Time Is Money

by Heather Allard on January 10, 2010

Time is money

A few weeks ago, I received 3 of the same fortune in 1 fortune cookie. It said:

“Time is money”

I found it mildly amusing and wondered if that might be my “theme” for 2010.

And then yesterday, “time is money” really hit home for me.

I arrived 5 minutes early for my 9am hair appointment and sat in the waiting area. I could see that my stylist was already busy and frankly, she looked panicked when I arrived.

15 minutes went by and she said, “I’ll be right with you, Heath.” So I waited.

Another 15 minutes went by and she said, “I just have to rinse this lady’s color off and I’ll be right with you.” So I waited.

Another 15 minutes went by and she said, “I just have to dry this woman’s hair and I’ll be all yours.” So I waited.

At 10am, she called me over. 1 hour later than my scheduled appointment. But it gets better.

For the next 4 hours, my stylist flew around the salon between me and about 6 other clients like a chicken with her head cut off. I did not leave the salon until 2pm.

I had been there for a total of 5 hours. That’s right, 5 hours.

And before I left, she said, “Next time you make an appointment, be sure to tell them it’s “Heather with the hair” so they know to block out double the time it takes to do a normal person.” I have very thick hair and a ton of it – it does take a long time to do my hair, but not 5 hours.

I really like my stylist – she’s funny and gives great hair. She’s also 5 minutes from my home and charges about half the price of the salon I used to go to.

But I’ll tell ya, sitting there for 5 hours on Saturday really got me thinking about how true “Time is money” really is – and, I think, doubly so for mom entrepreneurs.

For mom entrepreneurs, our time is usually divided two ways – precious, priceless time spent with our children and productive, profitable time spent building our business.

(PRECIOUS PRICELESS PRODUCTIVE PROFITABLE) TIME IS MONEY

I was then reminded of Danielle LaPorte’s recent “Stop Doing List” and thought, man, this “time is money” thing could even be reworked to:

“Time and energy is money”

And then I flipped “time is money” on its head and made it:

“Money is time”

Because MONEY paid to someone else to do things for you gives you TIME to do the things you love doing, whether it’s reading a story with your kids, going to dinner with your husband or dreaming up a new design for your clothing line.

So, I decided to make a list of all the things that I could STOP doing or START paying someone else to do to free up my timeprecious, priceless time to spend with my 3 amazing children (and 1 amazing dog, The Dude and 1 amazing husband) OR productive, profitable time spent building The Mogul Mom (look out – 2010 is going to be huge!).

Here’s my list so far:

1. Instead of spending 2-3 hours grocery shopping each weekend, I’m going to use PeaPod and Alice to do it for me. Cost: $10 PeaPod delivery charge Time saved: 156 hours or 6.5 days per year

2. Instead of spending hours, even days sometimes, on writing sales copy, I hired someone to do it for me. Cost: $250 Time Saved: 12 hours (a modest estimate)

3. Instead of spending hours each day frantically checking new email that arrived in my inbox, I uninstalled Gmail Notifier and freed myself from the false sense of urgency it creates. Cost: $0 Time Saved: 2 hours each day

4. Instead of manually replying to each email I receive asking me for referrals to manufacturers, I created a Gmail “Canned Response” with all the information prepared and ready to send. If I wanted to get super-duper efficient, I could create a Gmail Filter that looks for the words “can you please recommend a manufacturer” and automatically sends the Canned Response I created. Cost: $0 Time Saved: 30 minutes each time I receive one of these requests.

5. Instead of spending 30 minutes here, 2 hours there on email and social media, I’ve set office hours to bring structure to my day and more white space to my schedule. Cost: $0 Time Saved: minimum of 2 hours per day or 730 hours per year.

Now, Danielle suggested that women stop dying their hair but I’m not quite ready for that. BUT – what I could do is schedule the FIRST appointment at my hair salon so I know she won’t be behind schedule OR find a new salon that doesn’t overbook or multitask. :D

I want YOU to examine your daily and weekly activities and find at least ONE thing you could STOP doing or START paying someone else to do and then post it in the comments below. Be sure to tell us how much time you’ll save doing it.

Time is money and money is time. How much is yours worth?

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah January 13, 2010 at 3:15 am

Fantastic post Heather!
I especially loved…
““Money is time”

It made me chuckle and nod my head in agreement.

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2 Josephine Geraci January 14, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Hi Heather,

We’re both on the same page. I decided 2010 was going to be the year that I was going to figure out how to create a more balanced life.

I made one change that has brought me so much happiness.

