The Value Of Your Time: What Your Time Is Actually Worth

The Value Of Your Time: What Your Time Is Actually Worth

The Value Of Your Time

Unless you master your time, you can never truly be master of your destiny. What is an hour of your time worth? I don’t mean to get all philosophical on you, but have you thought about your time is your life? If you think about it, time is all you have. Moreover, there’s no such thing as free time. You can’t save free time and use it later. You have leisure time but it’s not free time. You’re either using your time purposefully or wasting it. Leisure time is the time that you use for rest and recreation. You have chosen to spend your time this way. It is not by default. What does this mean for your business and your life? Unless you commit to continually increase the value of your time, you will not be making the money or business you want or working the number of hours you want. There is no free time. You pay for all your time in your life. If you don’t use it, you lose it and it affects your income level, your health and your relationships. If you don’t value your time, no one else will. It always intrigues me that people generally have no idea what their time is worth and how to increase its value.

The question is, what is your time worth? Do you know what time is worth? Do you know how to value your time to achieve your income growth? Unless you know the value of your time, your capacity to make effective decisions on what you should do or shouldn’t do, and whether you should delegate would be fatally flawed. Another thing to know is this exercise will also challenge your perception around the value of time. If you’re honest and I hope you will be, you will get tremendous clarity about why you may or may not be making the progress you want. You and I both know it’s easy to fall into the trap of everyday life.

This exercise will ensure that in the next twelve months you’ll stay on track. Be sure to bring intention into everything you do. If you are the type of person who has been living a compulsive life where you’ve been very focused on achieving in one or two areas of your life at the expense of others, then this exercise will channel your ambition. It will ensure that you win at work and succeed at life and don’t burn out. I want to give you more of the building blocks and start with this one simple exercise. It’s going to open your eyes to what’s going on with your time, the good, the bad and the ugly. No more going into default mode and hoping that in time success will come to you. Now, we’re getting intentional. We are taking the first step towards designing the life the way you want it. We’ve all heard that time is money. The problem is, we don’t act like that is true, but what if we did? What is time and exercise doing for you?

Here is the reality. You have some big decisions about what you’re going to do with your time. Maybe there are some enticing opportunities on the horizon that you shouldn’t take. Maybe you have a project or business you need to exit to make room for something even better. The only way you’ll know is if you determine the real value of your available time. The best way to do that is to work from how much revenue you’re currently earning. Notice the four big blocks, time off, time on administration, service delivery and revenue generation. We only have 365 days in a year, 366 if it’s a Leap Year. How we divide these days is critical for understanding how much they’re worth.

Take the total amount of revenue you are projecting and divide it by the number of days you have available to earn it. You want to subtract the number of days you’re taking off, this is your extra time available. Your current value of time is the total income divided by the total number of days. That’s your dollar value per day, eight-hour a day formula. This will tell you what you’re making. The next best way to do that is to work from how much revenue you’re going to be earning. The current value of time equals total projected income over the total number of days, dollar value per day, eight-hour day formula. If you’re an entrepreneur, a business owner or a CEO, this exercise is for you. Practice working on profit building for an hour. At first, it won’t be easy.

LBD 09 | Value Of Your Time
Value Of Your Time: In business, you have to do two things: maintain your business and grow your business.


Eventually, you’ll be able to go the distance on an hour, on profit building activities. This is what productive time is all about. Productive time is time directly generated to produce income. What percentage of all time are you productive? The above exercise shows you your dollar value. However, what we really get to use, how much of your actual days are productive? I’m taking off 99 days each year. Subtract those days from 365 and those are the days that I have left for work. For me, that’s 265. For you, it will be whatever is left after you factored your time off. I take what is left over and break this up in three different ways. I sit down and track for three days how I spent my working time. Everything I did, I kept track of. I looked at the time I spent on administration, service delivery and revenue generation.

Administration refers to the maintenance staff, running meetings, answering emails, returning calls and so on, the time I’m working on the business. You want to look at it this way. You have things to do to maintain your business and you have things to do to grow your business. Here’s a pro tip. The more you can group these activities into their own days, the more focused on efficiency you will pick up. Service delivery is if I’m doing medical-related activities or I’m teaching a program and there is no selling involved. Revenue generation for me is stuff creating video courses, blogging, writing books, conducting seminars and selling to clients. For you, it could be the different business in your portfolio; the different customers or clients that your accounts will serve. It could be creating a product, making sales calls and whatever turns the crank in your business.

Once you’ve figured out how many days you have to generate revenue, these are your revenue generation days. The worksheets will divide your total revenue target and see how much those days are really worth. Every day you are working just to maintain the business and not create revenue, you’re potentially wasting time. I encourage you to think about doing this exercise over the next few days. I was shocked to realize I was only spending 50% of the time on revenue generation activities. I decided to change how I spend this time. I started passing on more of the administration and service delivery to others and focus more on revenue generation. You’ll notice the first critical piece of information. How much money are you projecting to make in this coming year? We want to put a dollar sign in our days so we can see how much our time is worth. You’ll be surprised.

