The time bank
I am not a fan of the common cliche “time is money.”
Time is not money, but it’s helpful for SaaS sellers to rethink time as money.
Similar sounding, but drastically different in concept. Let’s unpack it a bit using a fun thought exercise.
Imagine if you were given $1,440 each day…and told you had to spend it. How would you do it?
Here are the rules:
- • You can’t keep what’s left over at the end of the day
- • You never know when you’ll stop being paid each day
Maybe you’d use it to buy new stuff (but be careful, that stuff has to be stored somewhere).
Or maybe you’d splurge on experiences, like great food and drinks (but be careful, there’s only so much you can eat or drink before getting sick).
Or maybe you’d give it away (but be careful, there are a lot of needy people who are looking for a handout).
You probably see where I’m going with this…
We already play this game every day.
It just happens to be with our time.
We have exactly 1,440 minutes we’re given each day, and we can’t get back what is spent when the clock strikes midnight nor do we know exactly when it’s all going to go away (knowing when we’re gonna die).
Where are you spending your time?
A lot of SaaS sellers I meet don’t have crystal clarity into this. And it’s costing them a lot!
I posted about this on LinkedIn recently.
Picking up on last week’s topic about reducing the constant noise we face as SaaS sellers, I quantified the misspending of time due to distractions and interruptions.
As I referenced last week, recent studies show that we are interrupted on average every 11 minutes, and those interruptions further get interrupted. This equates to 2.5 hours lost during working hours.
For a SaaS seller earning $250,000 a year, this is how much (of your) money is being left on the table:
So, like a high quality investor, the way to think about 587.5 hours lost is like burning $113,636.
Do you really have a nice additional 6-figure income to burn like that?
Put this way, it makes you respect the time you’re given and how you invest it more wisely.
And the best way to do that is to go through a time audit. Try it for a month.
Here’s how to do a good time audit:
→ Label your time tracking activities that make sense for you (outreach, account management, meetings, social media, etc.)
→ Start tracking your time when you work
→ Do a quick time capture at the end of each day and keep track of it in something like Thrive Space
→ At the end of the month, do a thorough audit
→ Identify areas that you feel could be improved
Implement better time investment strategies
Once you know where your money, err, I mean time is going, you’ll now have a better glimpse on where to make appropriate changes.
Are you in too many meetings?
Are you spending too much time on social media?
Are you not spending enough time learning new skills?
“At its heart, time management isn’t really about managing time at all – it’s about managing yourself. We all have the same 24 hours each day, but how well we use them is completely down to us.” -Timely
This is where a good system comes in handy, and a good system always uses a framework to guide you to making higher quality decisions.
For anyone who’s been tuning in each week or catches my content on LinkedIn, you know I mention TEA, or Time + Energy + Attention, as the key finite resources we need to be more intentional with each day.
They work in harmony, so it’s hard to separate each one, but I’ll dive deeper on energy investment in next week’s edition. For now, I’ll deconstruct the system with time as the lead resource, knowing each support one another.
Here is a framework I used that helped me appropriately allocate my time more wisely while in a demanding role as strategic seller…based again, on pairing it appropriately with energy and attention.
- • D: Discipline
- • F: Flexibility
- • C: Curiosity
START OF THE DAY: Lead with Discipline
- • You have more control how you start
- • Energy and attention are high
- • Good time to focus on high value activities
→ Need help? Use the Eisenhower Matrix
MIDDLE OF THE DAY: Lead with Flexibility
- • Less control of your time (meetings, communication, etc.)
- • Energy and attention dip
- • Good time to connect and collaborate with others
→ Need help? Try the Pomodoro Technique
END OF THE DAY: Lead with Curiosity
- • Can control this part (but a good routine and prompt are key)
- • Energy and attention are depleted (for most people)
- • Good time to reflect on what went well and what can be improved
→ Need help? Implement a Work Shutdown Ritual
Let’s be clear, this doesn’t mean you abandon being disciplined during the middle of the day, it just means you’re smart about which mindset you lead with at the appropriate time.
I think about it like a fader. You’re moving from one to the other as time progresses (and your energy and attention wane).
How will you invest your time in 2023?
It’s that time of year again to start planning for the next one.
I’ve learned a lot during my transition from an active corporate SaaS seller to a fully independent solopreneur.
What I have planned for the business is super exciting, building on the first product launched this year – 7 Steps to 7 Figures.
I connected with hundreds of sellers this year and thousands more indirectly, and I learned there’s still a lot of work to do to help sellers reconnect with a missing part of a human-centered role – being human.
Having built a $27.3M a year SaaS business as an active seller within a four year period, I learned a way to design a better approach that personally earned me $3.7M – a life-changing sum.
That sum has made me rethink time in a completely different way.
And I can tell you, I am more enthusiastic than ever to spend my time helping many of you do the same. I have a lot of exciting announcements coming that will support you on your journey, and as a subscriber, you’ll hear about it first.
More to come!
When you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you:
1. Get the exact system I’ve used to go from earning $200K to over $1M a year in SaaS sales without burning out here. (2,600+ students)
2. Join a community of Purpose-Curious™ sellers in the Make More Hustle Less Club where we develop a personal operating system together here. (400+ members)
3. Book a 1:1 strategy session map out your best year in SaaS sales here. (My hourly rate increases to $1,000 on January 1st)