Time is money. Or is it?
Time is NOT money. Is it not?
So I’m having a little argument.
An argument with myself.
Maybe argument is too harsh… it’s more like an inner dialogue.
And it goes a little something like this.
Time Is Money
As a consultant it is the norm to quote an hourly billable rate to potential customers when they ask… so since the quote is based on an hour and what I would receive in exchange for an hour of my time is money, it follows that Time Is Money.
But then my customer advocate screams… not so fast there!
Time Is NOT Money
My inner customer advocate wants to do what is right. Wants to create win-win scenarios for both my business AND my customer. So she says… Time is NOT money! She says, you’re focused on the wrong thing… Kill The Timesheet. Seriously. Focus on what your customer wants most from you. They want your expertise, they want value, they want solutions… not time. So Time is not money?
Value & Solutions NOT Time
The quote from Benjamin Franklin, “Time is Money” is one of the most misconstrued quotes ever (in my humble opinion). The full quote is actually “Remember that time is money”… and he is really talking about being productive and not wasting your time and energy. That when you use your time and energy to your fullest potential, minimizing expenses… you will be rich. And being “rich” isn’t always about just money.
I would think that Mr. Franklin would chuckle at our obsession with time and money. Being an avid reader, writer and innovative inventor, I think he would agree with me when I say that it is not time that is money, in the sense and context that it is used today, but it is value given and solutions offered that are money. They are what presents valuable exchanges between service providers and customers…not arbitrary units of time.
It’s not the time itself that is valuable, it’s what you do with that unit of time that is of value to your customer… it is what you do that is worth the exchange of money to your customer.
So… why do we say that time is money? I would argue with you (and myself), that Time Is NOT Money.
What do you think? Do you think time is money? Do you use it as the predominate unit of measuring the value and solutions you have to offer your customers?
Have a question? Leave your question and/or comments in the comments section.
I’d love to hear from you.
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Very interesting post Joyce – I have decided that time is not money and like you mentioned here it’s the value given in any given time block that is money…Quick story – A few months ago I had a consult with a Coach (a money coach) and after I asked her a few questions and understood her needs I put together a support package for her and quoted her a price. She than came back to tell me that I should give her different prices (hourly) for the different levels of administrative support I’d be working on (ex. a price for calendar management (less) and a different price for shopping cart management (more) ) so I told her (what I had been telling her from the beginning of the conversation) that she is not paying me for any one specific task or any one specific hour – I provided a support package and I charge for the value and expertise that I will be bringing to your business. Long story short we weren’t a good match but as I read this blog post this is the story that popped in my mind because people tend to associate actual time to money as opposed to the value (giving you time and space to bring in new clients which in turn grows your business and makes you more money!).
Well done Joyce, love this; “It’s not the time itself that is valuable, it’s what you do with that unit of time that is of value to your customer… it is what you do that is worth the exchange of money to your customer.”
It’s not the time itself that is valuable, it’s what you do with that unit of time that is of value to your customer…” that says it all!
How interesting, Joyce. Thanks for making me re-think this one! I love deep-thinkers.
I love this post Joyce! Seriously. All I can say is that you’ve given me something to think about. Love it.
I still feel time is money. Time is much more valuable than money because you can use
your time to make money, but you can’t use money to purchase more time. Thanks for the interesting post.
If all a business owner or salesperson see’s is a ‘prospect’ or ‘billable hour’ then they’re going to build very few lasting and valuable relationships with clients. It leads to cynicism and mistrust and ultimately kills and trust a client has with the business. It’s the quality of the time rather than the quantity!
Great post – really thought provoking!
I agree with you Joyce. I’ve had this thought before. Time is LIKE money in the sense that it can be used to further value. Time is valuable & we can increase that value depending on HOW we USE it LIKE an investment. You are correct in that money represents value, especially your worth in relationship to the world/market around you. I guess that is why we even differentiate time having something called QUALITY TIME. What should constitute “time well spent”? This is another example of cliches misunderstood causing the human brain much trouble. I appreciate your fresh perspective. Business & money must be kept in a higher perspective. It is truly about one person sharing something valuable with another person.
Well I am having the same argument with my self too for some time now but I came to the conclusion that TIME really is money, actually worth more than money.
Let’s say I am spending 2 hours a day (or more than that) checking and replying to emails instead of doing other MORE important stuff like marketing or building relationship with my clients then I am not using my time wisely and therefore I may be losing a lot of money.
But if I hire someone to do the email stuff for me while I do the MORE important stuff then I am saving time and a lot of money as well. 🙂