I recently listened to an audio lesson where John told a story about a guy that was haggling over the price of a book with the shopkeeper in Benjamin Franklin’s store many years ago in Philadelphia. When the frugal fellow (aka: tight wad) realized he wasn’t going to get the book for less than the dollar the shopkeeper was charging him, he demanded to see the owner. Benjamin Franklin came to the front of the store and promptly told the man the price of the book was $1.25. In surprise, the man said that the shopkeeper was only charging him $1.00! Mr. Franklin proceeded to agreed that $1.00 had been the price but since his time was now being wasted, there was a new price. Then Ole Ben added that if the man continued any longer the price would be $1.50!
While I have no earthly idea if that story is true, it certainly makes a strong case for the value we should be placing on our own time. In chapter 11 of The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, The Law of Trade-Offs, John quotes Henry David Thoreau in saying, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” The following section of this chapter discusses how some trade-offs are never worth the price… I’ll leave that for your consideration for now.
My goal in this message is to get you thinking about where & how you spend your time, and whether or not you’re getting the best return on your investment… Over the last few weeks, I’ve had a number of conversations with a few different business partners around how they can position themselves and the key people in their organizations to be able to focus the bulk of their time on the things that give them the absolute best return. This is often a very difficult thing to address. In many cases, it can take longer to get someone trained to do some of the things that are sucking up their time than it would to just do those things themselves; I’ve certainly been guilty of hanging on to a number of things I should have passed on for just this reason… The problem with this is that when you don’t take the time to pass these things on appropriately, you’re still responsible for them months or years later; they’re still sucking up your time. This is what John explains as “feeling the loss of a trade-off long before the gain.”
While I don’t want this message to be entirely about money, it seems to have a place in the example; and it tends to provide opportunities to do the things we’re most passionate about… So with that said, I challenge you to put some thought into how much of your time you’re really able to dedicate to the things that give you the best return. If it’s not as much as you would like, or not as much as you think it should be, what can you do to change it?
Until next time,