You might be confused by the title of this chapter. You might be saying: “Hey, I value my time. That’s why I am doing this whole entrepreneurial thing.” What you probably mean, however, is that you value your leisure time, and this chapter is more about valuing the extra time that you have when you’re not doing something that you absolutely have to do, such as going to the doctor or going to work, so that you can have the time you need to be successful. “I just don’t have time,” is the common battle cry among those who never actually make a success of themselves. You have time; you just have to find it.
Jealously Guards Your Time Against Others
Do not let other people monopolize or have any part of your precious success time. If you’re committed to working on your business from 7 AM to 8 AM every single weekday, then don’t agree to run an errand for a friend or take on extra work for a coworker as a favor during this period. You don’t want to be a “yes man.” Your time – at least the time that you’re spending working on your business – is your most precious commodity, and you should jealously guard it against others and not let anyone take you away from spending that time working on your business.
If you’re getting into the entrepreneur business because you don’t like to work hard, you are definitely in the wrong occupation. While there are many entrepreneurs out who have achieved a great deal of success and now have free time that they can spend doing what they want, they either worked very hard to get to that point or are still working hard. In fact, successful people can’t seem to stop working. Even if they’re retired, there is always something that they are doing to achieve goals or to better themselves.
Is your business really your number one priority? Are you willing to make some sacrifices to achieve your goals? The answer to both of these questions needs to be yes because if you don’t make your business your number one priority it will slip further and further down on your ranking list of priorities until you almost never work on it and you need to be willing to make sacrifices to achieve your goals; some of the sacrifices are going to be painful. Just like someone who is going on a diet, you might have to sacrifice the chocolate cake and Rocky Road ice cream of your life in order to achieve success.
Know Your (and Your Product’s) Worth
If you are entering the marketplace with a product or service, don’t do more than a basic, cursory examination of the going prices. Once you know what the going prices are, consider how much you think your services are worth, which also goes for products. Some people start their business off on the wrong foot by lowering their prices drastically in trying to undercut the competition. This is a bad idea for many reasons. First, you’re not going to be able to outprice the biggest retailers out there like Amazon and Walmart. Second, people are more apt to buy something that costs what they think is a fair price than something dirt cheap. Cheap stuff isn’t good, and the good stuff isn’t cheap, as the saying goes.
Have you ever wondered how some people charge what seems like exorbitant prices for the same services that you’re providing? It’s like the story about the fruit merchant who met another fruit merchant on the road. The second merchant asked the first how much he charged for apples, and the man replied that he sold them two-for-a-dollar. The second merchant was aghast and asked him how he could get people to pay two-for-a-dollar for his apples when everyone else was charging two-for-a-quarter. The man replied that he didn’t know what everyone else was charging, he just charged because he thought they were worth it. If you think you’re worth a certain amount, then charge that amount. You’d be surprised how willing people are to pay a competitive price if you’re confident and good at what you do.
Manage Your Time Effectively
If you want to be successful, you’re going to have to start managing your time differently than you have in the past. In the past, you may have flirted with the idea of starting a business but spent most of the time looking around, seeing what other people have done, and watching videos on YouTube – business-related or not. From now on, you have to be more serious. You’re going to have to start devising a schedule and stick to it religiously. Make sure that you set aside enough time during the day to actually make a significant amount of progress with your business. If you have allotted 15 minutes per day to grow your e-commerce website, you’re going to grow at a very, very slow rate.
We live in a distraction-filled society. When you get on the Internet, there are 4 billion things vying for your attention. Someone just posted a political post on Facebook that has you itching to reply; there is a tweet from your favorite celebrity that you really want to read; there’s a video on YouTube that literally everyone is watching. If this is how your Internet experience usually is and you are starting an online company, you’re going to want to take active steps to remove the distractions. What used to be effective as a tool called Freedom, which allowed you to irrevocably and completely block the Internet for a period of time. However, now that we have mobile devices at our disposal and multiple methods for accessing the web, you’re just going to have to exercise some good, old-fashioned self-control, buckle down, and get done what you need to do to make your business successful.
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