Doing this exercise gets very sobering very fast, but it’s also empowering. When I first did this exercise, I found our spending time on activities that were not generating revenue. It took me a while to make the decision but eventually, I decided to reconfigure how I ran some of my businesses. What are your results telling you? Whatever the results, whatever the answer, doesn’t it feel good knowing where you should spend your time? Clarity is a wonderful thing, even if it’s tough news at first.

The first time I went through this exercise, I was shocked. It explained a lot about my financial situation. Immediately I could see my work was creeping into my weekends and into my nights. From that, it was easy to see how I was compromising the time I had for the important things in my life. Productive time is time generated and directly related to your income. What percentage of the time are you productive? One study of Fortune 500 CEOs estimated they had 28 productive minutes a day. Another estimated it at 38 productive minutes a day. Can you do any better? Shocking isn’t it that they spend 28 to 38 minutes only on profit-building activities a day. Think about what a CEO does. However, most of us are not working at that level so we can afford to be a lot more productive.

The differences between the compulsive life and the designed life, in the compulsive life, there are many things I do well. In the designed life, there’s only one thing I’m brilliant at. In the compulsive life, I will go after every opportunity. In the designed life, I will only focus on my core priority and work at my core competence. In the compulsive life, there are many things I can use to increase the bottom line. In the designed life, there is only one priority. I need to focus on the impact, the bottom line right now.

One lucky audience that posts a review on iTunes will win a private confidential consultation and coaching with me on discovering your soul’s purpose. I will lead you on a personal journey to discover the unique mind-body psychosomatic map of your life. You will get a detailed report and a personal 45-minute consultation with me that is worth thousands. On this podcast, I am ready to help you design a life that works so you’re able to say yes to the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The clearer you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you step into your true potential, stay on track and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen? Feel free to reach out to me to ask the questions at Your life is a gift, design it. Do what matters and join me each week as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams.

The Illusory search for happiness

John Lennon quote

I see quite a few people who come in and say they want to be happy…. trouble. Nothing is ever enough for them.

Anyone who lives his life looking for happiness ends up sick, addicted or kills himself directly or indirectly prematurely.

If you feel you get what you deserve you feel content.

If you feel you got more than you deserved you feel lucky (when positive), unlucky (when negative).

If you are hungry (can be food, sex, recognition whatever) the moment you get just enough you feel gratification and you may feel happy for 30 secs to one minute then it’s over.

After that the law of diminishing returns and sensory overload load kicks in. Another unit of what just gave you pleasure is no longer pleasurable and you begin to feel less happy then you were a few moments earlier.

The ones who end up reasonably content, fulfilled and even dare I say it happy more often than not, picked a life focussed on purpose and it was often values driven.

They are often artists, scientists even missionaries. Generally they focus on more than themselves. On something larger but in such a way that their own emotional and psychological needs are met in this pursuit.

They have learnt resilience like marathon runners so they don’t experience burnout.

5 Stages to Mastering Anything


Unconscious incompetence:

Don’t know that I don’t know. Don’t care to know. There may be a belief that the subject matter is too trivial or not important enough to warrant time and energy. “It’s so easy any idiot can do it”.

Conscious incompetence:

Increasing awareness of ignorance. Increasing awareness of potential benefits of wanting to know more about the subject matter and learn some of the skills involved.

This is an essential stage necessary to trigger the next stage of learning. “How does anyone ever learn this?”

Conscious Competence:

Conscious awareness of theory, framework, skill sets and ability to use

All of the above in problem solving.

This is the beginning of expertise. “I can do this.”

Unconscious Competence:

This is the stage where observation, theory, analysis, perspective and discovering a solution are so seamless and automatic that it seems to flow and meld together.

The answer seems so obvious that it seems hard to believe no one else can see it. “Its so obvious. How come no one else sees this?”

This is the domain of an expert.

Reflective Competence:

In order to reach the stage of reflective competence, the master requires a “beginner’s mind”, which refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would.

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

When deliberately assuming the attitude of the beginner’s mind, the master will reflect on the field of study and attempt to break every concept down to its simplest form. Through this process, new insights will arise and lead to increased clarity.

This process will be counter productive at earlier stages. It will interfere with the process of developing superior automated skill sets.

Only when the superior skill sets are automated will the inquiry into core principles be useful.

As you teach more and more people on a specific subject, it will become easier to identify their current stage of development. It is only possible to assist someone in reaching the next stage if you have clarity on their current stage of growth.

As soon as you meet someone for the first time and during the first interaction are able to identify their current stage of development and immediately after that you are able to assist them in moving to the next level, you have reached the grand master stage.

The challenge for being in business whether as an entrepreneur, CEO or investor is understanding where you are in the schema above and behaving appropriately.

