One of the popular sayings in America is “Time is Money.” This is true in many ways. If you are paid on an hourly rate, you clock in and out. Whether you use an old-fashioned time system or not, us hourly workers are all required to show up and leave at a certain time. We are compensated for the work that we do, but more importantly for the time we put in. Just today, my work lost power at work. 95% of my job is performed on the computer and even though we were without power for over an hour and no promise of electricity returning, we were forced to stay at work. It didn’t matter to my supervisor that we didn’t have anything to do because I am compensated for my time.
Taking “Is it Worth My Time” Too Far
One of the other popular phrases that is related to this concept of time and money is this one: “Is it worth my time?” This is what I see a lot of in the blogosphere. A lot of personal finance authors emphasize that whatever you are doing, you should make sure that it is worth your time. In other words, with regular chores or things that you despise (i.e. dishes, laundry, etc.), you should ask yourself this question.
In many ways this is a limited view. It is for those who are obsessed with earning money. It is these type of people that do not consider the negative consequences of this question. What this question ultimately suggests is that if you can make more money per hour with your business, you should do simply that and hire someone (for less than what you would be losing in your business by focusing on this chore and not your business). This is great in principle. It’s specialization at its finest.
Why spend too much time on something when you could be making MORE money doing what you enjoy while paying someone else to do what you don’t want to do.
The benefits are clear:
- Make more money
- No longer perform the tasks that you hate
I bet if you were to present this idea to a hundred people on the street, all of them would say yes without thinking more about it. That’s because it sounds too good to be true. While the numbers may still add up, it’s missing one component.
What’s the Catch?
The obvious question is, “What’s the catch?” Here’s where I think too many other personal finance bloggers overlook things. They fail to consider a threshold for their business. What I mean is a ceiling that prevents them from continuing to make the same hourly rate with their business. In other words, you can work as hard and long as you want, but ultimately there will be a threshold that your hourly rate will decline. There’s only so much you can do to work on your business.
The other aspect that others people fail to consider is that there is a healthy aspect of doing things that you don’t like. While I hate doing the laundry, I know that by doing it and saving some extra money, it reminds me of what is important. Every time I sit in the laundromat, I realize that I want to buy my own home. In other words, performing the mundane tasks can be beneficial. It not only motivates you, but gives you a break from the go-go-go lifestyle. You can only work so much!