What’s the most you ever earned in an hour? And what’s the least? And do you have an average? I know many of us have day rates these days, but some folks still do charge by the hour. Do you?

Do you know those numbers by heart?

I used to work for £1.50 per hour waiting tables in my local Wimpy restaurant at aged 13, yes it was probably illegal, yes I was underpaid…but boy oh oy did it feel good taking anywhere between £35 and £60 home per week.

The most I’ve ever earned for an hours work was £1,500 for a one hour keynote…but then there was this time I was doing a flash sale on one of my programmes and I made around £6000 in an hour…I remember because I was in Benidorm with some friends celebrating my birthday and my phone started going nuts with notifications.

I don’t really have an hourly rate anymore, as I do mainly group programmes, and when I do 121 work I do tend to offer packages anyway. I guess it would work out at about £150 per hour for coaching if I had to be pushed.

Now I don’t want this post to turn into some willy wagging competition about who earns the most per hour, per speaking gig, per launch…but I did want you to think about all those hours you are not earning.

The dead time.

All those hours you are,

  • Fart arsing around on social media
  • Going for coffees with people who pick your brain
  • Doing discovery calls where nobody really discovers anything
  • Spending days on Canva, Final Cut Pro or WordPress…or any other bit of tech that takes you down some kind of time vortex
  • Sorting through emails
  • Responding to bullshit enquiries unrelated to your work
  • Watching pointless and boring webinars

And I am sure you can add a whole heap of other things to this list, things which you literally did not go into business to do.

My brother is a plumber (or heating engineer I think he likes to be called these days) He spends 80% of his working day doing plumber type activities.

I would imagine there are some things he has to do that do not involve plumbing, maybe ordering parts, or writing invoices, or meeting with the big boss (I really should ask my brother more about his job)

But it would be a bit weird that if as a trained plumber, he spent less than 10% of his working day doing that work.

Do you know by percentage how much of your day (or week if that’s easier) you spend doing your thing, the thing you went into business to do?

Here’s another example that perhaps isn’t so clear cut.

Maybe you are an expert of some sort. You get paid for your expertise. Maybe as a speaker, or a trainer, a consultant or maybe you package your expertise up into books or online programmes.

You have this expertise because you are passionate about and interested in that topic. You want people to better understand it, you want to share your knowledge and be paid handsomely for it.

I ask the same question?

How much of your day, or your week do you spend actually in your field. Or is the majority of your working week tied up wth email management, client acquisition, networking, fart arsing about on social media, checking in with your competitors?

Imagine spending even 3 hours a week doing more of the stuff that matters?

Some might argue that you can’t have a successful business as an expert without doing all of that stuff, and to some extent, I agree.

My point is sometimes these distractions don’t make the biggest difference in our business and sadly become the thing that we prioritise over and above the stuff that does…and often we do this by complete accident.

We do this because we take our eye off the ball.

Sometimes the things that would take us closer to our BIG strategic goal becomes the stuff (I really should stop using that word) that week after week after week gets dropped from our to-do list, because we are so busy, tired and overwhelmed with everything else.

So now when you look at the hour you have before the kids need to be picked up from school, or that afternoon next Wednesday that you thought about meeting a “maybe client” halfway across town, or that proposal that took you all day rather than an hour…you might consider what could be achieved if your focus was on the right thing, done in a slightly better way.

One thing I know for sure is…

As business owners, we choose self-employment over being in a more traditional work environment because we want freedom, we want more choice, more opportunities, less work.

So let’s choose to see the time we have as the most valuable asset we have and use it wisely.

We don’t have a boss clocking us in and out, we don’t have a supervisor checking our productivity and output, we don’t have a HR team checking in on our health and wellbeing (hours worked, working conditions, culture etc)

We may be our own boss, we don’t have to do this stuff by ourselves.

Starting on the 1st March I am starting a brand new thing called The Do More Bits Club, it is an experiment to see if by using my productivity hacks I can help 50 small business owners to increase their output.

This is not a course.

I will be teaching 4 key principles and facilitating a process that focusses your mind back onto what is important in your business.

There is accountability, and support…but also there is implementation. Every week there will be 3 hours (which we all block out) that you spend 100% on the important stuff…the stuff that could transform your business and your life.

And it costs just £47 in this beta round.

Find out more here

Julie Creffield is a transformational business and life coach with more than 20 years experience as a trainer and consultant. Despite being a single parent she is CEO of two coaching businesses, runs marathons, trains for Triathlons, is the author of 8 books, and is an award-winning blogger.

Described by her clients as the No Bullshit Business Coach, last year Julie helped 250+ small business owners to take more action with her no nonsense strategies and support

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