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A quick entry for you to ponder as you sip your morning coffee or map out your day.

Whenever you are asked to get involved in a project, pay close attention to the potential return on time invested (ROTI) because that’s your most precious resource … time.

Be Honest

As business owners, we need to be honest with our clients and ourselves when it comes to project selection and how we allot our time.  Too often we allow ourselves to get distracted or swayed by our:

  • Empathy for the person requesting our help/participation
  • Over eagerness to make a difference
  • Ego telling us that nobody can do the job better

Who Else Can Do a Similar Job for Less?

If something will take you 40 hours that would take someone else 60 hours yet the quality of work wouldn’t suffer greatly and deadlines get met, it’s worth it to outsource that work even if it cuts into your profits somewhat. Obviously, you don’t want to go upside down but taking on projects that may become massive “time sucks” prevent you from doing your best work for those willing to pay you what you’re worth that also allow for a high ROTI.

It’s much better for all involved for you to work 30 hours on a $3,000 project than to spend 100 hours on it especially when the results and outcomes are the same. You’re going to be fresher, more enthusiastic about the work, and your production will be far greater.  The client will be more appreciative of the work, and you’ll have enough in the tank to climb the next mountain.

The reason for mentioning this is because recently a project was completed where the results were excellent and expectations exceeded yet I was WAY upside down in terms of ROTI which likely cost me some new business in the process because the time and energy just wasn’t there. The project should have taken about 1/3 the time it did, but minutiae and intricate details bogged things down.

While always grateful for business and the confidence demonstrated that accompanies it, it would have been better to outsource/delegate the initial part of that project to get a greater ROTI while opening the door to accept additional business.

It Ain’t All ‘Bout Money

Finally … just because someone is willing to pay you good money doesn’t mean they’re a qualified or a high quality client. There’s far more that goes into win/win outcomes than just money.

Live & learn, right?

Have Something to Contribute?

Do you have a similar story to share? Go ahead and let ‘er rip in the comments below.