How do I know when it is time to hire someone else?

In order to achieve scalable growth in a successful company you eventually need to hire more people. But how do you know when is the right time to hire someone or whether or not you actually can afford a new hire. This is a problem that arises in many small to medium sized companies. Sometimes, when we deal with family owned companies they toil with hiring people outside of the family as they have typically developed trust issues. Truth is as a business owner you have to decide what kind of company you want to have. If you really want to grow it then you need to hire experts in the field outside of your immediate network.

There is basically two schools of thought when it comes to hiring timeline. The first school says that you hire someone to grow your company. In this instance you may have a successful company but you want more growth so you want to hire another sales person or a new member to the marketing team. The purpose of this hire is to grow your business. If you add a commission only salesperson then there really is no risk but immense possible return (Remember it is all about payplans). People can grow your company but you have to make sure that you are not stretching yourself too thin.

The second school of thought is that you grow so fast and to a size that you almost cannot handle, you are eating and sleeping work. Because you are so busy you decide to hire someone to take the load off so that you can continue to grow. This one is generally more common among small businesses as you typically know that you can afford to hire someone else, you practically cannot afford not to. The questions sort of becomes “what came first, the chicken or the egg.

Basically, hire someone to help you grow or grow or hire someone because you physically cannot do anymore with the team you have. I would not say that there is a right answer here. I would say that if you are new to hiring people and recruiting people that the later of the two options is best. In the first situation you may not have tons of cash to throw around. You are doing well but hiring someone may be a little tight and you are really counting on the business they bring in to cover their salary. That is why the first one option could be a bit riskier. However, if you are experienced in recruiting or know somebody that would be perfect for the role and are sure they can perform, option one is the easier of the two.

Option 2 allows for significant cashflow coming in above and beyond your fixed costs. This means that you have plenty of cash to throw at a new hire and honestly as long as they do a half descent job it is helping your case. I do not want to get into cashflow management too much as that is a story for a different day.

Take a pen and a piece of paper and figure out where you are at in your business: Are you growing in work and cashflow is a non problem or are you making a descent living growing steadily but a couple thousand to a new hire might be tough? Once you know where you are you can develop a plan to see which option would be best for your situation.

Comfortably Uncomfortable

Listen up everybody, if you want to be in sales people have to like you. People buy from people they like and respect. Typically, a great salesman has the ability to captivate an audience with a story and garner the status “life of the party” wherever they go. This is because a good salesman has become comfortable in uncomfortable situations. They understand that in that brief moment of uncomfort that prosperity will soon come (prosperity does not alway mean money). Being comfortably uncomfortably is a trait that people are drawn to it demonstrates a level of confidence that very few people have. Nobody likes a pushy salesman but everybody loves a good listener with a relatable story.

Sales is one of the most difficult professions to be successful and one of the very few where your performance is tied into your pay on a daily basis. However, according to CNBC sales is one of the top 20 best paying jobs with average mean salary of $140,320 right behind that of a lawyer. One of the reasons it is such a tough profession is because you have to prove yourself and your product. You have about 30 seconds or less at the beginning of a meeting to build a rapport with someone then if that is successful you have about 5 minutes to demonstrate how you can make them more money or you are out.

We do this by making small talk, if it is an in person meeting be sure to comment on something in their office, find common ground. This does not mean that if your buyer likes to hunt in their free time that you have to be the worlds greatest hunter, you just need enough to get the buyer talking. When the buyer is talking you are doing something right… within reason.

For example, if I walk into my buyers office and he has six taxidermies on the wall, I may say something like “Some nice animals you have on the wall there, I myself have a 30/30 in the gun rack at home”. Just find common ground. If you can get the buyer talking about something they are passionate about, they will like you. Everybody is 99% interested in what they have to say and 1% interested in what you have to say. You just have to make sure that you capitalize on the 1% that you get to say, make it worth while. Read Johnny, your 8 year old buyer for more information on the 1%.

If you are unable to meet with the buyer in person and are tasked with a phone meeting, there are a couple avenues that I recommend. The first one is to do as much research as you possibly can. I was recently in a meeting, admittedly that I was unprepared for, luckily my business partner had done his homework. As we got to the ending questions, the dreaded trial close, the buyer began to backtrack and showed signs of hesitation. He expressed that he had recently been furloughed by his biggest contract due to Covid – 19 and wanted to wait to hire us until the contract was active again. My partner quickly was able to reference, based on his research, what he thought would be our buyers biggest contract (based on his website). Once the company named was mentioned the whole demeanor of the ending remarks changed as he respected where we were coming from. We ended up signing the deal. It is all about relationships and trust, the customer has to like you or they will not do business with you. You will be surprised how big a customers wallet opens when they like and trust you.

