When Ben asked me to blog, or more accurately reminded me that I owed him a blog from a past life, I thought it would be easy. I write quite a bit. No problem. But I’m used to writing about tactics, strategy and ideals around fundraising and giving. Not about entrepreneurship, trying to build a company and my experience over the past 4 months. But as I reflected on it, one word kept coming up time and time again: time.
For nonprofits, time is often their most precious resource and I would say the same for entrepreneurs. You can’t get back lost time. So every moment that you have is the most valuable moment your business has. The clients you take on and who you hire are the biggest decisions about how you spend your time and therefore have the biggest influence on the success of your business. So client and staff selection shouldn’t be short changed.
This thinking works it’s way down to your task list as well. How you put the most important projects first, choose high value tasks and plan your workdays are also key as those decisions add up, little by little, over time.
But because you’re a start up and on your own, you don’t always control all your own time. The buck stops with you so you have to do whatever it is that needs to be done. Accounting, invoicing, legal. Getting snacks, renting space and booking meetings. And in this way, your time means nothing at all. Because there are some things that have to get done and you are the only one who really has to do them. So you must, regardless of how valuable or fun or strategic some of the tasks may be.
Time has the most value to your as you start your business but it also has no value at all.
Brady is the Principal at shift - an agency that provides creative, fundraising and strategic services. He is also an adjunct professor at North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management, contributes to Huffington Post and manages his own blog at recharity.ca. You can follow him on Twitter @bradyjosephson.