How you use your time is the biggest determinant of how you will grow at every stage of your business, so it’s important that you use your time wisely. The way you allocate your time has everything to do with your success. I’ve heard influencers say, “Show me your calendar and I will tell you what your priorities are”.
There are diﬀerent stages in business:
- the start up phase where you turn your idea into something concrete
- you getting paid for your work with clients and customers
- making very good money and scaling your business
In the start-up and ramp-up phases of your business, you are typically more flexible with your time and what you work on, adopting an “all-hands-on-deck” attitude, having your hand in everything from marketing, to bookkeeping, to customer service and sales. Everything is necessary because you are usually bootstrapping.
But what most business owners don’t realize is that in this stage of business, the majority of your time should be focused on only two things:
- Marketing activities that will get you clients (client attraction activities)
- Working with the clients (delivery activities)
Anything else is a waste of precious time in the infancy of your business. Why? Because that is where the money is. And at this stage of business, nothing is more important than to focus on the income-generating activities.
That said, income-generating activities are not often the priority for the early stages of business because the business owner feels lost and overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed is understandable for a business owner who hasn’t yet reached $10,000 per month. The good news is that overwhelm is almost always about a lack of clarity because:
- She doesn’t know which marketing activities will generate money the fastest.
- She doesn’t know what order (or frequency) in which to market to her ideal clients.
- She doesn’t know what the end result is supposed to look like (or exactly how to get there).
- She is usually working in isolation and constantly second guesses herself.
- She does not have a true road-map to follow, so she goes around in circles wasting precious time.
Confusion around how to do marketing means that marketing gets put on the back burner. Which means that very little cash can come in, which can cripple a business at its inception.
So, one way to make twice as much in this stage of business is to focus almost all of your available time on income-generating activities. I recommend at least four hours a day to my start up clients. This is about using your time on the 20 percent of marketing activities that will bring you 80 percent of your clients. This is what gets you to $10,000 per month consistently, usually in less than 24 months (although sometimes much faster).
Doing a few of the right things is much more effective than doing a lot of the wrong things. This is where support, accountability and mentorship come in in order to keep you on track, even when it’s hard. (More on this soon!)
You will want to use your time wisely by spending your precious working hours on the most potent activities. These activities (especially at the beginning) should be all about making money and the prioritizing formula is:
- What will make you the most money
- in the least amount of time
- with the least eﬀort
- with the greatest long term impact to the business (optional)
That is where the majority of your time should be spent in the early stages. That’s what gets you to $10,000 per month.
That said, when you are already consistently making $10,000+ (or you are at multiple 6-figures per a year) and you have plenty of clients and customers, you may feel completely overworked and overwhelmed. What got you here will not get you there.
Meaning that the actions that got you to this point in your business (doing everything yourself and focusing on one-to-one solutions) are the ones that will keep you stuck and prevent you from getting to your next level. To make twice as much at this stage of business, you must radically shift your focus.
For you to have a bigger impact in your business (and make more money) when you are at the $100,000+ mark, you must actually work less. It is not about DOING more, but about LEVERAGING everything in your business. This requires that you use your precious time on exponential growth activities rather than the day-to-day activities you’re used to doing.
These activities are almost never about bringing in more cash the way you’ve been doing so up to now, but about leveraging your team, your systems, your marketing processes, your business model, and removing yourself from the day-to-day operations of your business. When you do this, you can actually double your income.