A friend of mine was recently complaining about the price of lawn mowers in his neighborhood. He said (emphasis mine),
“Thinking I really should hire a lawn care service this year to do my lawn.
It takes me about 45 minutes every Saturday just to mow, plus buying gas, sweeping the driveway, showering afterwards… Probably at least 2 hours a week, and it interrupts my biggest block of time that I can devote to my business.
But… It’s $52 a week, and $1,550 for the summer. Ouch.”
Ouch, indeed! $1,550 for one summer worth of lawn work is rather expensive!
But I know a secret to making this work for him, and for you. Whether you’re talking about hiring a lawn mower, getting someone else to edit that podcast you started, or having a designer work on your personal / small business website design,this trick will work for you.
Alright, you ready for the secret trick? Ok… here it is:
Value and respect your free time!
That’s it! That’s all you have to do! I promise. There’s no other secret or magical mysterious thing you need.
Seriously. Do the math. Let’s say you make $50,000/yr (US). That’s roughly $25/hr (close enough… somewhere around there). At $25/hr, you will need to work just over 2 hours a week to make the $ for the lawn mower that my friend mentioned. But we all know that you’re charging more than this for your work, already, right?
But that’s a calculation of work time… and we’re talking about free time here. Your free time is so much more valuable than work time. At a minimum, your free time is 5 to 10 times more valuable than work time. Why? Because it’s your free time. It’s the time you should be spending with your friends, family and other people you want to be around, or projects you want to work on.
So let’s do that math again… except don’t look at the time to earn that money. Look at the opportunity cost. At $150/hr (6x the work rate of $25/hr), you would need to do your lawn in 20 minutes to be cheaper than the lawn mower company. It is not possible for you to do the work that efficiently. I bet the lawn mower company does it that fast, though (I know from experience with my lawn mower company).
Yeah, I know. Not everyone has a lawn – but that’s missing the point. The point is, your time is valuable. Learn to let go of the things that someone else can do faster and better. So, take that 2 to 3 hours of time that you would have spent on the lawn and go play with your kids, take your significant other out to dinner, and be a happier person.