— March 28, 2018
How Do You Spend Your Time?
So let me ask you a question. What did you do with your 168 hours, 10,000 minutes, or 600,000 seconds last week? Chances are you’re like most of us: you spent 1/3 of it working, 1/3 of it sleeping, and 1/3 on everything else. We all have the same amount of time, but it seems like some of us get a lot more done with that time than others do. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be a secret.
So, if you’re running a business, and I’m gonna assume at this point that you’re a solopreneur or a coach or somebody who is working solo. Just as an example.
So, if you do, you have the chance to work about 56 hours, say 60 hours a week. If you’re billing that out at $ 100 per hour, that means that your potential for the week is about $ 5,600 or $ 24,000 a month, or $ 280,000 per year. Now, that’s a pretty darn good income, right, making over a quarter of a million dollars. But most people can’t do that. Let’s face it. Unless you’re mega productive, the chances of you billing out half of that are probably slim. So half of that would be around $ 2,000 a week, $ 8,500 a month, or around $ 100,000 a year.
Now, $ 100,000 for a small business is pretty good. You have to take into account there are going to be expenses, there’s gonna be salary, there’s gonna be taxes. So, when you sit down and look at it, you generally get to keep about half of that, which means that if you’re billing out $ 100,000 chances are you might be taking home $ 50,000.
Finding More Billable Hours
When you sit down and start looking at these numbers, every billable hour becomes exponentially important. So $ 100,000 is pretty great for most, but few ever achieve that. So, literally, you’ve got two choices in your business. Number one, you could raise your prices. Number two, you could bill more hours. Now, what we charge our clients is directly proportional to the value that the clients receive. So, in other words, if we can save them $ 200 by charging them $ 100 we’re doing pretty good. And that’s essentially what we’re trying to do, is save our clients money. At least in my case, I try to give my clients a three to one ratio: for every dollar that they spend I’d love for them to get three dollars back; one for my time, one for their time, and a dollar for profit.
So that’s the best way to be able to provide value. But let’s face it, it’s hard to raise prices. You can if you’re providing more value. But if you’re not providing more value then it’s really hard to go to your clients and say, “Hey, you know what? I need to pay my mortgage and my car payment and all this other stuff, so I have to raise my rates. You don’t have a problem with that, do you?” What are most of them gonna say? “No, not at all.” And then they’re gonna hit the internet and start looking for another alternative, right?
The 4-Hour Work Week
That is not always the best way to do it, although I am a big fan of raising rates if you can provide that additional value. So the best way to grow your business is to find more billable hours. Now, one of my favorite books that I’ve read is Tim Ferris’s Four-Hour Work Week. It’s “The Four-Hour Work Week“, you can find it on Amazon. And let’s get real, nobody’s gonna work an hour a day four days a week. Even people that know Tim Ferris say that it’s more of a metaphor than it is truly an exact science.
But the bottom line is that he talks about the benefits of employing other people to help him get work done. And he does that through virtual assistants, or by hiring other virtual employees to get projects done, which means that if you hire a virtual assistant, a virtual employee if they’re working for you, you can have multiple people doing multiple things. Now, you have to be able to sell, obviously, to fill up that time. But if you can, then you’ve got yourself one heck of a business.
Work To Your Strengths & Hire To Your Weaknesses
But let’s get down to brass tax. For the most of us what we really wanna do is we wanna find ways to find more billable hours. And I’ve been able to achieve that by hiring virtual assistants. I’ve been a big fan even before I read the book. What my virtual assistants do for me is they help me become more productive by taking away tasks that either take me too long or, frankly, I just suck at. My nickname is Captain Typo. I’m just not a great writer. I’ve written four books, but I basically have spoken them in just like I do in this podcast. I just can’t seem to get the ideas out of my head down to my fingertips to type them in or to write them down.
So, finding the things that you’re good at is the first step in this process. And then finding the things that you’re not good at is the second step. What you wanna do is focus on doing more of the things that you’re really great at doing. My superpower is teaching; I love teaching, I love coaching, I do it all the time. And I provide great value in that. I don’t necessarily provide great value in writing content for other people; that’s not my specialty. But a lot of my clients need that content produced. So, what I can do is hire those things out.
Here’s what I’m gonna ask you to do; sit down with a piece of paper. If you can, track everything you do all day long and write it down step by step. For example, I spend 15 minutes on Facebook, I spend 2 hours writing a blog post, I spend 20 minutes on phone calls — whatever it is that you do. Break it down into tasks. How much time are you spending on things? Then go through that list and say, “These are the things that I love to do that I’m really good at, and these are the things that I have to do that I’m not so good at.” What would your life be like if you outsourced some of those other tasks? Would that give you the ability to spend more time doing what you love, billing more clients, making more money? That’s what hiring virtual assistants can do for your business.
What you have to do is figure out what are your strengths, what are your weaknesses, and how can you find somebody to fill that void?
Now, there are lots of different opportunities. You can find virtual assistants locally, I’ve used a service called HireMyMom.com. There are virtual assistant agencies that can take over a whole bunch of tasks. They can actually build a team around the processes that you need. Ultimately, it boils down to this; if you can pay, let’s just randomly choose some numbers, $ 50 an hour to get tasks done, and bill it out for $ 100 an hour because you’re spending time with clients, who wins? Everybody does. You’re spending less time spinning your wheels, you’re making yourself more productive, and you’re making more money in the process.
Take a look at the utilization of hiring virtual assistants in your business. As I said, go to the internet, ask a friend. If you know anybody who’s using them, they’ll be more than happy to give you the advice you need to be able to find the assistance that you’re looking for. I’d be more than happy to talk with you and let you know how I’ve done it before. As a matter of fact, I’ll probably do another podcast on this in the future.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on your challenges with communicating about your business in this new online environment. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about showing the concepts presented. Have you had to overcome any of the presented concepts? What worked and what did not live up to expectations? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?