There are two major traps:

1) Beginners luck: You are in the right place, right time and right connections. Everything comes together. If you recognise you were lucky, you are safe.

If you think you made it happen, it’s the deadliest of traps you have laid for yourself. You will henceforth believe you lead a “charmed life” and get involved in bigger and more expensive businesses.

When eventually you crash and burn and hit the ground, you leave a 50 feet deep seismic crater in the ground.

Witness the “” era. Also when the markets’ are bullish and no matter what you do you make money.

How many of them thereafter can pick themselves up after they crash? They are often in financial shambles. However the biggest blow is the to their self esteem and self worth.

2) The pain of change and growth: There is often significant discomfort when we do something new for the first time. Too many have been seduced into thinking that the journey to mastery is a smooth ride. The moment they start “bleeding” a little they give up. Ask any master of the blood sweat and tears they shed along the way.

The only guide to traversing the treacherous road is “To see the world as it is” as in my earlier post.

Ask any of the grandmasters below about their journey and see if you get a different response.



To see the world in a grain of sand…

As a poet, philosopher and mystic I remain fascinated by these words.

As a physician, scientist and businessman the above lines spell “Danger”.

Everyday I meet clients who struggle with challenges in their lives because they fail to recognise the reality confronting them.

Very commonly they have mental filters and blinkers and emotional triggers that distort what they see, hear and feel.

Some of these processes were useful in a given context. Out of that context it became downright dangerous.

These processes include:

1) Deletion: Your brain has to make sense out of thousands of stimuli per second. So after awhile it screens out the repeated back ground “details”.

There are also things you don’t want to see or hear because they make you uncomfortable, so you screen that out as well.

As a result you don’t pay attention to your loved one when they are struggling with a real problem and get shocked when they get a heart attack and drop dead.

You don’t pay attention to how your client is presenting himself/herself and you miss vital clues that could help you close the sale. You kiss a thousand dollars goodbye.

2) Generalisation: You have always done it a certain way.

So you conclude that is the only way.
Something happened enough times in your life with enough intensity to create a neural pathway in your brain.

So you conclude that, “love hurts” because everyone you were close to dies or leaves.

You saw enough examples of unethical behaviour by rich people so you conclude “rich people are bad people”

You do not pay attention to the changes in the environment or people.

You fail to recognise major changes in the environment that would invalidate that particular marketing or business approach.

If you are “lucky” your business dips only 10% because you missed the trend.

If you are lucky, your wife only smiles at you sweetly (while she quietly curses) because you bought her a gift exactly like what her best friend is wearing. You did not keep track).

In the long term, these little things wear your business and your relationships down.

3) Distortion: 

This process is the basis for creativity. It creates great artist and poets you do Creative things with their imagination like Picasso and his Cubist style of painting.

On the other hand, it can also lead to major issues. One person’s model of accuracy is another’s model of obsessive compulsive attention to detail.

4) Projection: Whatever secret fears and anxieties you have, you deny having them. You ascribe it to the people around you.

You are an anxious person but you cannot accept it. Your cab driver looks at you and asks you if everything is fine and you conclude your cab driver is anxious.

So all these processes deletion, distortion and generalisation and to a lesser extent projection will determine what we allow into our world. In that sense they are filters. They end up forming our values, biases and beliefs.

On the other hand, based on those processes we will also design a future where all our biases, beliefs and values are validated. If that is so you cannot appreciably design a future that is very different from the past.

All your goal setting and planning becomes fatally flawed.

Which pill will you take? Red or Blue?

The Fallacy of EQ only


In earlier years,IQ or Intelligence Quotient was revered as the hallmark of life long success.

It’s another issue of cognitive bias.
1) First if everyone is a genius with a PhD, and if you have EQ you are ahead (The oft quoted Bell study mentioned in “Emotional Intelligence” by Daniel Goldman)
2) On the other hand if you are not a genius with no PhD you don’t get the job.

So in business, if 3 of you are competing selling a similar product,
1) The one with a system is ahead
2) The guy with a system and some EQ is more ahead.
3) The guy with a system and Personal Branding (a tailored EQ system for his company) takes the jackpot.

My good friend and partner Raymond Ng commented that

“From experimental data, which of course you can say there is cognitive bias in it, I observe the following.

The one with the system is rarely ahead. If one does not have EQ (required for understanding basic market need), he is simply not in the game.”

I replied

“A collection of protocols that does not serve the intended beneficiary is bureaucracy.”

So in a rapidly evolving market place, earlier systems that provided superiority are rapidly subsumed by more advanced systems that provide a Competitive Edge. This is often referenced in Spiral Dynamics.

Whatever we idolise, we eventually demonize. As in the “Book of Changes”, the cycle swings. IQ is passé and EQ is the flavour of the month or is it. We now have something called AQ or Adversity Quotient.