by Richard Johnston
Chartered Financial Planner
Regardless of how motivated you may be, there will always be a roadblock that limits your success -and so to progress, it must be removed. The real roadblock for most people is in fact time – but successful business owners understand this and know how to leverage it. Let me explain.
If I need more cash to purchase something, I can spend time earning and saving the cash - or I can borrow and get it immediately. Essentially, all I have done is buy time and, as long as my return exceeds the cost (a positive return on investment, or ROI), I will be more successful.
If I have a profitable enterprise making hand-made widgets, I know that to scale, I must hire staff to make more because my time is limited. By hiring staff, I am essentially leveraging their time.
Think of Elon Musk – whilst he does have an academic background in engineering, and so could have probably built the rockets on his own if time had magically stopped, he does not have that luxury and so has needed to leverage the time of others – those who have spent their own time in the past developing their knowledge/skills. The thing is, when you hire a skilled person, you are not just leveraging their current time, but their previous time.
Steve Jobs said ‘It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so that they can tell us what to do’. That might sound obvious, but many business owners make this very mistake, simply because they cannot trust and delegate – and it is that lack of ability to leverage the time of others which will inevitably impede their success. Even worse, they make the investment (i.e. pay the salary), but fail to pick up the return (the knowledge)!
If the focus is on growing your business, you may find it useful to leverage the knowledge and experience of our business advisory and consulting teams, to reduce tax exposure and streamline processes.
If you are minded to sell your business, you could leverage our experience in preparing it for exit, as well as our contacts, to help maximise the proceeds you receive.
And for the wealth that is not required for your business, we can help you leverage the efforts of others by building a stock market portfolio. We know that stock market prices already factor in a large amount of time – in the form of the knowledge, skills and research of the world’s analysts and computers. And academics have spent many years determining the optimal approach to investing. We leverage this time for our clients by implementing it in our portfolios, removing roadblocks to success for them.
2020 has taught us all to be more agile, embrace technology and be resilient in the face of various challenges and change. It has also reminded us what is important, and that we should all value our time a bit more. Now that we’re into the second month of a new year, and have had an opportunity to reflect, ask yourself if you do indeed value your time, and if you know how to leverage it in 2021 and beyond.
Please get in touch if you have any questions.