I live in a truly remote area. Yes, it’s nice, but it takes 15 minutes just to hit Main Street. I have one toddler who attends nursery school 25 minutes away from the home. My other two kids get picked up and dropped off by the school bus. I was spending TWO hours a day just driving plus at least 15 minutes of getting to and from class and battling/buckling the car seat two times a day. That’s a total of 2 1/2 hours a day.

I was mentally drained because I was so afraid I was going to miss a business call. Yes, I have my calls forwarded, but once again–remote means no cell service.

I hired a driver at $10 an hour and I’ve changed my life. I was always reluctant to put my kids in the car with other people, but quite honestly, the woman I hired is probably even better than the school bus drivers.

Hooray, I can think now without interruptions! I’m now able to work harder with no distractions and I can’t believe I’m saving over 10 hours a week!

I hope this helps someone else out there. Just Do It! Heather you are so right–Money is Time! Thanks for the great article.

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3 Heather Allard January 14, 2010 at 8:58 pm

Josephine!
Yesssssssssssss!!!! I’m so happy for you! And thank you for sharing this example of time is money and money is time. :D

Heather

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4 Carley Knobloch January 13, 2010 at 2:59 am

Heather– This post is bursting with amazing ideas. You KNOW I’m a big fan of all the amazing auto-shopper sites like Alice and Peapod… so nice to get that off your list. And Woot! for making those office hours. Structure, baby!
You are on fire already in 2010 and I can’t wait to see what develops. Retweeting as we speak..

Carley Knobloch
Mothercraft Coaching
http://www.mothercraftcoaching.com

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5 Alizah January 12, 2010 at 3:22 am

Great post, Heather! Thanks for all the good ideas. They’re particularly impressive when you see how much accumulated time you can spend on these trivial things. Now, to put your ideas into use….

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6 Heather Allard January 12, 2010 at 11:48 am

Alizah,
Glad you liked the post – yes absolutely staggering when you add up the hours!

Heather

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7 Tracy Young January 12, 2010 at 3:16 am

Love, love, love the post Heather. I recently hired a photoshop expect on Elance to mask some girl’s special occasion dresses that I’m adding to my site. It took them a fraction of the time that it would have taken me and allowed me to spend more time with my girls.
The price for the freelance expert: $100; the time spent with my children: priceless.

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8 Heather Allard January 12, 2010 at 11:49 am

Yay! Good girl, Tracy! LOL. Thanks for sharing! Elance is a great place to find HELP. :D Heather

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9 Susan M. Baker January 12, 2010 at 12:38 am

Thanks for the post Heather…I’m actually going to implement my friend Sarah Shaw’s (Entreprenette Gazette) idea of the “power hour” and do it 2x/day – one at beginning of day and one at day’s close…to be utilized for: social media, e-mail, blog posting, voicemail. This has the potential of saving me 2-3 hours/day both in actual time futzing around on these sites and also in additional time spent regaining focus.

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10 Heather Allard January 12, 2010 at 12:48 am

Hi Susan!
Oooh – I love Sarah too and love that “power hour” idea. Perfect. Thanks for stopping by!!

Heather

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11 suzy January 11, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Ok, Heather…I arrived at your site by following a link on twitter. I totally believe in “there’s a reason I’m here”. Your tips are awesome. Didn’t know about the Gmail response either and loved the planned “social networking” tip. But, here’s what I have to say about your hair salon experience. Please don’t go back there. You don’t have to “do it yourself” because in order to get professional results, it will take you more time. (It’s tough to see the back of your head; let alone apply color). The issue at the salon was they valued THEIR time more than YOURS. The over-booking; multi-tasking, has money at the focus, not the client. You deserve better, you’re paying them. :) Happy to have been enlightened and also reminded why we DON’T over-book and how much we love our clients.

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12 Heather Allard January 12, 2010 at 12:47 am

Suzy!
Thanks so much! I believe in everything happening for a reason too. So glad you landed here! Thank you for the advice about the hair salon. Much appreciated coming from a salon owner. :D

Look forward to getting to know you!
Heather

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13 Tara McCausland January 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm

You’re absolutely right! Time is money and vice versa and unless we’re very conscious of how we’re spending both – we’ll find ourselves out a cash and our time whittled away on the trivial. Thanks for you practical advice. Keep it coming!

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14 Tara McCausland January 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Heather, I really love your articles. They are straight forward and full of practical advice. Keep it coming, sista!

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15 Whitney Trujillo January 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Great post at the perfect time! Now is the time to get started on a more efficient work schedule for the year. I am such a DIYer, but I realize some things are better left to the experts as I often kill tons of time figuring out how to do them on my own.

