to create a successful business!
General Operating Procedures
As you are no doubt aware, most companies have a set of general operating procedures. Well, we should too. It doesn’t matter if my business staff consists of me, myself and I, it’s important to have guidelines on how to do business.
As X said, these GOPs are your constitution, your guidebook for doing business. It helps to keep you focused on what’s important!
What Are Your Guiding Principles?
The idea of guiding principles and systems comes from a book by Sam Carpenter called “Work the System.” At some point in time I think it’s a worthwhile read, but I’ll admit I got a little side-tracked when I tried to read it and work on ABB at the same time. Maybe you can multi-task better than I can, but until you get one website up and making money, I think you’re better off to just start out with the 9 principles X talks about.
Note: The Module 1 download “Guiding Principles PDF Reference” is a printable sheet of those 9 guidelines. I think it’s helpful to print it out and put it where you can refer to it often.
Now how about we discuss the first principle?
Most of us don’t know the value of our time. We try to do everything ourselves, and a lot of what we do is busy work. It’s easy to get on-line and end up chasing rabbits all over the place.
I think the notion of the free traffic ties in here as well. We’re willing to spend hours writing articles, making forum posts, commenting on blogs, making web 2.0 sites, and all kinds of time-sucking activities in search of the holy grail of free traffic.
It bears repeating… free traffic isn’t really free.
And the moral of the story is to learn to value your time.
Determining the Value of Your Time
So just how DO you figure out what your time is worth?
Following X’s recommended formula, you first need to decide how much money you want to make per year. Are you looking for just a bit of extra income each month, or do you want to replace your current job income, or are you looking to make even more than you presently earn? Your decision, cause only you know your situation, needs and wants.
One caveat however. Be real. Not many people start a business and are a millionaire by the end of the first year. It’s okay to stretch yourself, but don’t set yourself up for failure by saying “I’m going to make $25,000 a month” right off the bat.
Now once you decide on a figure the next question is, “How much time do you want to spend working?” If you love working and want to spend 40-60 hours a week, go for it. But some of us would prefer spending a lot less time.
Let’s say we want to replace an income of $50,000, but we only want to work 20 hours a week.
The formula goes like this: 20 hours x 52 weeks = 1040, the number of hours worked in a year.
Then to get your hourly worth: $50,000 is divided by 1040 = $48.08
So we’ve decided our time is worth about $48 an hour.
NOTE: If you don’t want to mess with figuring it out yourself, download this >>> VALUE OF YOUR TIME SPREADSHEET <<< and all you have to do is fill in the two numbers you’ve decided… how much you want to make, and how many hours you want to work. It makes it easy to play around with different numbers and see what really sets you on fire!
How does knowing the value of your time affect what you do?
Well, if our time is worth $48/hour, why in the world are we wasting that time on so many piddly things that we wouldn’t pay someone else $48 an hour to do?
Okay, I’ll admit, this is a hard one to wrap your head around, because the first thing that comes to mind is, “Yeah, but I’m not making $48 an hour right now! I’m not making ANYTHING!”
So maybe at first you will be doing some things that aren’t worth $48/hour. But I think we should continually work towards that goal, and as we start making money, start outsourcing some of those things that take up so much of our valuable time.
Using Your Time Wisely
During the time you are doing those tasks, however, it’s a wise move to document HOW to do them or at least specifics on how you want it done. For example, if you have review posts on your site and want to outsource them, make a template of what information you want in what sequence.
Whereas for building a website, you shouldn’t have to tell someone you hire how to do that, but you CAN make a list of specific stuff you’ll want on your site.
Yes, it means it takes longer to do things at first, but documenting what you’re doing can be a valuable time saver in the long run. There may be things you only do occasionally, and it’s easy to forget exactly how you did it the next time it needs done.
Trust me, I’ve learned this the hard way. Keep a notebook with your procedures and you’ll save yourself a ton of time and grief. It’s no fun having to waste time going back and looking up how to do something because you can’t remember how you did it last time.
So make a set of guidelines for all your business tasks that you or an outsourcer can follow. Every time you do it, you’ll find ways to make it better, and when the time comes you can hire someone else to do the work, it will be much easier because you will know exactly what you want them to do!
Remember: Know the Value your time!