The second recommendation for an over the phone meeting is to bring up something that affects everybody; sports, weather, holiday, Corona, etc. This allows for instant common ground, not nearly as affective as personal common ground but effective nonetheless. Often times generic small talk can lead to personal common ground if you can ask the right questions.

All of these aspects are important for every meeting that you go into whether in person or over the phone. Just remember that the product is less important than the relationship, find common ground and be likable. If the buyer does not like you then you’re not going to be able to sell them anything. People buy from people they like and remember nobody likes to be sold but everybody likes to buy something.

I called the Vice President but still no decision…?

Sitting at your desk ready to make some calls and land some appointments but not sure who to call, general manager sounds important right? Wrong! If you are not calling the owner or someone with true authority then you are waisting your time and theirs. Sometimes these middle level employees are tasked with finding a product like the one you are selling so it is important to impress everyone you speak to but nonetheless they are still a gatekeeper.

Oh the dreaded gatekeeper, but this one is disguised as a Vice President or General Manager…? Yes, sure you have the traditional gatekeeper that is the receptionist or the Owners assistant but you also have another level of gatekeepers. Sometimes the first set, secretaries, will transfer you to the second layer, Vice President/Manager. 

This second set of gatekeepers can be far worse than the first set as they do have some level of authority. The problem becomes that you do not know what level of authority they have. Often times in a company there are a lot of people that have the authority to tell you no but very few that have the authority to purchase or say yes. Two bad outcomes can occur when transferred to mid level management:

  1. They automatically tell you no 
  2. They graciously have you in for a meeting, many meetings and string you along only to find out they can’t make the decision

Far too often when prospecting, sales personnel get put in the “friend zone”. They go out on sales calls quite often and are very like-able people but because they are visiting prospects so often the middle management actually becomes friends with them. Not to say they are taking advantage of you but ultimately if you don’t have a decision in 3 meetings they are probably not going to buy from you. Send them a birthday card or drop by once a quarter to keep the relationship alive in case something changes but until then don’t waste your time.

A few years ago I was prospecting this decent size account that my boss had worked on a few years prior. He warned me that the owner liked to talk and didn’t like to make decisions but as the cocky salesperson I was I figured it would be different. After about 6 months of driving out there, taking him to lunch, and bending over backwards to get his questions answered he finally agreed and signed the paperwork to offer our products. The only caveat came when I returned to do the install and introduce the new products, processes, and systems none of the employees knew that the decision had been made. It was introduced with much resistance (Because there was no owner buy in) and moving forward the sales team would quote both companies (My products and the competition) and sell whichever was cheaper. Safe to say that my commissions did not equal the time that I put into the account. Some prospects are just not worth it. But I digress.

Now it is tough to find out who the true buyer is because when you are working with a small company the Vice President may call all the shots but when calling on Morgan Stanley, where everyone who owns a suit gets a VP after their name, it becomes a bit more difficult. To find out who if person is a true buyer you have to use your sales reasoning to feel the buyer out as you are conversing and more importantly after a short initial pitch or fact finding meeting be sure to ask if anyone else needs to be involved in the final decision. This question is so valuable and far too many people fail to ask it. Who knows maybe the company has a silent partner that you have never heard of. 

2 years ago I was called in to one of my accounts to do a “recap” on some material that we had gone over the month before. When I get to the account there is a gentleman there that I had never met, seemingly calling the shots (I had this account for 18 months at this time) and began to instruct me to perform a presentation. I stopped dead and said “excuse me sir who exactly are you?”. Well as it turns out he was the owner… nobody told me that the general manager (who I thought was the owner) had been given officer authority and was able to sign the documents. Always ask if there are any other decision makers involved as it is never fun to be blindsided. 

When speaking with company personnel remember that there are many people inside that are able to say no to you but very few that are able to say yes. Do not waste time trying to get to the decision maker through the middle management. If you are confident in your abilities/products then you deserve to speak to the top. Conversely, if you are self conscious regarding your ability then you will think you are not worthy of speaking to the true buyer and next thing you know you are “friend zoned” by middle management, spending a fortune on lunches for commission that is likely never coming. Next time you are about to make a sales call and you are choosing between calling the General Manager and the owner, be confident and call the Owner. 

