Time is Money (and vice versa)

Getting back to full speed this week after the natural holiday slowdown, I found myself thinking a lot about this old adage.  It is—or should be—simple enough for any of us to understand the implications of “time is money.”  If you work for a salary or an hourly wage, the connection is very direct for you (and your employer).  Productivity is imperative, particularly in an environment of lingering workforce contraction. 

The same holds true for your customers.  So when a customer reaches out to me with a question or an issue, the first thing that I think is “their time is their money.”  While an “I want it when I want it which was yesterday” mentality can be maddening—particularly when it follows a long selling cycle where you were the one working feverishly to create some sense of urgency—being prompt in responding to your customers is one of the easiest things you can do.  Even if it meant saying that I didn’t have an answer yet but was working on one, I adopted a 24-hour rule from the onset of my career.  Given the number of times a customer thanked me—and backed up those words with a purchase—I can say that this simple habit served me well.  With a small investment of time, I have been able to secure larger and ongoing business with my customers. And to quote another old adage, “If you are not getting back to your customers, there is a very good chance someone else is.”

What is not always so apparent is the converse—money is time.  This is one of those, “If I knew then what I know now” ideas for me. Simply put, “Make money now so you can ‘buy back’ your time later.”   Putting in longer hours and additional investments of time, money, and effort into your endeavors today allows you to be in a position later where you have greater freedom to set your own work-life balance.  This can be a tough tradeoff, and it is certainly just as bad to go to the other extreme and forget to live your life while you are in it.  However, if you are fortunate enough to be in a position where you can honestly look out 10-20 years and make a reasonable wager that an extra 25% effort today will afford you the opportunity to be more selfish with your time in the future, my personal experience says do it now.  Your future self will thank you!

Either way you look at it, time and money are the make and break of business.  Whether your “time is money” or “money is your time,” EyeLevel can help you maximize both.