The Real Value of an Entrepreneur’s Time

By Jeremy Ames, President & Co-founder, Guidant Financial

Entrepreneurs are typically go-getters… producers that can figure out what needs to be done and execute it. They also tend to struggle with letting things go at times.

Why is that? Most entrepreneurs don’t value their own personal time highly enough. Their strength of doing more with less can sometimes be a hindrance when it leads to spending time working on tasks that aren’t important to complete, are easily delegated or where outsourced options exist that deliver higher quality in half the time.

Four tips for valuing your time as an entrepreneur more accurately:

1. Track your time. You’ve heard the business axiom “what gets measured gets managed.” It’s true of your time as well. If you track your time for a week it’s likely you’ll be shocked by how much time you could free up through delegation, outsourcing or just simply deciding not to do something. This can also help you identify the most important drains on your time to address first.

2. Consider the Opportunity Cost. While you whittle away at organizing the stock room, what opportunities passed you by? It’s not that the stock room isn’t important; it’s just unlikely to represent the highest value of your time. What is your time worth when focused on driving revenue, generating leads or recruiting great employees? Are there things in which you can invest your time that will drive the profit needle of your business that you’re not getting to today?

3. Do a Little Research. Talk to some other entrepreneurs you know. Ask them about their tips, tricks and referrals for getting the most out of their time. What do they outsource or delegate and to whom? Search the Internet for solutions to some of the administrative tasks on your plate. Technology has paved the way for some impressive ways to leverage your time (i.e. virtual assistant).

4. Calculate your pay grade. If you want to make $100k a year, then your time needs to be worth about $50 an hour. Are you regularly performing any tasks you would choke at paying someone else $50 an hour to perform?

Jeremy Ames has been honored as one of the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 under 40 and as the national winner of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award given by the Small Business Administration (SBA). Ames is also the former Executive Editor of NuWireInvestor.com, the largest online publication dedicated to alternative investments.

About David Nilssen

David Nilssen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Guidant Financial. Read more tips about becoming a successful entrepreneur in his book, Making the Jump into Small Business Ownership.