Is Your Income Attached to Your Time?

by JR Griggs

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Time & Money

One of the biggest restrictions to wealth is having your income attached to your time. Meaning that X amount of hours equals X amount of money. Even those who charge high hourly fees, are not enjoying real wealth with this model.

The problem is that there will always be a limit to what you can earn. There are only 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. Realistically there are only about 16 hours in a day to make money with. True success and wealth comes from disconnecting money from time. When you are earning money in your sleep or while on vacation, you can achieve true wealth.

It would seem to some that this is only an issue for employees. Not so. Many business owners still have their income tied to their time. Many businesses are just glorified jobs. You may get paid more per hour since it is your company. But, you also have more overhead. If you own a plumbing company and your income is directly tied to you being out in the field doing the work, you have serious limitations.

There are tons of contractors, repairmen, even medical professionals, who are limited by the time they have to make money. A doctor can only see so many patients in a day. A painter can only paint so many houses in a week. All are limited by their time.

I talk with business owners all the time who just don’t have enough time in the day to take on more work. Everything is tied to them and their time. If they get sick, business is shut down. Even at high hourly rates, your business still stops making money if you are not putting in the time.

There are two ways you can fix this.

Automation and Outsourcing

Even in a service based industry, where work is done by the unit or hour, you can disconnect your time. It’s a matter of having systems in place. Creating a business that literally runs without you. Everything is systematized so that anyone can do it. This can be a hard step to get to but it is critical to your success. There will be that time where you are not sure you can afford to hire extra help and you must take a risk. But again it is critical.

You have to get away from the business that is run by you and totally dependent on you. Automation and outsourcing can do this for you. Automating can be as simple as getting proper equipment to do jobs quicker and easier. However, the idea is that because it is quicker and easier you do not have to be there for it. Automating tasks can be a great way to disconnect from your invested time.

Automation tends to be a lot easier in tech businesses but if you are not in tech, use it for any tasks that involve tech. Is there software that will run those reports for you? Is there an automated way to handle repetitive email tasks? You’d be surprised how many tasks you are doing daily, that can be automated.

By outsourcing I do not necessarily mean overseas. It could be an in house employee. When someone else is doing the work, you are making money without being there. What is your time worth? Are you doing tasks that someone else can do for minimal pay? If you are worth $500 an hour, should you be doing $20 an hour tasks?

A day filled with 8 hours of $500 an hour work, done for $20 an hour, is a $4,000 day that cost $160. Of course these are just general examples but you can see it add up. You can disconnect a very large portion of your time.

Never do anything that you can outsource to an employee for less and never outsource what you can automate. I apply the automation rule to my employees as well. If they are doing a task that takes 4 hours that I can have them automate in 1, I do it! This allows my company to take on far more work and me to not have to do the work. I delegate and get it done.

Timeless Business

For lack of a better word, you could call this next model a “Timeless Business”. Meaning a business that is not attached to a time or even a service. Creating a product for example. A book that is being sold in stores without you being there. You put in the time once and it sells continually without more of your time. It could be a product in your business that gets sold on a continual basis and no additional time is needed. This can generate income 24 hours a day and without any time limits.

Having a recurring fee every month can be another way. Services that are paid monthly and are automated or outsourced, can have enormous success and again the money is not tied directly to your time. Online software companies are having enormous success with that. More commonly known as SAAS (Software as a Service). These companies provide an online software that users pay monthly fees for. I use several of these myself.

Now not everyone can necessarily just go out and create a product or start a service. But think of ways you can work on something like that in your business. For instance a contractor could add a maintenance service, that has a recurring fee and involves very little work by an employee. Or you could create a Do It Yourself version of your business that is sold without you being there.

The truly successful businesses, will be the ones that master automating and outsourcing and create timeless products or services as well.

Don’t get stuck running a business that sucks up all your time. That is nothing more than a glorified job. Coffee shops and restaurants are two of the highest percentage of brick and mortar start ups. Everyone thinks it would be so much “fun” to open one. Then when they realize that what they get is a job, where they have to open up at 5am and close at 11pm, it becomes a nightmare.

Find ways in your business to disconnect your income from your time. This allows you to remove the time limits on your income. It also allows you to focus more on bringing in new business and grow even faster. But if your income is tied directly to your time, you are handcuffing your ability to grow.

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