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August 14, 2023

The “Time is Money” Trap – Time management for Amazon sellers

Time management for Amazon Sellers

Hey there, it’s Michael from Amazing FBA, and I want to dive into a topic that’s a crucial part of every entrepreneur’s journey: the often misunderstood relationship between time and money. So often, we hear the phrase “time is money,” and it’s true in many ways, but it’s also a concept that can lead us down a tricky path if we’re not careful. Time management for Amazon sellers is difficult because Amazon and our contract manufacturers (suppliers) remove 95% of the manual labour. So what remains is often that fluffy stuff, “knowledge work”.

Let’s break it down.

Time management is so valuable because life is so short

We often hear that time is a finite resource. Our productive years are limited, especially when you consider that retirement might come around 70 in the modern world. But what’s intriguing is that while time holds immense value, it’s more than just money. To truly measure the connection between time and money, the concept of the effective hourly rate comes into play. One thinker I deeply admire in this realm is James Schramko, who’s a fantastic business coach and author of “Work Less, Make More“, a book that aligns perfectly with our ultimate goals. It’s essential to assign a value to our time, but there’s a catch – valuing time solely in monetary terms can sometimes lead us astray.

The employee mentality around time

You see, the reason we often link time and money is that many of us get paid for our time. This equation is evident in manufacturing plants where physical labor directly correlates with pay. For those of us involved in e-commerce, this connection might not be as direct. When we work with contract manufacturers, we usually focus on the cost per unit rather than measuring labor by the hour.

But here’s where the real revelation lies. Paying attention solely to the time-money equation often masks a crucial aspect of productivity: results. The challenge is that measuring time through a financial lens can sometimes hinder our efficiency.

So, what’s the alternative?

Pay by outcome rather than labour

The key lies in paying for outcomes, not just work. As I’ve found, this mindset shift can significantly impact our approach to managing our time. Whether you’re a solopreneur or leading a team, the same principle applies – strive to achieve results. Think about it – when you hire someone for a job, you’re not just paying for their time; you’re paying for what they deliver.

Defining knowledge work cleanly

But how do we apply this principle to areas where outcomes are less tangible, such as marketing or managing teams?

The solution, I’ve realized, involves a structured approach. Before delving into tasks, it’s crucial to set clear objectives and define the expected results. Only then should we evaluate the time and resources required.

Done vs not done – borrowing clarity from the world of manual labour

Here’s a practical example from my own experience. I own a rental property, and when it needed renovations, I made clear decisions about the results I wanted – clean white ceilings, magnolia walls, and precise laminate flooring. By doing this, I not only made the hiring process smoother but also focused on the outcomes I desired.

Applying this concept to my podcast production brought similar benefits. Knowing my target audience and the message I wanted to convey allowed me to gauge the value of my time based on the outcome – a well-crafted podcast episode that resonates with my audience.

Digital labour can still be defined by results

In the world of e-commerce, where much of the work for the Amazon seller especially is digital, we need to honour these lessons.

In my journey as a small business owner,  I’ve come to realize that this shift in mindset is not just about managing time and money differently; it’s about fundamentally altering how we view our work. As someone who’s been both a solopreneur and part of a team, I’ve seen the transformational effect of focusing on outcomes rather than just the ticking clock.

 

Rather than getting caught up in the hours spent, shift the focus to the results achieved. Whether it’s producing goods, managing teams, or handling finances, define your objectives clearly and measure your success by the completion of tasks, not just the time invested.

So, the next time you’re faced with a task, ask yourself: What am I striving to achieve? How can I measure the impact of my efforts? By making this subtle shift in mindset, you’ll find yourself not only managing your time and money more effectively but also crafting a legacy built on meaningful results.

In a world driven by knowledge and intangible contributions, this shift in perspective can be a game-changer. By recognizing that time is more than money and that results hold the key to productivity, we can master the art of time management and make every moment count on our entrepreneurial journey.

Remember – it’s not just about time; it’s about achieving meaningful results.

After all, in the end, what drives most of us is not work for the sake of it. Yes it’s about making money – hopefully making more while working less. But in the end,  it’s about the value you create and the difference you make in the world of business and beyond. Given the finite lives we lead, making a difference matters. And, in our fluffy, digital world, making focussed use of your time is, in my opinion, perhaps the most critical life skill you can master

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Michael Veazey


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