Pain or Pleasure??

There are primarily two motivating factors in our lives and they are pain and pleasure. I know this may sound a bit risque but it’s true. We will always gravitate to either pain or pleasure depending on the circumstances.

I know you are asking yourself, “where is he going with this??”. Pain and pleasure are the most motivating factors in a persons life. We are motivated by each of them every day. It’s important to understand that both can be shrouded or disguised in a myriad of ways but the bottom line is that pain and pleasure pervade in our lives numerous times each day.

Webster defines motivation as:

The reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way.

I am certain that I don’t have to define pain or pleasure but it’s not what you’re thinking. Being motivated by pleasure is a pretty easy concept to grasp. We are motivated to go to an amusement park because we know it will be a great time. We are motivated to be with our children because of the essence of time and often enjoy the goofiness that a child offers and inspires. We are motivated to pack for the trip you have coming up because we are excited for the new experiences that are soon to come. Pleasure is an excellent motivator and often prevails over pain. Innately, we gravitate towards pleasure as a first instinct and fall back on pain only if absolutely necessary.

With that said, pain is a very strong motivator and is the result of spending too much focus on pleasure. An example of the imbalance of pain and pleasure would be, snoozing the alarm clock until you realize that you have a meeting in 30 minutes and you will undoubtedly be late, now that pain of being late becomes the chief motivator and far outweighs the pleasure of lying in a warm comfortable bed. Another example for the golfers out there, it’s too painful to write that executive summary or blog post because it’s more pleasurable to be on the golf course. Now you are on the 18th hole and you realize that that report is due in the morning, you must now race back to the office and begin typing like a crazy person – motivated by the pain of not getting your project completed in time and suffering the consequences.

Although pleasure is magnetic and powerful it is somewhat ephemeral if not balanced with the thought of the pain. Notice I typed “the thought of pain” and not the actual pain. In a combat situation there is a phrase and it’s Left of Bang. If we consider that there is a time line in front of you and at the center of the timeline we have a large red circle. Let’s call that circle “Bang”, anything to the right of bang is very bad and not a place we want to be. It means that we are now in crisis mode, the threat and danger is now. You are now in a situation where you are implementing damage control and trying to create order from chaos. You can no longer be proactive, you can only be reactive. Let’s face it, nobody wants to be right of bang. Right of bang is pain.

The alternative to being right of bang is obviously left of bang. This is where we all want to live and operate. It is a far more peaceful, manageable place to be that allows for far more fluidity. There is a very important tactic that you must possess while left of bang, you must be aware and watchful. The closer you get to bang the more you must be aware that the balance is off as you can very quickly enter into that unpredictable and chaotic stage of right of bang. When you see that big red circle coming your way, pump the brakes a bit and refocus your attention on those things that will keep you on the left side of that circle.

Have you ever played that game Labyrinth? It is a square box with a maze in the middle and you can control the equilibrium gently moving a small ball towards your desired destination. Well pain and pleasure, left and right of bang, and Labyrinth all follow a similar strategy. Labyrinth is not that difficult and can really be completed by anyone. All they need to do is go slow, pay attention and be watchful of what’s ahead of you.

Being motivated by pain is not where you want to find yourself on a regular basis and that’s why being mindful of what’s ahead of you is important. We can create a balance between pain and pleasure and it’s that balance that creates efficiency and high productivity!

Be sure to be alert and watchful, make sure you are looking for the holes in your maze and take the necessary time to navigate each day being mindful of the pinnacle between pain and pleasure. Thats the big red circle I call bang. Each day we consume ourselves with countless tasks and projects quickly finding ourselves in the big red circle. Watch, listen and slow down. Your days will be much more productive.

The Knowing Doing Dilemma

Everybody needs training. It is not something to be ashamed of or something to shame. That is just how life goes. In fact, you are really hurting your company without implementing formal training (As I have discussed before). A recent study from the Association for Talent Development (ATD) shows that companies that offer comprehensive training programs have 218% higher income per employee. Pretty staggering statistic. So that makes it pretty clear that training is not something that should be looked down upon but rather awarded.

The truth is, it does not matter what you are doing even something as mundane as turning on the TV, someone once showed you how to do that task. Most skills are not inherent, they are learned. Sure, you may find that some people have innate skills that make them better at something but they still have to learn. Michael Phelps, for example, is an excellent swimmer and truth be told he probably has the correct body frame and special abilities that made him the swimmer he is today. With that said, he still would have drowned as a child if nobody ever taught him how to swim. Inherent skills are useless without proper training.

