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“Is Time Really Money?” – by Rob Burnham

Sunday, May 15th, 2011

Even though the term “time is money” is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, if he were living today, Ben would probably be proud to see his picture on the $100 bill.  But, I’ll bet he would also be open to reconsidering that statement.  Now, I’ll agree that time does display many of the characteristics of money.  But, to say that time is money, one would have to consider that the owner of a thriving business might be sleeping in his Ford Focus while his faithful janitor parks his Hummer in front of a nice vacation home on the beach.  The fact is that both time and money are something many business owners hold in short supply.

So, does the business owner have any more hours in his day than any of his associates?  If he could, would he buy some of the janitor’s free time to spend with his own family?  Or would he borrow a few days a month and pay it back with interest when he gets the business going?  Sounds good; but it just doesn’t work that way!

If we need money, our first stop is to borrow it from a friend or family member.  Many successful businesses were funded with loans from those close to the new business owner.  They believed in him or her and were anxious to help, many times with little or no interest.  But sooner or later, most businesses require more capital than those close to the owner are willing or able to supply. It may be that they just don’t have the funds; or it may be that they have figured out that the chances of repayment are slim and the time has come when they are not willing to yield more of their precious resources.

When Uncle John cuts them off, the next stop is usually the local bank.  If you have a good plan and the banker has confidence in your ability to repay the loan, chances are that he can work out some sort of financing.  For the best borrowers, he might even make the loan at the prime rate.  But, it seems that the more often we come to the well and the less reliable we are at repaying the loan, the higher the interest rate becomes until the only options are the Tower Loans of the world or the mafia.

Think for a moment about how that relates to your time.  You can’t seem to get everything done.  So at first, you borrow from those closest to you; ten minutes late for dinner or you miss a ballet recital to work on that big deal. Not so bad.  But then it becomes a habit.  The family no  longer looks for you at dinner time and the neighbor automatically picks up your son to take him to the ball games.  Nobody even expects you to show up anymore!  Boy, is the interest rate skyrocketing!

Get the picture?  Before long, the interest rate on time costs a lot more than money.  Maybe the business is successful, maybe not.  But, the fact is that there is no reason left for the business to succeed.  All the things you were working for are gone.  The dreaded 3 D’s (death, divorce, disability) have taken their toll and you are left with nothing to show for your hard work except a few Ben Franklins.

There is a truth here.  Think about it.  Everyone has the same number of days in their week, the same number of hours in their day and the same number of mintues in those hours.  So, how do some people seem to never catch up while others, like Benjamin Franklin, accomplish so much?

I think it has something to do with the way we view our time.  On one extreme, we just waste it away.  We don’t value our time and as a result, we never accomplish very much. You trade too many of your hours each week for too few dollar bills and are happy just getting through the week.  You are working harder than ever.  You just don’t get anywhere.  After 30 years of work, you really don’t have 30 years’ experience.  You have one year 30 times.  Where has the time gone?  Ask Benjamin.  My guess is that his time ran out long before his money did.  Doesn’t that prove that money is not time?  If so, time can’t be money either!

Anyway, the truth of time is that we all are measured out the same amount of it every day (expect our last, of course).

Now that you’ve gotten this far, let me tell you about the point of this article.  I want you to be motivated to improve how you invest your time.  I want you to get more out of life.  This is what I mean by MORE.

M-aximize your time

O-rganize your stuff

R-educe your stress

E-nergize your mind.

If the interest rate you are paying on borrowed time has gotten out of hand, contact me.  I can’t sell you any time; but I can help you find some.  rob@bdsinstitute.com

Business Start-Up 101

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Americans are starting their own businesses in record numbers. Whether it is for greater income, professional freedom or personal fulfillment, there are some important details for you to consider.

If you build it, will people…?

Several years ago, a friend returned home to Jackson after three years in California.  He started a new company modeled after a very successful west coast business.  His team of 12 employees delivered meals from local restaurants to customers in affluent communities.  After spending thousands of dollars to set-up and run his new business, it failed in just 18 months.  I asked why and this is what he told me.   Affluent people living in large west coast cities are willing to pay for delivery services.  They don’t have the time or patience to deal with traffic and restaurant crowds during the week.  Therefore, the meal delivery business is very lucrative.  However, here in Jackson, people look forward to dining out.  This savvy business man was doomed to failure because there was no market for his services.  How would you like having successful business people give you unbiased feedback on your products, services and markets? That’s what a business incubator does.

 

Running a business vs. owning your job

In the book, The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber, he tells the story of a hard working, conscientious employee who decides he can run his own business better than the guy he is working for.  He starts his own business, in the same field. He is motivated, trained and talented.  However, within a short time, he realizes there is a big difference between running a business and owning your job.  Do you know the difference between being an entrepreneur, a manager and a technician? Being good at a job isn’t necessarily enough to have a successful business.  Who do you have to help mentor you to greater success? That’s what a good business incubator provides.

Relationships, selling and better mouse traps

It wasn’t until after Ralph Waldo Emerson died in 1889 that he was misquoted as saying, “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door”.  Today’s market is different.  If people think you have a better product, they might be willing to listen to you as long as you were referred by someone they know.  Providing excellent value is extremely important.  However, it takes more than a good idea to build a profitable business. If you believe relationships generate revenues, then building relationships and selling your ideas is much better than waiting for someone to knock on your door! Where can you get business development coaching and training?  Venture Incubator helps small businesses succeed.

What is a business incubator?

A business incubator is an organization designed to accelerate the growth and success of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources and services that could include physical space, capital, coaching, common services, and networking connections

There are more than 1200 business incubators in the US and 20 in Mississippi.

87% of companies who graduate from a business incubator succeed

The Venture Incubator is the only multi-use business incubator in the Metro Jackson area.  There is space available for new incubator clients.

More information can be found at www.ventureincubator.org

Wes Holsapple is the Executive Director of the Venture Incubator as well as President of the BDS Institute.  He is a contributing author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Masters of Networking.

Wes can be reached at wes@bdsinstitute.com

Welcome to BDS – Members Only Resources

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

At BDS, our goal is to prepare you and your organization for greater success.  One of the best ways to do that is to provide a wide range of resources that you can use to enhance your personal growth and that of your business or organization.

Check back often for the most current posts and comments.