Master Absent Productivity In 4 Steps!
Mastering Absent Productivity Is The Secret Of The Wealthy
One of the secrets of building wealth is “duplicating” yourself as much as possible. This means being able to perform tasks without actually being “there”. Making money in this fashion frees up time and is the main requirement of building true wealth. The ability to have income sources working for you without you needing to be there is crucial. To do this we need to master what I call absent productivity. This is the mindset and the skill of delegating tasks that you would normally do yourself. Instead of you doing the tasks another source does them, whether it is a person, a machine, or a company.
People think that you need to be really rich to start doing this but it’s simple to start on a smaller scale. We’ve all hired people to do certain tasks for us whether it was mechanical work, yard work, or hair work. The reason we did it is because we valued our time more than the money spent or learning the task would take so long that it wouldn’t be feasible in such a short time. This is the attitude you have to start having with work. You want to value your time over the money you spend so that you can invest your time into the largest productivity tasks for yourself or your business. A book that does a great job of talking about how the wealthy manage their productivity vs the middle class and the poor is The Millionaire Fastlane, by M.J Demarco.
1. Don’t Aim for Perfection.
One mistake people make (specifically entrepreneurs) is that they want everything to be perfect. I can be a massive perfectionist myself but as I mentioned before imperfect action is better than perfect non action. You don’t have to perform every task to a perfect level, but you do want it to a satisfactory level. If a person can do your task for you quickly while saving you the time why would you do it yourself? In many cases you are paying yourself below minimum wage to do this.
For instance I needed a banner and a logo for my site and brand. I was doing the artwork myself by hand and I had a deadline but my perfectionism got the better of me. I kept delaying other things to work on the artwork. Eventually I just subcontracted the task out for a very cheap price. I could have done it myself and done a good job but the extensive time I was spending on it (weeks!) was not worth it, even if it was good. I could have had someone else do great work and I could have focused on something that would give me exponential returns like marketing.
2. Minimum Wage or Maximum Time?
If I pay someone $25 and they spend 5 hours on my banner, they are doing me a great service. If I did it myself I’d be effectively working for $5 an hour or so (much less since I take so long trying to make things perfect). This is just a bad use of time, especially when someone else can do it for so much less and is dying for work. For even larger savings you can even outsource to people in other countries who do great work. Many sites offer unlimited revisions and you can view the work history to make sure you getting a great person. When you’re hiring someone remember that you are screening them and should search to find the best person.
3. Remember Time Cost.
In another business I had I used to get paid by meeting the person upon completion of the job. This was fine at first but as I expanded to a larger area it became more troublesome. It would be too much driving and people were often unreliable when it came to money. All too often you would have to waste time chasing them or calling them with the usual excuses. “I’ll send it in the mail” or “I’ll leave it in the mat” got pretty tiresome.
When I implemented an online payment system these problems started to go away. Suddenly I was being paid on time more regularly and it wasn’t taking me so long to get paid. When you have to wait weeks after the payment is due it can be troublesome. It also served as an elimination process for bad clients as it saved me headaches from the “I’ll mail you a check.” crowd. An online payment system costs money and has other requirements but the time it saves is huge. No more having to deposit checks. The money just comes in regularly on a billing schedule and it’s great for both parties. I had an automated system doing something that I was doing myself before. This was great as there was little human interaction or management needed.
One thing I also recommend is that you get a stopwatch to help you keep track of time and to pace yourself through. You’ll be surprised the amount of time you save when you are timing yourself. I’ve done this and it works wonders! I always recommend military watches as they are durable, versatile, and they will last you a long time so you don’t need to keep buying them. Your time is valuable so invest in it.
4. Scale With Growth
As you get larger you might want to consider using entire companies to outsource some aspects of your work. Many companies will expect a commission or flat rate for their services, but if you can get great value from them it isn’t a bad idea. Just be sure to own whatever you produce. Many entrepreneurs get into the trap of “partnering” with businesses where the business owns whatever the entrepreneur creates which causes trouble down the road. You want to be driving your own ship. It’s OK to have someone polish the ship but you don’t want to be hitchhiking in someone else’s ride.
There are many agencies that use lead services that lead work to you for instance and charge a commission. As long as it is “your” customer, this can be a great way to make money. They can effectively be the marketing service for your work and save you considerable time and money. You can also hire other companies to manage other aspects of your business regularly. If you specialize in one job and another company specializes in something that complements your business without competing it would be a great idea to partner up with that business. Don’t focus on saving your money. Instead focus on buying your time. Use technology to make handling your finances quick and easy. I recommend quicken as it is great for managing your money and finances and keeping them up to par.
These are a small list of things you can do to bring yourself more on the path of building true wealth. Simply start small and think of small tasks you can contract out hire out on and go from there. You’ll notice the results add up quickly.
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