Let’s get one thing straight, this article is not going to talk about putting a dollar value on an hour of your time as the business owner, I could, but that’s not what this is about. This is about how you see and intrinsically put worth on your time as the owner, not your charge out rate.
These two things can be related, but I tend to find that business owners find the maths simple and the internalised value of themselves hard. It’s this internalised value where they can trip up. Where we can trip up.
How not valuing your time as a business owner can show up
I hand on heart admit to being one of these people. I’m a giver. In fact, I often give too much. I’m also working through a tonne of baggage that I need to unpack where I wasn’t valued and that became the story I live(d) by. So how does not valuing my time show up for me and other business owners I know:
– not raising prices
– putting others first
I’m sure there are others I could list here and if you want to add to the list, please leave it in a comment at the bottom of the page.
At its core, not valuing our time ends up putting the brakes on ourselves and our businesses. This could end up giving us time, through breakdown or illness. It can conversely show up as us being too busy and potentially end up overwhelmed and burnt out. It can be a vicious cycle.
How can you start valuing your time in your business?
It would be really easy for me to say, “put in boundaries, raise your prices, and stop getting in your own way”. The thing is that I know that for some this might work, but there’s a really good chance that in time old habits will creep in and you can end up in a worse place.
As I sit here and think of the things that best help business owners start to value their time in their business, I can’t honestly say that any lasting fix is easy. They all take work. What I know is that eventually not doing them is more costly and damaging than denying their value.
At the crux of it, it comes down to why we don’t value our time and to a degree, ourselves, what we value, and what we do. To unpick that, business owners need to be willing to be vulnerable, honest, and objective WITH THEMSELVES. In the main, it means that the pain of doing this has to be more tolerable than the pain of continuing to undervalue their time.
But in the short term, things like:
– time blocking
– behaving as if
– adjusting their time mindset
– behaving from core values
– reviewing goals and progress to date
– crunching the financials, personal and business
can all help get business owners through the mire of the symptoms relating to them not valuing their time, until they can no longer tolerate them and the pain of addressing the root story is less than carrying on through the muck and living with the symptoms.
I know that sounds rough, cold, and somewhat confronting. I never admitted that doing this work would be easy. What I know is that eventually business owners stop putting bandages over the broken bits and have to look at the root of why things have gone wrong and do the work to address it. Myself included. Personally, it’s a layer thing. I’ve addressed the story about not being intrinsically of value and it’s now about how I move existing clients from a heavily discounted model to a valued model; at the moment I’m not and a lot of it comes down to fear of letting them down and not going back on my word. The work is ongoing but it’s worthwhile. You’ve got some tools there to get you through the rough bits and some ideas to help you in the long run. Stick with me, I’ve got you, and together we will get there. Reach out when you wobble and I’ll catch you.