What Is Your Time Worth to You?

The Internet is a wonderful and glorious place where just about anyone in the world can make a very comfortable living for themselves and on their own terms. A big appeal of going online and launching your own online business, whatever that venture might be, is that you get to be your own boss.

Striking Out on Your Own

There’s no more reporting to the Bill Lumberghs of the world. There’s no more worrying about someone taking your stapler or being told to move your desk as far against the back wall as possible. You don’t even need to listen to your music at a reasonable volume; you can crank that up as high as you want… so long as you don’t disturb your neighbors or wake the baby in the other room.

Truth be told, and John will certainly agree with me on this, is that the two most incredible aspects of making money online are time freedom and location freedom. You can work when you want, where you want, doing whatever you want. If this is indeed the case, then why are you wasting your time doing things that you don’t want to do?

time

The non-renewable resource that you should treasure the most, above all else, is your time. Every day consists of only 24 hours. You only have 1,440 minutes to spend. As each of those 86,400 seconds ticks by, it will never tick again. It’s gone forever. You can always make more money, but you can never make more time.

A Picture Is Worth…

Allow me to illustrate this with a very simple example from my own personal life. I wanted to get a photo printed to celebrate our anniversary. I don’t have a photo printer at home and I wasn’t overly concerned about getting the best possible quality. It just had to be good enough and I wanted it fast.

After loading the JPEG image file onto a USB flash drive, I made my way over to the local Walmart where I knew they had self-serve kiosks for photo printing. Because of the time freedom afforded by my freelance lifestyle, I was able to go in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of the week when the store would be the least busy. That’s advantage #1.

Since I went on a day and time when it wouldn’t be as busy, I found a parking spot right away. All of the self serve kiosks were also unoccupied, so I didn’t have to wait my turn. Unfortunately, the kiosk didn’t seem to support printing 8 x 10 pictures, so I had to ask for assistance anyhow.

It turns out that not all the machines can print photos that size and I made a mental note of that the next time I needed something like this done. The Walmart employee was friendly and helpful, getting me through the process as quickly as possible.

More Than Instant Gratification

She then asked if I wanted the instant service or the one-hour service. Seeing how there was practically no one else in the store (at least not in the photo and electronics section), the one-hour service probably would have taken less than 60 minutes. Even so, I opted for the instant service for the simple reason of opportunity cost.

Printing a single 8 x 10 photo on the one-hour service would have cost me $3. The instant service cost me $6. Some people might say that I’m foolish for spending that extra money. I could have spent that hour randomly roaming the aisles at Walmart, shopping for nothing in particular to kill the time. I disagree.

Because I chose to spend that “extra” three dollars to get the instant service, I didn’t have to wait around the store for an hour. I didn’t have to look for another employee to help me in an hour’s time. Instead, I made my way back home immediately and got back to work.

And not to toot my own horn, but I certainly earn more than $3/hour doing the work that I do. My time is worth a lot more than that. I hope yours is too.

It’s Not About the Three Bucks

The example here only uses the context of the price of a cup of coffee, but the underlying principle can be applied to just about everything else that you do. Instead of wasting your time trying to figure out WordPress, CSS and PHP so you can concoct your own custom blog theme, just invest in a great theme ecosystem that’s far easier to manage. Better yet, hire a professional to do it for you. The same goes for graphic design, writing, or any number of other things you might need to do.

At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself a very simple question: Would you rather be doing something else? Is your time better spent on something that is more productive and profitable? If so, it’s worth the money. Because time is worth far more than money.

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5 thoughts on “What Is Your Time Worth to You?”

  1. this article improve self confidence and tell about importance of our time worth for us, thanks for sharing this keep up the good work.

  2. Susan Velez says:

    Hi Michael,

    Time is one of those commodities that we wish we had more of. I have never thought of it in terms of 68,400 seconds in a day. Once you break it down like that, it really makes you realize how much time you can waste.

    I so agree with you about wasting time in our business. When I first started my blog, I was scared to outsource. Instead, I would spend hours trying to figure out how to do things on my own.

    Now I understand the importance of paying someone to do something if I don’t know how. When I switched from HTTP to HTTPS, I outsourced it.

    I probably could’ve figured out how to do it on my own. However, by outsourcing the task, I was able to do other things in my business.

    It definitely makes a difference when you focus on the stuff you’re good at and outsource the other stuff.

    Definitely an eye opener, thanks for sharing, have a great one 🙂

    Susan

  3. Hi Michael,

    Excellent analogy.

    I just went for a run around Central Park in NYC. We are house sitting here for a week, 2 blocks from Central Park in a cool neighborhood. No way I’d be able to do this unless I ran a thriving online business through my blog. No way I’d be able to accept house sits at the drop of a dime, or go for a run at 3:30 in the afternoon when the park is actually really quiet, and no way I could drop everything and travel to Fiji or Bali or Costa Rica, booking a trip for next week or even tomorrow if I wanted to.

    This is the power of freedom. Or, of building your life around freedom so all you do now helps you set up that fun, freeing life. A1 is to follow your fun. Not finances. This means delaying your gratification a bit. For a bigger reward. Then you need to dive into your deep fears, regularly. Doing so makes you comfortable with being uncomfortable, a must for folks who engineer freeing lives around the most valuable commodity: time. Then you need to persist in creating and connecting, and following your fun, every day.

    Do these things and you will position yourself to live a life of freedom. A life where you do what you want to, when you want to.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan

  4. Jethro says:

    I value my time as well and I also believe that money is renewable but our time is not. This post relives this again to me and I know that I should choose and value my time over anything else.

    Keep writing great blog post like this. More power to this blog and to you, Michael Kwan. 🙂

  5. JohnZik says:

    Time makes you king and it also ruins you if you really don’t value the time. Effective time management of time is vital to get success in every walk of life.

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