Growing Time, Growing Revenue

You know that you can save time. Can you also systematically grow it?

The answer is yes. When you do it will help you grow revenue and people and grins

Meetings Often Don't Add Value

As I write this I am headed to a two day meeting that I didn’t schedule. That is a lot of hours, so I really want to grow more time out of it.

Meetings and projects happen to all of us. That means that there is no end to the demands on your time. Usually those incidents of insistence do not add to your revenue growth. Even so, you will probably accede to many requests because it's prudent even if they don't help you improve growth. As you do you know that you want to grow your revenues more than you want to go to meetings. Even with all of this you can grow your time.

When you look at your upcoming day or week, you'll probably see three kinds of events:

A - Some are events that people ask you to do but really don't move your core values forward. (And yes, there are times when you and I are the people asking for these meetings.)

B - Some are meeting or project requests that are driven by others. Still, you might be able to co-opt some of these to add your core values. My upcoming two days fits into this category.

C - Some are events that are designed for no other purpose than to drive your core values and business forward. These are usually too far between.

Your Core Values

Your business exists for a reason and making a profit is not usually the primary reason. You might be in business to do work that you truly enjoy. Or to deliver an experience that puts a smile on your face. (Think Apple Computers.) Or to serve a need that matters to you (such as health care.) Perhaps it is to feel the thrill of growth and learning. That one describes many of us.

Your values are important and unique. What matters is that you:

- Know your core values and that

- You are willing to use them to say no.

You won’t say no very often, but the knowledge that you might is powerful.

Making a Meeting Important as Well as Urgent

If the next event in your calendar is in the ‘A’ category above consider killing it. Especially if it was your idea

The ‘C’ category is golden if rare. You always make time for these.

The largest real opportunity is in the ‘B’ category. Not only is it likely to be where you invest most of your energy every day. The meetings and projects supply you a place where you can make a difference for your business and your self.

How can you apply this? It starts when something appears on your schedule. Before you automatically accept it, compare it to your core values. Let’s assume that increasing revenue is a core value for you. All too often the meeting won't really support that. However, almost as often you won't want to cancel the meeting. The tendency is to just take it and chalk it up to "stuff we have to do." But that isn’t the only answer.

The meeting is probably going to happen, and you will probably be part of it. If growing your revenue is a core value, before you agree to attend you might ask:

- "How can we use this discussion to increase revenue in the next two quarters?" Or

- “What are the success criteria for this meeting or project?” Then ask the owner of the meeting/project: “Great! How does that relate to growing our revenue in the next fiscal year"

Will you still go to meetings that don't help increase revenue? Almost certainly. However there will be more events and projects adapted to match your core values.

For this upcoming two day meeting, I have reached out and talked to the organizers. We are going to build my values into some (not all) of the meeting. You can ask me on Monday if I am satisfied, but I think that I have set this up so that I will be.

Saving Time and Making Time

Any project may have several purposes. However it isn’t until someone intentionally acts that it will advance a core value.

Let’s assume that you have 20 projects this year. Each of these will help your business. Most of these are pragmatic efforts that help you continue or even grow. They are the right thing for you to do and sponsor

As you set them up, you might be able to make some of them explicitly and visibly act as ways to express your core values. If you act to make 5 more of them core value driven, then at the end of the year you will have generated 25% more time for growth of your values. As you do so you make more time available now and later.

In other words, when you act from core values you can make a project into a time creator, not just a time saver. This is free time that you made by acting. In my case, by asking the right questions, I’ve hopefully made this two day event a time maker for me.

You are author of your own story, you can choose to find a way to upgrade the work to focus on what matters. It means asking: “How can we make this conversation/meeting/event into something that moves our core values forward?”

By asking and answering that question more you will help grow your business as you grow your own time. And you’ll make more grins as well.