Your 2017

MidasMoments: Rob Slee’s Comments on the Nation

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Your highest return on hours invested should occur at the end of each year. Over the next few weeks you should be planning your 2017. Today’s Moment discusses this important topic.

Your Hourly Rate

I’m still amazed that most (90%+) individuals who own their time don’t use an hourly hurdle rate to decide whether an activity adds personal or business value. I think they should, so much so that I’ve written a book to explain how to go about it.

Here are the two key thoughts of my latest book – Time Really Is Money (www.timereallyismoney.com):

– The market values every business activity, and each activity can be priced by the hour.
– It follows that everyone chooses their level of wealth based on how they spend their time.

It turns out that most business owners spend almost all of their time on less than $50 per hour activities. Of course this means that they will not create business value. You can do better.

First, what is your current hourly rate? Second, how can you double that rate in 2017? I’ve found that almost everyone can double the value they bring if they just focus their time on high value-added activities.

After reading TRIM, you should be able to double your hourly rate.

Pick an Unwinnable Fight

Let 2017 be the year you pick an unwinnable fight. I’m not suggesting that you spend all of your time on this endeavor. But plan on investing a solid 250 hours choosing, and then fighting the battle. Remember: the rules of this fight are different than normal.

First, assume that it will take at least 5-10 iterations before a value proposition to the market is compelling enough. If it takes fewer iterations, you probably haven’t built a sustainable niche. Yes, you read it right. I’m encouraging all of you to use a model that guarantees failure. The key is to fail quickly, quietly, and inexpensively.

But we are not psychologically prepared for failure. The only way we will be able to adapt is to ignore that primal part of our brain that says change is bad and use our frontal lobes to rationally observe and choose a path forward. Here’s the proof: when mentoring, even our most seasoned mentors wanted to give-up after the third iterative failure. It’s just human nature.

You deserve to lose if you give-up fighting your unwinnable fight.

My Aha! Moment

Over the past 10 years I have picked numerous unwinnable fights. They all had two things in common. First, the projects intended to create/change industries. Second, politics trumped economics in each of these $50k per hour battles.

And here’s the Aha! moment: get the politics straight by enticing someone in the Matrix to cover you on that front. I call this doing a pinky-shake with the Matrix. Remember, the Matrix is not a monolithic whole; rather, it is comprised of various players with differing agendas. Power/money are always at the top of their list, so show your Matrix partner how they can get more of each by partnering with you.

Spend Time Giving Back

Anywhere you look you’ll find people worse off than you. Spend 50-100 hours in 2017 helping others.

I spend at least a third of my time in this effort each year. There’s nothing in it for me economically, but the world is a far better place if we all give back.

This is my last Moment for a month or so. This year has been one long unwinnable fight for me. I’m reminded of what I used to tell my construction crew members after a particularly long and productive day of building roads: “Fellas, we didn’t get much done today, but tomorrow we’ll give it all we have.”

I hope you all have a great Holiday season, and give it all you have in 2017.
– Rob 

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