How One Small Conversation Change Can Predict Entrepreneurial Success

The way you talk about time will show how you think about your business.

Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash.

Mark Twain supposedly said, “Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.”

These days everybody talks about time…usually because we could all use more of it. But unlike the weather, we can do a great deal about time — in fact, we can change our productivity just by the way we talk about it.

I recently realized this difference when I casually told a friend from the corporate world, “I’m going to hire someone to take my cat to the vet next week.”

She was aghast. “That’s so expensive!” What she meant was, “You’re being frivolous.”

Image from PaperElements on Pixabay.

But as an entrepreneur, I calculated the cost differently. I’m one of those urban dwellers who doesn't own a car.

If I took cabs, the cost would be almost the same as hiring someone. I’d spend time waiting for the cab or taking a bus.

An errand service would make the drive in minutes.

I’d gain at least an hour of time…especially now, when we have to wait in the parking lot while the vet works on the cat.

It was a no-brainer.

The cat didn’t care. Once she was stuffed in her carrier, she’d hate the world no matter who brought her in.

When people are seriously ready to make a move to entrepreneurship, they talk about time differently. They do these three things.

Photo by Sonia Langford on Unsplash.

(1) Calculate your rate of return on your time investment.

You find yourself saying, “This is not a good use of my time.”

You might take time to relax and enjoy a movie or family meal — but your rate of return will be high because you get meaningful (though intangible) rewards.

Time spent as “face time” or “because we’ve always done this” will seem much less valuable.

(2) Assign a value to your time.

You find yourself saying, “If I hire someone to do this, I’ll come out ahead.”

Or you think, “My company could automate this process. Then each person wouldn’t have to spend hours, all doing the same thing over and over again.”

Too materialistic? You can assign units of happiness or meaning if you prefer.

Image by Luke Chesser from Unsplash.

(3) Focus on outcomes rather than process.

You’re talking about results — not effort. You won’t mention working hard or putting in hours. You’ll talk about how you transformed a situation, earned revenue, or solved a problem.

And you probably charge your own clients a flat fee rather than an hourly rate (and prefer to hire resources the same way).

If you’re already talking this way, congratulations!

You’re probably taking charge of your career and maybe considering a business venture. You may be frustrated with others who don’t understand your new focus.

If not — no problem. Your value system may be different. You may be in a different life phase. Or you may be one of those who defy logic and still win
the game.

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