One of the most overused and misunderstood phrases used in business today is “Time is Money”. If you are self-employed or the owner of a small or medium-sized business – time is money, but is it your money or your client/customer’s money? How much time are you scheduling for business development activities when you are spending your money? How much time are you consuming on product and service development activities when you are again spending your money? How much time are you spending on activities that will generate revenue from your clients/customers? How much time are you wasting chasing potential clients/customers who keep teasing you with the possibility of business but seem to be more interested in taking your time and attention rather than giving you the opportunity to do business with them?
As a business person, you charge for your time by the hour, day, week, month or you charge a fee for your product or service with your time included in this fee. How often do you charge for your time when someone contacts you and wants to meet with you either formally in a meeting room or more informally for lunch, coffee or drinks? Are you so delighted and flattered by the invitation that you say yes, go to the meeting and find at the end of it that you have given away valuable time and money? In essence, you have given your time for free, your time is their money rather than your money. Now there are always times when we give our time away with pleasure but more often than not we leave some meetings and feel regret and resentment that we did not charge for our time as we gave so much of value away and have no income to show for our efforts. We also feel that the individual that we met with does not value or appreciate our time and expertise. The individual believes that they are entitled to what we have to offer at no charge even though they have the money to pay for it.
So if you want your time to be your money rather than their money here’s what you need to do. The next time someone contacts you to meet so they can ask you for your advice, say with clarity and certainty,”While I appreciate your invitation, I must charge you for my time as this is how I earn my income and grow my business”. If the individual making the request agrees, you know that you are meeting with someone who wants your time to be your money. If the individual making the request either hesitates or negotiates, you can be certain that they want your time at no charge. Spend your time with individuals who want you to succeed and grow your business and who want your time to be your money not theirs.