When we get into work related tasks the training becomes far more important, comprehensive, and beneficial (as shown by statistic listed above). After all, the success of the employees affect the success of the company. Training sessions can be long in duration and even lasts months at a time. If you have implemented training processes at your company or you work at a company where there are solid training processes then bravo to both of you. Give yourselves a pat on the back, because this is a critical step to the success of your career and your business. 

Now to get to the crux of the blog post, Is it a knowing or a doing problem. A few years ago I was approached to work with a manager at a medium sized business in Maine. The manager was directly tied to the sales flow and interacted with customers on a daily basis. After reviewing their sales process it seemed that the process and their training was actually pretty solid. I told this to the owner and he assured me that I must be wrong because the sales numbers were drastically lacking. I decided that I wanted a closer look at the manager so I put on my customer hat and role played with the manager. I could not believe how proficient he was with the material and process that he was taught to perform. Some of the best word and thought track performances I had seen. Perhaps a little shaky, definitely not a natural salesmen but nonetheless should be performing well. This illustrated to me that the issue with this business was not the process or the implementation but rather the personnel.

Allow me to elaborate. When I am asked to come into a company and work with their employees I am always looking to answer one question. This one question is not difficult to answer and is actually quite simple. It can usually be evaluated in as little as ten minutes even if I am unaware of the context or subject for which I am implementing the process. The question, “Is it a knowing or a doing problem?”. This critical step in my process was established from that training consultation just a few short years ago. This is why it is so critically important to follow the ABLE mentality, Always Be Learning – Evolve. We will be having a blog post on this in the coming weeks but I think you can garner the general message.

The manager from my story above demonstrates that the he knows the process but ignores it when with customers. This is the crux of every process implementation. When you are looking to implement change be sure to do so in a manner that allows for sufficient training. If the change is encouraged through constant training but your numbers are lacking, you can rule out the knowing problem. If it is not a knowing problem and the employee is resisting the change then it is a doing problem and you likely have a disgruntled employee on your hands, time for an Intimate Negotiation

Basically, to break down the two aspects, a knowing problem simply means that the person does not know how to perform the task. Perhaps they were thrown into the job with insufficient training, or filling the shoes for somebody who quit. This is a good problem as it is a fixable problem. Likely, with a knowing problem you will actually have a happier and more productive employee once they have received the training that they so desperately need.

The alternative to this is the doing problem. This means that the person is aware of how to do the task the way it should be performed but chooses to do it differently. This could occur for a few different reasons; upset with a manager, thinks the process you are implementing is stupid or takes longer, or thinks that their way of doing things is ultimately better. This is not the mindset that you want for an employee, they need to get on your bus. These are the employees that we have to worry about, now they may not be gone altogether but it is time for an uncomfortable conversation. I recently posted a blog post on “The Intimate Negotiation” this is what I call the uncomfortable conversations that need to be had in the workplace. This could be between Employer and Employee or vice versa and even among peers. Take a peak if you feel that it may be time to have one of these uncomfortable discussions.

Bottom line is whether you are an employee or a boss be sure to ask this simple question to see what the status is on the job being done. If you are the employee resisting change, ask yourself why. Typically, people far smarter than any of us came up with the process you are being taught.

Money is not the root of all growth – Right?

We met with a client this morning who has endured many trials and tribulations in their business and have persevered through them all only to find themselves in a situation where they think they need money to grow.

Sound familiar to anyone?

They have led their industry at one time with a superior product and exceptional service. What happened to them is a far too familiar scenario for many companies. They ran out of steam and more importantly ran out of money. They stopped moving and adjusting to the ebb and flow of business and the economy. They allowed their competitors to get an edge on them and the circumstances that followed caused debt and a non-existent pipeline of business. Now they find themselves in a situation where only one company comprises 50% of their business and many of their past customers have moved their loyalty to other vendors. They face an uphill battle but luckily, they are prepared to fight and take direction.

The old adage, “don’t let this happen to you applies”. I once read a great quote from the famous motivational sales trainer Zig Zigglar. He said that at one time his greatest form of exercise was to fill the bathtub, climb in, pull the plug and fight the current. Clearly a ridiculous exercise and certainly one that is grossly ineffective. I would submit that many business owners today are simply fighting the current rather than navigating the rocks.

