This article was originally published on July 11, 2017 on Startups.co – The world’s largest startup platform, helping over 1 million startup companies. More from Startups.
I recently interviewed a millennial millionaire for my podcast and the idea of valuing your time as a business owner came up in the conversation.
My guest pointed out how one of the biggest mistakes he sees in the online business space is business owners undervaluing themselves both in pricing their services and valuing their time.
I myself have struggled with this in the past. I’ve also helped several of my business coaching clients start valuing their time more as well.
Signs That You’re Not Valuing Your Time as a Business Owner
There are several signs that can indicate that you’re not valuing your time as a business owner, however, the most obvious sign is that you’re overworked and underpaid.
But what exactly does overworked and underpaid looked like as it pertains to running a business? Here are some clues to help you out:
- You’re still broke at the end of the month.
- Clients are extremely demanding even if they aren’t paying you much.
- You’re starting to resent your work.
- You know that other people out there are making more money than you doing the same thing.
- You have loose boundaries.
- You say yes to everything and find that you’re spinning your wheels.
- You’re doing everything yourself.
If you see yourself in any of these circumstances, then you’re probably not valuing your time as a business owner. While it may sting a little bit to realize you’re in this situation, there are things you can do to ensure that you do start valuing your time more.
Base Your Pricing on value, Not Hours Worked
Many freelancers and beginning business owners make the mistake of pricing their services based on an hourly fee. Even if they don’t tell the client this is what they are doing, they sometimes still use an hourly structure to come up with a package price.
One of my mentors helped me get out of this vicious cycle so that I would start valuing my time more. She said, “Base your pricing on value and impact, not hours worked.”
Because the reality is that if your business or service is providing major value or impact for your clients, then you can’t really quantify that by hours worked. So instead, you determine your pricing based on results.
This one tid-bit helped me completely rearrange my coaching structure and packaging. I’m already going to be earning more revenue from one coaching client this year than I did from all of my coaching clients in 2016. I also already have others waiting in the pipeline and price isn’t even an issue for them.
In other words, in order for you to starting valuing your time as a business owner, you actually need to forget about time and start charging people based on value, impact, and results.
Be More Mindful of What You Say “Yes” to
Another way to start valuing your time as a business owner is to become more mindful of what you say “yes” to.
At the beginning stages of a business, it’s appropriate to say “yes” to every opportunity, event and project that comes our way because we’re just starting out and need to get out there
However, there comes a time in which saying “yes” to everything has the negative effect of devaluing your time and earning less money.
The key is to determine when that time is and start becoming more mindful of what it is you agree to. Because when you start saying “no” to things that don’t make sense for your business, then you have more time for the things that do make sense for your business.
For example, I constantly get requests to be a guest on podcasts or offer free training as a part of a telesummit. There was a time in which saying “yes” to all of them made sense, however, now most of them either just get in the way or don’t give me enough ROI for my time.
So now whenever one of these requests comes in, I have to take the time to think about whether or not it makes sense instead of immediately jumping to a “yes.”
It may seem simple, but this one action can greatly improve the way you begin valuing your time as a business owner.
The problem many business owners face when valuing their time is that they take on too much themselves.
They either feel like they have to do everything themselves because they have control issues, don’t want to spend the money to hire people to help them, or stills see themselves as a person with a skill instead of a business owner.
However, if you want to make it in business and learn to scale, there comes a time when every business owner needs to start delegating.
Again, this simply frees up their time so they can prioritize and focus on the important stuff that will actually lead to more money.
For example, at this stage in my business, nearly everything for my own blog is outsourced so that I can focus on creating content for existing clients, build systems and offerings to increase revenue, and take a sales training class which will help me make more money. Those are the only three things I’m focusing on in the present.
If whatever is being asked of me doesn’t fit with those three things, I’m either handing it off to someone else or I’m not doing it period.
Another way to start valuing your time as a business owner is to start using systems to scale. At this stage in the online business game, you can automate a lot in an effort to free up your time so you can focus on more important stuff.
For instance, the webinar I’m currently using to move people into booking a consultation with me is automated. It literally looks like I’m hosting a live webinar a few times a week thanks to software that helps me scale and automate. All the emails before and after said webinar are also automated.
Valuing your time as a business owner isn’t complicated. In fact, it’s easier than ever thanks to tools, systems, and experts that can help you scale your business. The rest is just a matter of mindset and deciding to start valuing your time.