It’s impossible to invent more time.
When it comes to this most precious of resources, we’re only granted a certain amount of it during which to get things done.
Imagine if it was the same thing for your products. What if you were only given ten of something to sell, and after that you’d simply run out? You wouldn’t stand for it, would you? And this is why ‘selling time’ is one of the biggest mistakes any business can make.
The long-term cost of instant gratification
It’s nice to get things quickly, isn’t it? Whether it’s a new car, far-flung getaway, or a new client, it feels good.
Until it doesn’t feel good, which is invariably what happens further down the line.
Instant gratification does exactly what it says on the tin, and it’s particularly troublesome in the world of business when you’re working hard to bring in new clients.
Sure, you can sell them your time now, and it might result in consistent monthly income, but what happens when another client wants some of your time? Where’s that time going to come from?
It’s a bit like the age-old debate: rent versus mortgage. On the surface, they’re both the same; money leaves your bank account each month and you get a roof over your head in return.
However, there’s a big difference further down the line. With a rental property, you’ll never own it, whereas with a mortgage, you can rest safe in the knowledge that you’re paying towards something that will one day be yours.
What position would you rather be in?
The return should never be ‘here and now’
When you trade your time for money, it feels great. But there’s a MASSIVE difference between selling time and investing time.
When you sell your time here, now, today, you’ll get a return practically immediately. But that return is all about the ‘here and now’.
What about the future?
This is why it’s vital you think long term and look beyond the instant gratification of getting that new client.
How do you do this? You invest your time wisely - that’s how. For this client, that might mean using your time for only a portion of the work required and delegating the rest to other team members (or external contractors).
By doing that, you’re not selling your time; you’re using just the right amount and reserving the rest for future investment, which means the potential for more clients under the same sort of arrangement.
THAT’S scalable. And exciting.
You wouldn’t write a short-term business plan
It amazes me how many businesses write superb, long-term business plans, but then fall into the trap of selling their time just for instant gratification. Particularly if you have no plans to turn your ‘one to one’ work into ‘one to many’ group sessions.
They may as well never have bothered writing that business plan!
Your business is a long-term venture, which is why investing every element of it is the only rational approach. If you’re too focused on EARNING, you’ll be thinking short-term. And that turns your business into nothing more than a job.
Instead, imagine turning what you can offer your clients into ASSETS for the business that can be invested wisely in the future of the operation.