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16 Heather Allard January 11, 2010 at 4:57 pm

Whitney – you’re totally right. It really is better to pay an expert (and there are plenty of affordable ones) than waste a ton of time (=money) trying to learn it, find it, figure it out yourself. Thanks for stopping by!

Heather

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17 Sarah Shaw January 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm

Heather – LOVE what you suggest and can’t wait to get to it this week for myself and free up those wasted hours!! Thanks
Sarah

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18 Heather Allard January 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Sarah,
Let me know what you STOP doing or START paying someone else to do, OK? :)
Heather

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19 Laurelle Johnson January 11, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Could not have hit the nail on the head any better. Any successful business person (be it start up or seasoned) DELEGATES that which they should not be doing to someone far better, faster, swifter at the task.

I wonder if you can attach at hourly price to your time. Mine is worth $250.00 per hour so any task that takes me away from that hourly wage is shipped off to an expert. If I used my wage times the number of hours you saved (1098), the income would be: $274,500. Not bad, not bad. I’ll take it!

Thank you for the reminder!
Laurelle Johnson
Innerwealth Communications
http://www.innerwealthspeakers.com

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20 Heather Allard January 11, 2010 at 3:43 pm

Laurelle,

Isn’t it staggering when you put it that way – 1098 hours and $274,5000? Crazy. Thanks for stopping by and commenting – much appreciated! :D

Heather

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21 Lisa January 11, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Heather, what a great post! I do use Fresh Direct & Alice, but I never heard of those gmail services. Thanks so much — what a great way to start a Monday – by setting up now to save money later!
Have a great day,
~Lisa

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22 Heather Allard January 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Lisa,
You’ll love the Gmail services! They make life so much easier. :D
Heather

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23 Amanda Alexander January 11, 2010 at 11:50 am

Heather – great post. I really enjoyed reading this. You’ll be forever known as “Heather with the hair” now!!!

I think that as working moms we have to ask ourselves;
“How much is my time with my kids/spouse/self worth and how much money am I prepared to set aside to help me achieve balance?”

When we start seeing our money as a way to freedom and to get more of our most precious resource, it goes a long way to helping us to feel less stressed and more in control about all the juggling!

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24 Heather Allard January 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Amanda,
You hit it – when we start seeing our money as a way to freedom and to get more of our most precious resource – that’s exactly what mom entrepreneurs NEED to start doing. I think we tend to DIY everything, claiming tight budgets – but if we begin to see exactly how much our time is worth and the VALUE in hiring someone else to do some things for us, we’ll do much better at BUYING TIME. :D

Yes, “Heather with the hair” will stick. Hee. Thanks for your comment!

Heather

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25 Melinda Knight January 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

I absolutely love this posting! It really got me thinking how I need to do a better job of time management. I really would like to make a change for 2010 with your suggestions. Thank you for such a great story.

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26 Ros January 10, 2010 at 5:32 pm

First, just have to say-brilliant time & money saving list! The business is still a work in progress & with a tight budget, my husband & I still have to work it ourselves, however, looking into hiring out some of the work needed, mostly having to do with PR & marketing.

Funny you brought up the hair ordeal, because I’ve had to learn how to cut (ahem) corners yet still maintain. This subject may seem shallow, but the truth of the matter is, hair is a big deal for most women. Like you, I used to spend 3-5 hours at the salon every visit. Seriously, 3 hours was the minimum, and boy did she charge for it.

Today:
Stopped going to high priced, over booked hair stylist/salons; get hair cut regularly at a one of the chain hair shops (trust me, they have some good hair stylists there) and schedule appointments when they first open or right after lunch hour when everyone is at work and second color my own hair. COST: about $30 Saved: $130 & 2-4 hours. Some might think it takes too much time to color hair, but during the wait time, I tend to small house chores, e.g. cleaning the bathroom sink since I’m standing there already, so you’re multi-tasking.

By the way Heather, I sooo envy that you have all that hair. Coloring your own hair might be a challenge, but with practice, I’m sure you’ll get it down. After all – you’re The Mogul Mom, nothing you can’t tackle. Note: Can Not Give Up Hair Coloring!!! ^_^

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27 Lara Galloway January 10, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Heather–

I LOVE this post! You know, it’s so simple, but flipping the “time is money” cliche (which we can hardly hear because it’s so common) to “money is time” really helped me think about this differently.

Thanks for giving some concrete examples of how some little shifts in the way you do routine things can create a lot more MONEY/TIME in the life of a busy mompreneur!

Take care,
Lara Galloway
The Mom Biz Coach
http://www.mombizcoach.com

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