It was probably 4 years ago… my wife and I lived up in Portland, OR at the time and I was growing my companies (multi-family rental units and my marketing company) mainly working by myself.
You know the gig. I’d wake up, go through my normal “morning routine” (which at the time probably did more harm to my productivity than good), I’d write out my long list of things to do that day,… then I’d get to work doing the things I thought I needed to do.
When you start your own company YOU are the man (or woman). Often times we take on a ton of roles. YOU are the marketer. YOU are the bookkeeper. YOU manage your properties. YOU run errands. YOU are your own website guy. YOU answer every phone call. YOU write thank you notes to people. YOU get your own coffee. YOU drive to properties to check them out. YOU try to make your own logo (don’t tell me you’ve never tried ;-). YOU are the center of your company and YOU do everything.
That’s a heck of a lot of YOU’s.
You see, I did everything in my businesses for almost 2 years thinking I was doing myself a favor by “saving money” and “learning cool skills to have”. Yes, when I first got started, I had NO money, so yes… I had to get creative and doing pretty much everything in my business myself was my only option. But, when I started to make some good profits… a weird thing happened… I was still doing everything.
Yep, I was still hacking away at my websites myself… I was still doing my bookkeeping for my properties and my marketing business… I was still taking tenant calls… I was still going down to the post office to mail letters. I was still doing it all… and was working more than ever (but I felt good about it because I was staying “busy” and thought “busy” = efficient).
Does any of this sound familiar? I bet it does.
Now, fast forward to today.
Today I make 3x – 4x more than I did 4 years ago… and I work literally 1/3 less hours than I did back then when I was working my ass off “saving money” left and right by doing everything myself.
What was the big change? What mind-shift and specific actions did I take that tripled my income and let me work less?
Simple, I figured out what I was truly worth… and started only doing things that paid me what I was worth, which were the top 5% of things I did every day. Sounds too simple right? Do you want to triple your income and work less at the same time? (ha, how fast did you mentally say “yes”?).
Alrighty, now… lets go through the same exercise I went through 4 years ago that helped me make that mindshift and realize what I SHOULD and more importantly… SHOULD NOT be doing in my businesses and life.
First, grab a piece of paper and at the top write down how much money you want to make in the next 12 months. Be realistic and make it attainable… but make it a goal that gets you excited. Just so I can work along w/ ya on this exercise… lets say it’s the nice round number of $100,000.
Next, ideally… how many hours a week do you want to work?
For me, I still work 30-40 hours a week, mainly because I want to. But, before I did this exercise I was working 60+ hours every single week and hating it. For this example lets say you stuck w/ the standard 40 hours a week number.
Now lets do a little math and work backwards to find out how much you’re worth each hour if your goal is to make $100,000/yr working 40 hours a week.
Fancy Dancy Math Time:
40 hours x 52 weeks in a year = 2,080 hours per year
$100,000 divided by 2,080 hours = $48.07 per hour
So, if you want to make $100,000 per year working 40 hours per week, on average you’ll have to make $48.07 every hour you work. Now of course some hours you’ll make way way more (like when you close a deal)… and some hours you’ll make way way less (like doing random crap tasks you shouldn’t be doing).
So, What Do You Do With This Number Now?
Now that you’ve got your number of what your time is worth if you want to reach those goals… you need to write down all of the things you do every day that can be outsourced to someone else for less than $48.07 (or in your case, the number you came up with for how much your time is worth).
For me it was… the technical side of creating my website or uploading my blog posts… answering phone calls everyday for my business… formatting my letters… going to the post office or running random errands… booking my hotels for my business trips… collecting rent checks and taking tenant calls… doing my bookkeeping… and a bunch of other things that someone else can do for cheaper than my own time is worth.
Now, this is the BIGGIE that you NEED to get 100% to make this work.
While you have other people doing the lower value things for you, you should be doing the things that bring in money for you. Creating a new marketing piece. Meeting with sellers or private lenders. Doing an interview for a new hire. Making offers on properties. Creating systems in your business that other people execute for you. Researching ways to invest your money so it grows. Test new ads and places to advertise. Call your buyers or private lenders to build that relationship. Create a referral campaign to bring in referrals from your current clients. That kind of stuff.
As a rule of thumb, about 90-95% of everything you’re doing right now in your business can (and a good majority of it should) be outsourced. Then that other 5% – 10% should be things that you love to do, are really good at, and directly bring in cash to your business that you focus on.
Now, post that magic number that you came up with in this exercise on your wall… and consciously start to track the things you’re doing over the next week that you know someone else can do for you for less than that number.