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Placing a high value on founder's time

Jul 24, 2020 1:13:41 PM

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One of the most common mistakes founders do when they initially start a company is that, they place a very little value on their time.

This is clear from the fact that as a founder we tend to do everything ourselves. It could mean creating your own website, coding your own product or taking marketing and sales in your own hands, including accounting and tax related stuff.

But the biggest problem with this approach is that, this leaves you overstretched and exhausted and most of the time it totally hinders the growth of the company. Another reason why founders tend to do stuff themselves is that they place a very low trust on other people or they don’t believe that someone else could do this job as well as they could.

This is really interesting because we are talking about 2 "lows" here:

  1. Low value on founder's time.
  2. Low trust on other people.

This is a disaster.

In order for the company to grow faster, the founders must change their mindset,  obviously in both of these areas. As a good starting point it is extremely important to value your time highly. In fact you should value your time at least twice the market rate.

The reason I tell this is because if you had been working elsewhere of course you would have earned the market rates, and being a founder you’re not just doing your job but you also need to do other founder duties which are critical to the business and this is something no one else could potentially perform for your company. So the moment you value yourself less and you start indulging yourself in other activities, you’re potentially holding the business.

So the objective of this post is basically to give you a framework to think through, such that you could get out of this trap.

The first step is obviously to value time, let’s say if you are someone who charges $80/hour  for a client, being a founder you should at least value your time at one $160/hour, so that you would have a clear sense of what you should do and what should actually be outsourced.

Let’s talk about the second point, which is really not believing in the fact that someone else could do the job as well as you could. This is an interesting conundrum and this is something that is more difficult to overcome.

So what I would suggest doing here is simply or blindly start to trust people, and then delegating them the tasks that you would otherwise do.

The target is to give the benefit of doubt to your employees or contractors, and then hold on to see if the job is getting done. I bet you will be totally surprised as to how many people you could find in the market, who could actually do the job better than you, there by relieving you of these demanding tasks that actually takes your time away from the essential founder role.

Bottom line: The very reason why you haven’t really found people who could do the job that you’re doing better than you, is because you have never trusted anyone and therefore has never delegated it to someone else. So in the first place you haven’t really created an environment where someone could kick in and kick ass.

So going forward, I would suggest you do two things. First, place a high value on your time and second create a high trust environment where people are trusted with the tasks before they perform.

Trust is an interesting word because you could only do it before someone performs, if it’s after the fact that they have finished the job, it's merely a review. So learn to trust, and that’s the way to go.

Next time you’ll pick up a task, ask yourself the simple question: is this worth my time and can I trust someone else to do this for me.

Nish Sowdri
Written by Nish Sowdri

As the founder and CTO of Restoplus our objective is to make mobile apps affordable for restaurant owners

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