The current Covid-19 pandemic is a great example of how people either succeed or fail. I have read countless stories about companies that have seen a need and filled that need rather that continue to try and conduct business as usual. Adjusting to the business climate and the economy is something that a company needs to be prepared for but more importantly, be ready to act and change. Keeping your eyes on what’s going on in your industry and even industries that you interact with on a regular basis is crucial for the success of your company.

In the wild the term survival of the fittest is ubiquitous. It is clear and obvious when you look at the natural world around us. Plants and animals adapt to their surroundings or they perish. They find ways to fend off predators or camouflage themselves as to not be seen. The essential and overriding thought is to survive, period. There is no difference in business. In the 1986 movie Heartbreak Ridge, Clint Eastwood as Gunny Highway says, “You’re Marines now. You adapt. You overcome. You improvise.

Let’s take some creative liberty here and rephrase that statement for business owners. “You own a business. You pay attention. You take action. You adjust. You succeed.

Personally speaking, my company started as a sign company and has morphed into a highly successful digital marketing and consulting firm. That didn’t happen surreptitiously or by chance, it happened through a diligent focus on supply and demand and filling that demand. It happened by paying attention to the needs of my customer base and giving them what they needed thereby allowing my company to grow and become malleable, flexible and progressive. Although I can’t stand the word progressive in a political context, I do believe that a progressive company is one that will stand the test of time, succeed and gain strength.

That strength is solely dependent on your ability to be a proactive business owner and by building a strong foundation one block at a time. It means a painstaking placement of the correct block and a block that, if necessary, can be replaced by a different block. Of course I am being metaphorical here and each block could represent a miscellaneous business practice such as a marketing strategy, a key personnel hire, a location change, a new compensation plan or any one of a myriad of steps that need to be taken to adjust and grow.

Change is eminent and the growth of your business is predicated on your ability, as the owner and leader of your company, to be watchful and to adapt. How will you be defined? How will your company grow? Will it remain stagnant?

“You own a business. You pay attention. You take action. You adjust. You succeed!

The Intimate Negotiation

It does not matter what you do for work or what position you hold in the company, there will be a time where you have to have one of these “intimate negotiations.” There are a couple of times when these conversations occur, of course dependent upon your position within the company:

  • Salary negotiation upon hiring (both employee and employer) 
  • Conflict resolution among coworkers 
  • Dealing with a disgruntled employee
  • Dealing with a demanding boss
  • Asking for a raise 

The list could go on for a while but those are the general basics of when a tough discussion would occur during your working years. These conversations are bound to happen so no sense in trying to avoid them. If you have never had one of these conversations, then you probably fall into one of the following categories: underpaid, overworked, running a failing company, being extremely inefficient, or altogether working or running the wrong company. 

Like every good relationship you need solid communication. Without communication, you are not able to achieve win-win negotiations (See post on Negotiating a Win Win). That is all these tough conversations really are, intimate negotiations. I think often times we are comfortable with performing negotiations with our customers or when it comes to purchasing something, such as a car or house, but when it comes to people that we work with every day whether employee or employer, it is more intimate and that is where the innate problem lies. 

There are really two situations for which the intimate negotiation occurs as an employee. The first is with superiors and the second is with peers. As an employee, remember that you are a valuable commodity — you would not be sitting wherever you are sitting if you were not. You were hired because they wanted you there, now it is time to start acting like it. I am not saying to walk into your bosses office and demand a 200% raise because that probably will not work but you most definitely need to stand up for yourself. The only thing that is being hurt as a result of lack of communication is you. Eventually, of course, it will affect your work and the employer might be the one having the conversation. The phrase I like best when approaching these situations goes something like this, “If you want me to be able to perform my job to the best of my abilities I need not be worrying about money. This means that I need X, Y, and Z.” When dealing with a conflict with another employee the conversation does not go all that differently. Explain why the negative relationship is affecting your work and how, if not resolved, you will be forced to take it to a higher power. The easiest thing to remember is just be confident, direct, and calm. 

As an employer, remember that your people are your most valuable asset and you must take care of them. However, often times as an employer we think that all of our employees are altogether happy and often times that is not the case. This is why an open door policy, where you can really connect with your subordinates, is so critically important. This allows employees to be willing to discuss the uncomfortable topics with you. Without them, your organization will suffer and duties will be performed far less efficiently. As an employer, the most important conversation, as it pertains to employees, is when you notice a disgruntled employee . This employee may even be one who has simply checked out — a time card puncher, if you will. I just read an interesting book called The Energy Bus and it talks about how everyone who works for you needs to get on your bus, share your vision. When they are not on your bus you need to figure out why and if they are capable of getting on. If not, then it is time to cut ties. It has become a doing problem not a fixable knowing problem (Post Coming Soon on Knowing Doing Problem). 

