Time vs. Money: How Do You Choose which to Spend?

I’m sure our title got your attention. We thought it was a bit witty but the fact is that this is a very real conflict that we often encounter as business owners and entrepreneurs.

Time vs. Money?

Both time and money are valuable to the entrepreneur. I remember once when I actually took an employment job while deciding to run my business “on the side” in an effort to get more money for my business. I thought I could store away a reserve for the business and then I could eventually work the business full time.

But what I didn’t realize is that it was not money I needed as much as time. Someone famous once said, “You can always get more money. But you can never get more time.”

Time and Money for Entrepreneurs

It’s Not About the Clock

We all have exactly the same amount of time every single day, every week, every month, and every year. What we do with it is up to us. We’ll talk about some time management tips near the end of this post but first let’s examine the value of time and money separately as it applies to your business.

The Value of Time

The value of time cannot be overemphasized. As we stated before you can never get more time. Entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs and others were very in touch with this idea. Steve said once that you “already know what you want to be,” and that wasting your time on anything else is a waste of time. This is a true saying and it should serve to remind us that we should make the best use of time every day. The goals that we make as entrepreneurs should be based, in part, on how much time we need to dedicate to various activities that will lead us to accomplish those goals.

The Value of Money

We all know the value of money. It helps us do things. It gives us freedom to spend more of our time the way we want and to fund our businesses. With more money, you can spend more time with your family or go on vacation. You can invest in office equipment or even move into a larger space. There is a lot you can do with more money.

It’s necessary to have a healthy reserve so that you can fund your business. But to really do any good with money, you have to generate enough money to have a surplus so that you will still be able to afford to expand your business. So this means that you need to generate a fairly large amount of money to gain a reserve that you can use to move forward with your business goals.

The only way that money relates directly to time is that the more money you make the more time you have to do other things. But what this all comes down to is your choices. You have to choose how you use your time and as entrepreneurs, I think we would all agree that what we do with our time is the most important thing of all.

Making Decisions for your Business with Time and Money

When it becomes difficult is when you are faced with a choice of whether to spend money or spend time. This often comes into play when you are considering buying a tool for your business but you wonder if you should learn the skill instead.

For example, let’s say you are considering implementing a new app into your business website and you decide to hire a professional design team to do it. Then you see the estimated cost is over $5000 and you decide it might be better to do it yourself.

The problem with this is, unless you are already an expert app creator or developer and understand all of the nuances of app development, you will end up spending quite a bit of time in the “learning curve” of learning how to create an app for your business.

Is it Worth the Money or Time?

With that in mind, you are literally faced with the time vs. money argument. In these cases, you need to evaluate whether the time you’ll need to spend to figure out how to produce a good app that you can use for your business is going to be worth the time you could have to work on something else. If you decide it is not, then you’ll have to spend the money to hire a professional design team.

If you hire professionals to do it, you will be out some money but you will still have your time. These are the types of decisions you have to make and this is a basic responsibility of the entrepreneur. These decisions are highly important as to the future of your business.

What do famous entrepreneur experts do about the battle of time vs. money?

Entrepreneur Magazine points out that we don’t live in “real time.” We create what we do with time and we should not allow it to control us. We should take control of time instead.

This is easier said than done. They point out that there are basically three ways to spend time:

  • Thoughts
  • Conversations
  • Actions

It’s a good idea to ponder about this for awhile and to think about how you are using your time. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about what you are going to do? Do you have several business plans or do you find yourself going back and changing this every week or month?

How much time do you spend in action toward your goals? Brian Tracy says that you should spend at least 62% of our week on positive actions and productivity that is moving us toward our goals. A plan is just a plan until it is put into action.

Conversations Related to Business Goals

Conversations are good to have and they are necessary to nurture business relationships but you should not spend the majority of your time in conversations when there is work to be completed.

Every entrepreneur should think about their goals, create a game plan, and figure out how to implement it. But we should all be conscious of the amount of time we are spending on each area and see which one should be increased to meet our goals.

Keep Your Goals in Mind

Remember your “why” as to why you went into business to start with. Keep this reason in an obvious place where you can easily view it and be reminded of your purpose as you go through your day.

Defer the decision.

When it comes to choosing between time and money, one solution is not to choose. In other words, you can defer a decision that makes you have to decide whether to spend money or to spend time until you are ready to make that decision. Whether you should invest time or money in something should be determined by how close either choice will get you to your goal.

Remember, your time is yours. If you manage it well, the money will come easily.