When I started my business, there were several concepts that were difficult for me to understand. One of those was how being stingy with time would lead to more money.
I truly could not see how setting better boundaries and saying no more often would help my bank account. This is probably because, as a culture, we’re conditioned to believe that the more we take on the more productive we are. If we’re more productive, then that leads to more money, right?
Or, maybe we think that we can’t set boundaries because then people won’t like us and won’t pay us. That’s also cultural conditioning that doesn’t really serve us.
Now that I’ve been self-employed for five years, I see how being stingy with time does lead to more money. I’m making more money than ever. I’m also less stressed and overworked than ever. Here is how being stingy with time helps my bank account.
I am perceived as more in-demand.
This is a big lesson I received from a fellow personal finance blogger. They told me how they were leaving money on the table because they were too available. Once they started being stingy with time – meaning they weren’t readily available all the time – they were able to command more money.
Here’s an example from my recent life. I had to tell a client that I could no longer continue doing a specific project for them. That’s because I honestly don’t have the time to be doing projects that don’t meet a certain payment threshold. I’ve got plenty of work as it is.
Granted, this doesn’t mean lie to people and tell them you’re busy when you’re not. The reality is that if we have our priorities straight, then we really don’t have the time to be available at all hours or for all projects.
For example, maybe you set a boundary to clock out every day by 5:30 pm so you can go workout. That’s still time that you are not available because of your priorities.
I am respected.
Being liked could get you paid, but it’s a 50/50 shot. Being respected almost always gets you paid.
I see a lot of business owners struggling with letting people walk all over them. They will put in endless hours on projects where they aren’t getting a fair exchange of monetary value in return. This tells people that they don’t respect themselves, therefore, they shouldn’t be respected.
This is when you leave the door open for crappy clients and people who are difficult to work with. On the other hand, if you respect yourself and people can sense that, they won’t even try you.
My time is perceived as more valuable.
Finally, the reason being stingy with time leads to more money is because your time is perceived as more valuable. Time is already our most valuable resource and it’s limited. Once you really grasp this and start acting accordingly, people will respond in kind by paying you more money.
Being stingy with time is a sign of self-respect. Once you respect your own time, others begin to respect it as well. Often times, this leads to more money in the bank because you are perceived as being more valuable.