Ultimately, the point is you need to have these conversations otherwise, your happiness or business could altogether diminish. Be direct and to the point by using “I” statements and always refer back to the company. Remember, this is ultimately an intimate negotiation. 

My sales department is very good… I think

Sales is not an easy profession. It requires training, diligence, patience and above all accountability. All these requirements culminate in a seasoned professional sales person. A sales department may have a handful of these seasoned professionals and some that are learning and some that are brand new. Many times the missing element to a successful sales department is a process and a structure.

I have been working with many sales departments that basically allow the sales people to do whatever they want and there is no accountability for time and process and laziness is ubiquitous. Eventually the sales person becomes fat dumb and happy meeting the status quo and there is no longer a drive or any ambition. They essentially become clipboard order takers – not good.

A company needs a hungry and ambitious sales force in order to grow and stand with or ahead of the competition. This is done with incentive programs, aggressive commission structures, contests and competitive processes. Do you have a sales board in your sales department? Do you have quotas set for the day, week and month? Are there contests sprinkled in from time to time, are you honest about the overall sales numbers? Is there accountability to the quotas with performance reviews, rewards and even discipline if necessary. Are you constantly monitoring production and sales pitches? Are there training programs in place to help educate your sales people about the product, value statements, features, advantages, benefits? Have you trained and educated your sales people on the products and companies they are selling against?

There are many elements of en effective sales department and creating all these elements into a process and then wrapping that process into an exciting and energetic program can help increase sales, commitment, loyalty and moral.

One Customer

Many years ago I had a client that gave me the best feedback I had ever received and he did so without even knowing it. I was working with a company developing a new strategy for an unexpected surge in business. We worked diligently to expand his message and to make sure that they could accommodate the quick growth in terms of personel and production.

We spent a good amount of time on the phone an in person, one day he asked me how many clients I had. I thought that was a strange and somewhat direct question. I told him that he was one of many and that we had business all throughout the world. He was a bit surprised by my answer and went on to tell me that the reason he asked was that he felt like he was my only client. He was very happy with the time and attention he received from my company and felt like he must only be one of a few not many.

It was an extremely validating conversation and it made me realize that service and relationships create confidence, loyalty and longevity. Make sure your clients/customers are taken care of because as they say, if you don’t someone else will.

It’s imperative that you integrate a time management system that allows you to simply touch base and say hello to your customer base on a regular basis. Make sure they know that you still want to help and are interested in them. A simple “Hey Mike, how are thing going for you” phone call goes a long way!

Wealth Is Discretionary Time

I recently decided to purchase a boat and a slip for easy access all summer long. Now I am sure you have all heard the phrase “better to know somebody with a boat than own one yourself” or “Boat, you know what that stands for, Bust Out Another Thousand”. Despite what everyone said I went forward with it anyways, as I usually do. Unfortunately, these tales have proved to be somewhat true, nothing major but one hundred dollars 10-20 times quickly adds up to thousands invested.

I am telling you this not to brag but to use it as an example for one of life’s greatest dichotomies. Let me outline the issue here using two quick contrasting statements:

  • Having a boat is great but having a boat is expensive.
  • I need time to use my boat but I have to work more hours to afford my boat.

You see, the two statements above perfectly illustrate the dichotomy between time and money. On the one hand the idea of having a boat appears incredible but the reality is that it costs a lot of money to maintain. Furthermore, in concept the next warm day may seem like a great boat day, but in practice you are stuck in the office working.

After reading hundreds of self help, business solution, and influential biography books, I have come to the realization that wealth is in fact discretionary time. If you were to go back to my 15 year old self and tell me that I would give up a half million dollar salary for a 4 day work week, I would have told you that you were crazy.

I talked about goals in a recent blog post and this is truly where it needs to start. When you are beginning with the end in mind, what exactly does the middle look like? Is it really worth earning a million dollars a year even though you have no time to spend it? Or is it better to earn 100k and be able to attend your child’s mid afternoon baseball game or have an 11am tee time?

Those questions are for you to decide and ultimately it is your life but I will urge you to consider the statement “Wealth is Discretionary time”. Better to be able to go to the beach, for free, on a Wednesday afternoon than have to leave your $50k boat docked on its slip all summer because you never had time to use it. 

We can always make more money but time, time is something that is finite. We have what we have, be sure to cherish it.