Why You Feel Like You Don’t Have Enough Time

This is the third week of our eight-week Summer School of Operations. Be sure to join us for next week’s lesson; click here to check out the previous trainings if you missed them!

Access the ‘Time and Financial Profitability’ Calculator

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Why Does It Feel Like You Don’t Have Any Time?

People will say it’s because …

  • You’re not focused on the right things
  • You need to hire an assistant
  • You need to be more productive

And, okay, maybe those things are true.

But far more often, the answer is actually much much simpler.

Start With This Simple Exercise

Pull out your calendar (or a sheet of paper on which you can create a blank one-week calendar), and block off time for everything you have to do this week.

Put on all your meetings, your client work, the obvious stuff.

But don’t forget the less obvious stuff.

You know, eating and sleeping and seeing your family.

Checking email.

Working on your next product.

Doing strategic development.

Writing sales pages and email copy.

Make sure you give enough time for each thing; don’t cheat by underestimating, and put it all on there.

Did it all fit… or did you run into a problem?

For most people, the answer will be no. It doesn’t all fit.

It’s a simple truth:

(By the way, that’s a big theme in one of my favorite books on the subject, The 12 Week Year by Moran)

So There’s The Problem… What’s The Solution?

Well, clearly, the solution is that you need to make it work on paper.

But all those things you wrote down … they’re all things that need to be done, right?

Even if you eliminate the stuff that doesn’t need to be done … eating, for example (I kid) … you’ll still have a mess.

That’s because your inability to make your week fit into your calendar is a symptom of a deeper problem.

What I’ve learned through all the work we do with clients as well (as what I’ve learned for myself) is that this calendar problem is actually a sign…

That your business model is broken.

Here’s what I mean:

We often look at our biz through the lens of profitability:

Will our products make money?

That’s why we spent an entire week talking about projections and how to use them to grow your business.

But what we don’t usually account for – though we should – is how much time it’s going to take to deliver all those products, services and offers we’re making.

In other words, we ignore the realistic bounds of our capacity, and never truly ask:

Will I have enough time to deliver all that I want to?

Re-Look At Your Business Model Plan

A broken business model: that’s my guess as to the root problem of your symptoms.

So now it’s time to do a proper diagnosis.

Start here:

Access this Google Spreadsheet (no opt-in required) and make a copy of it so you can edit it

We call this the ‘Time and Financial Profitability Calculator’

And it’s the perfect diagnostic tool.

Here’s how to use it; you’re going to fill in the yellow cells with your information as follows:

What’s Your Salary?

First question, how much salary do you want to make?

Our financial experts last week mentioned this as a key question, and yet often we don’t spend enough time thinking about it.

So spend some time thinking about it now, and pop your answer into the first yellow box.

Remember, this is your salary. The money that you’re making for the work you’re doing in the business. Eventually, this number will go down and you’ll be paid simply for being an owner, but if you’re reading this you’re probably not at that point yet.

So consider how much salary you want to draw for the work you do in marketing, product development, customer support, research, operations, finance, HR, etc.

Don’t know how to answer that question? Check out this special interview with Jacquette Timmons, a financial behaviorist, who will show you where to start. Then, grab her free Financial Wheel download.

Even if you’re not confident of the number, for now, ballpark it. Think about how much you’d need to pay someone else to do that task. Use sites like Glassdoor or Indeed if you want.

Next, Ask: How Much Time Do I Want to be Working?

Do you like the idea of working 20 hours per week? Or are you like me, your biz is your hobby, and so you want to work way more?

Pop that in to the appropriate yellow spot on the spreadsheet.

More importantly, though, is the next box:

How much time per week, as a percentage, will be spent on billable work?

That’s time spent actually doing stuff that directly makes money – working with clients, or delivering courses, or whatever.

This will vary depending on your business, and what team you have in place, and so on. A good place to start is to work on the premise of the 3Cs:

  • 1/3rd of your time on billable Client work
  • 1/3rd of your time Creating assets for your biz (new courses, biz dev, marketing, etc.)
  • 1/3rd of your time making connections and building community

You can adjust the percentage to suit your situation, but I definitely don’t recommend going higher than 50% for your billable percentage.

Whatever the number is, when you enter it, you’ll notice that the spreadsheet is calculating your minimum hourly rate.

Remember: this is your SALARY rate.

It doesn’t include profit, overhead, tax, owner’s pay, any of that. This is your salary for the work you do as a marketer, or a content creator, etc.

(As a sidenote, right now we’re focused on your time profitability, but you can easily do this same exercise for each team member, too)

That’s the foundation.

Now, the fun part.

What’s Your TRUE Cost To Deliver?

In the next section of the spreadsheet, I want you to enter in each profit center you have in your business. Every product or service, on its own line.

And for each, you’re going to put in how much time it costs you to deliver each time, how many you plan to sell (check your projections from last week!), and what the price is for customers.

In other words, fill in all the yellow boxes for each product, and the spreadsheet will calculate two really important things for you:

  1. Are you profitable on the MONEY side of the equation? Remember, at this point we’ve only accounted for your salary, so you technically need to still add on your taxes, profit, overhead, etc. to check for true profitability … but if you’re in the red, then you’re not even covering your the cost of your time and that’s a problem.
  2. Are you profitable on the TIME side of the equation? In other words, in order to make your numbers this year and hit your projections, will you have to work MORE or LESS than you had allocated to billable time?

That’s it. That’s the two pieces to look at.

From Here, Adjust Your Plans

Once you know the answers to those two questions, then you’ll be able to see very clearly how and where your business model isn’t supporting your personal goals for time and financial freedom.

You can start to play with the variables so that you can make it all “add up” better.

Then you can go back to that first exercise we outlined at the start of this article and re-imagine how you’re going to block out your time.

I won’t go into details on that here; my friend Marie Poulin has a great article on the subject, or you can check out The 12 Week Year which also gives details on the exercise.

But most important for now, work through that spreadsheet:

Get the Free Time and Financial Profitability Calculator

Fill in your numbers, and see where and when your time capacity maybe isn’t adding up …

… and then use that information to make changes to the plans you have for your business.

Maybe you need to hire someone. Maybe that someone is a different someone than you thought – perhaps you need a direct contributor, rather than an admin. When I did this exercise the first time, that’s what I discovered was the case.

Maybe you need to spend less time on coaching calls. Increase your prices. Spend less time on non-billable tasks (or maybe more time!)

Look at the numbers, and let them guide your decision-making.

And once you know your next steps, let us know what you discovered in the comments on the Facebook Video. My team and I would love to hear from you.

This is just week three of our eight-week free School of Operations. I hope you’ll join me live next week, where I’ll be showing you how to turn your products into relationship boosters that help customer buy over and over and over again.

Plus, remember join the conversation that’s happening on Facebook. Go here to get started.