Your time is precious

In this updated version of a previous post, Alex Butler  urges you to prioritise your dreams.

I have a cautionary tale for those of you who are reaching for your own stars.  It’s about why it is so important to prioritise time to build your dream.

Once upon a time, you had an idea, one that would change the world in a good way.  In those days, you imagined you could do just about anything as long as you were going to make your mark.  This wasn’t about being a multi-millionaire.  It was about doing something amazing.  Sound familiar?

Many of us assume that we can’t put our dreams and ourselves first until we have dealt with the everyday:  ‘I can’t do that until I have – had kids/got the money/done my corporate time – delete as appropriate.

The guys behind 37 Signals who developed Basecamp say:

Inspiration is perishable.

Meaning that it is like fresh fruit or milk and it has an expiration date.  In their book ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever they say that ‘it’s a magical thing, a productivity multiplier, a motivator.  If it grabs you, grab it right back and put it to work’.  Honestly, if you wait until you’ve got all your stuff done, you’ll find that the opportunity has passed.  I’m as guilty as anyone of doing this.

How many of you are doing at least two jobs while you try and build up the cash reserves to fund your idea?  Trying to split yourself in two and feeling permanently guilty that you aren’t doing either particularly well.

Recently, I came to realize that I’m not helping anyone, least of all myself, by not putting my dream venture at the top of the list.  I’ve given all the usual excuses, that I needed money in the bank and I felt obligation to people.   The fact is that my opportunity nearly passed and I nearly found myself having to revert to the corporate world.  Eek.

I am certainly not going to make the impact on the world that I wanted to if I don’t put my dream at the top of my list.   Remember Marianne Williamson’s famous quote (often falsely attributed to Nelson Mandela) from which I have extracted:  ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?  …Your playing small does not serve the world.’  Forcefully put.  But she’s right.

So, I thought I’d share a few ideas for an alternative way to get you up and running quickly, without compromising what matters.

1.  Stop thinking in time slots

This is particularly relevant if you are a consultant or freelancer.  It’s easy to see things in time slots that can be bought.  But every time you sell off a time slot, you lose that for yourself.

2.  Become a thought leader

Chances are that if you are obsessing about your idea and you are spending hours researching it, then you are probably an expert in it.  You can capitalize on this.  Start charging speakers’ fees to talk about your subject matter, or think about delivering teaching or training courses.  Start a web business.  The possibilities are endless.

3.  Making money for others will create value for you too.

Remember that other people are in the same boat as you.  You might be able to help them generate revenue faster in return for an introduction fee or commission.  That way you both win.

You will have plenty of other ideas.  Do share them here!

If you want some more stimulation, here are some fabulous books that we found very inspiring:

The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
Get Out While You Can – Escape The Rat Race by George Marshall

ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever by Jason Fried and the Basecamp people 37 Signals.




Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.

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