Someone once asked me to recommend a free tool for creating landing pages.
He explained that he had spent over 20 hours in the past week trying to set up a landing page using the free tool he had been experimenting with. When we spoke, he was beyond any reasonable point of frustration.
So I asked him why he was looking for yet another free tool, when there are a number of great paid tools on the market.
“I can’t afford those tools,” he replied.
So I told him to go work at McDonald’s.
Why Working at McDonald’s Isn’t All That Bad
He was offended, but I asked him to humor me as I explained.
Here he was, working hard to save the $40 or so per month that a landing page creator would cost.
Meanwhile, if he had spent those 20 hours working at McDonald’s, he’d have made over $200 (minimum wage in California is $10.50), which would pay for five months of access to the landing page tool, and create a better result in the process.
Instead, he spent that time trying to make a free solution work, with nothing to show for it.
Money vs Time: Which Do You Value More?
We all have areas of our business or life where we value our money too highly and our time too little.
One example is the gentleman above, who was wasting time on free tools. I like free stuff as much as the next guy, but it’s not okay if it eats up your time and energy and doesn’t deliver the results you want.
Another example is when we eat crappy food because it’s cheap. It also requires almost no preparation, so it saves us time, right? Well, that food may cost you next to nothing now, but eventually, you’ll end up paying in the form of foggy thinking, low energy, caffeinated drinks to keep you going, gym memberships to fight the weight gain, and medical bills when you acquire chronic diseases.
Here’s another example: Renting that cheap apartment, even if it means spending two hours a day to commute to and from work. Had you decided to fork over a few hundred dollars more a month, you could have been spending those 10 hours per week working on a side business that makes you a thousand dollars in additional monthly income.
And the most common example is the do-it-yourself’er who’s just starting out in business. People starting online businesses are notorious for this. They build their own website, create products to sell, set up shopping carts, market their products, and close the sale all by themselves. Meantime, their website looks amateurish, their products are sub-par, they’re struggling to make sales, and their customers are unhappy. And they’re over-worked and stressed out to boot.
DIY is fine and understandable when you’re just getting started and are bootstrapping a business. After all, when you’re just starting out, you probably have more time than money. But you should leverage that time to mobilize more money quickly. This means getting the right tools and building your team as soon as you can. Maybe you’ll hire just one part-time employee or virtual assistant to begin with. Clearing a few hours of your time so you can work on higher-value work will speed up the growth of your business.
Yet Another Reason to Value Time Over Money
Hopefully by now you see why your time is more valuable than money when you’re building a business.
But there’s another reason: research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology shows that valuing time more than money is linked to greater happiness.
Is there an area where you’re spending far too much time, that if you just worked that time you could more than afford to get it done better?
Think about it, and think with humility–because there’s a lot of ego attached to doing something ourselves, and not “stooping” to do work we might prefer not to do.
The answer might surprise you and better serve you!