As an entrepreneur, your time is money. And although you may not realize it (yet), your time is more valuable than your money. There’s always more money to be had. Not so for time.
So, let me get to the point. If you’re ever going to have the business of your dreams, you’re going to have to change what you do with your time.
One of the first things I do with my private coaching clients is take a look at how they’re spending their time. And what I way too often find, from my clients and from other social media conversations, is that many online entrepreneurs are wasting at least 50% of their time.
And I don’t mean wasting time in the sense of watching too much TV, or hanging out at the pool or your favorite happy hour too often. I mean sitting down to work on your business with a “to do” list in front of you that contains hours worth of time-wasters.
There are 3 things I see over and over again that many people are doing too much of, with little or no return. The first person I identified doing too much of these things about a year ago was me. And when I started replacing these activities, I started reaching my business goals faster. And, I started making more money!
I am not alone. And unfortunately, too many people continue to fall into these time sucks. If you are one of those people, today is your day to reorder your priorities.
Webinars and “Training” Videos
The easiest and most effective way to launch any kind of product these days is by inviting people to a webinar; or sending them a series of training videos, followed by a sales video. I love both of these methods. But. It means you can attend at least one webinar every day. And you can spend at least one hour listening to these training/sales videos every day.
And 99% of the time, it’s a waste of your precious time. Resist the urge to even sign up or opt-in to these things unless you can answer the following questions with a “yes:”
- Is the topic of the webinar/video something that is relevant to my business now? (Not something you just know you’ll need “when . . . .”).
- Is the presenter someone I know to give away valuable content for free? (These alleged learning tools often teach you nothing of significance).
- If the webinar/video delivers what it promises, will I implement what I learn within the next 2 weeks?
- Can I listen to/watch the presentation and still get all of my revenue generating activities done on that day?
Track what you actually do. Are you learning from these things? If so, are you implementing? Or, are you just buying stuff you never end up using because you’re a marketer’s dream and can’t resist the call to action at the end? (I reluctantly raise my hand here!) If so, stop it.
Oh how the life of an online entrepreneur can be a lonely one . . . Some late nights I’ll turn on the TV just for the adult interaction it gives me. Okay, not really, but as great as it is to work at home and be your own boss, it can leave you feeling a little isolated.
And Facebook groups are a great way to network with people who actually get you. They’re also a great way to bounce ideas off people who know a thing or two. And to meet people you can JV with, or who can help promote you because they respect your stuff.
The problem is this. You rarely make money directly from Facebook groups. And it’s really easy to spend hours in them. Because there are lots of them! So here are the rules you need to play by when it comes to giving up your precious time by hanging out in Facebook groups:
- Belong to only 1-2 free public Facebook groups that you participate in daily. (1 if you’re also into LinkedIn groups or Google+ communities).
- Make sure you consistently contribute value to the group, and that you get value from the group. Real, actionable value, not just “support.”
- Turn group “notifications” to “off.” That way you won’t be distracted when your friends post there. Go to the group only at scheduled times, and only for the number of minutes that you’ve scheduled it for.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t be in Facebook groups for the support, networking, and friendship they can provide. But, you can’t be hanging out in those groups for those purposes during your work hours. You’ll have to use your free time for that.
A note about private/paid Facebook groups: It’s almost standard that any product you purchase comes with access to a “private” Facebook group. One that’s only for those who bought the product or program. Those can be invaluable. Use them if they are. But again, do it with restraint. Like you’re at work, not happy hour. And, don’t hesitate to walk away from such groups if you’re not getting and giving value in them.
Sharing the “Luv”
There’s nothing more exciting than having people comment on your blog post; or RT, share, like, 1+ or comment on your social media content. Not only does it feel good, it actually is good for your business. The more exposure you get, the bigger your audience grows, and the more money you’ll make.
To kickstart this exposure before you are a household name, many people participate in various kinds of “share the luv” events. You post a link to your blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or Pinterest profile, and agree to comment on and/or share content from everyone else who posts their link.
This is actually a good idea. But, like most things, there can be too much of a good thing. Many Facebook groups have daily “luv” events. Which means you end up spending an hour, and usually much longer, working through the list each day. And the return on that investment of your time just doesn’t justify it.
Again, I’m not saying never do this. I recently wrote an article that included my favorite services for sharing the luv. But, take care to closely follow these guidelines:
- Make sure the events you are participating in involve others in your market, or a related market. You aren’t going to get much benefit from exposure to a totally unrelated market. And, the audience you are sharing things with is not going to be impressed by you sharing completely unrelated content that they likely have no interest in.
- Pay attention to your results. Have you been participating in “share the luv” events every day for a year? If yes, something is wrong. These agreements to share content are a way to get you started. You should be building up an audience that wants to share your content, and asks for nothing in return. And “results” doesn’t mean your numbers are growing. It makes no difference how many Facebook fans or Twitter followers you have, or how low your Alexa ranking is, if the numbers in your bank account aren’t growing.
- Give these events the priority they deserve. If you aren’t making the money you want in your business, you don’t have time to be doing these events every day.
What I’m Not Saying . . .
I want to stress that I am not against doing any of these three activities. The downside to each of them is that they have a great potential for taking way more of your time than they should. Quite simply, they are not the best use of your time.
So, if one of your complaints is that you don’t have time to do the things it takes to make your business wildly profitable, try eliminating the time you’re spending on one or more of these activities. Let me know how it goes. And, please share in the comments your best tips for maximizing your productivity in the hours you spend on your business.