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Stop Complaining About Not Having Time

My wife and I frequently watch HGTV. One of the more entertaining shows strikes me as a complete fantasy compared to how a successful businessperson would operate. I won’t name the show, though perhaps you can figure it out. The show revolves around a couple that flips houses for profit. Big profit – it’s not uncommon for them to display $50k + profit figures for each episode. Clearly they are experts and know exactly what they are doing, right? Not so fast.

The value they bring is finding deals and making key renovation decisions. They work with a general contractor on each episode so do not spend time managing subcontractors. That is an excellent start – if they are really able to earn that much money for each flip, their time is much more valuable than managing subcontractors. They should be out finding more deals! Oddly, this is one of the only areas of their business operated with this mindset.

They visit design centers for each episode and spend hours there choosing just the right flooring, cabinets and tile. Instead, their level of experience and expertise should allow them to develop finish packages based on budget and location. Each pre-made package would contain paint colors, flooring, cabinet and countertop selections. With each new house, they would simply select one of these finish packages and give it to their contractor after the initial walkthrough. This seemingly small improvement would save them hours of effort for each flip and is a great example of the clichéd phrase, “Work on your business, not in your business.” In addition to freeing up time, the packages create flexibility. Making finish selections on each house needs to be done timely, but developing finish packages allows work to be done at their convenience.

Even more egregious is the time they spend doing demolition or tile work on each episode. If we allow that each flip requires them to work 20 hours per week for six weeks, their hourly rate works out to slightly more than $400! I assume they could find highly qualified labor at a dramatically lower price point than doing the work themselves – and at a higher quality.

My point is how easily entrepreneurs spend time on low-priority activities. Many of my clients struggle to find time in the day and are forced to miss their children’s soccer games or dance recitals. I point out that they could go to every one of their child’s events; they have simply prioritized other activities above them. If they want to attend these events, they must make it a priority and determine what needs to change to facilitate it.

Are there activities you are working on that could be delegated to other employees? What about activities that could be hired out at a reasonable rate? We can help you determine which of your activities are worth $400 per hour or more and implement the right systems to allow you to spend more time with those activities. We can work to find a way to shift low priority activities away from you so you can cheer the loudest when your child scores a goal or dances the Nutcracker.

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