Would you say you value your time as an entrepreneur? The truth is, a lot of small business owners don’t. Sure we might say we do, but our time management, income, and hours worked each week say otherwise. Could this be you?
If it is you, you’re not alone. I’m speaking from experience. From overcommitting to clients, undercharging, and completely burning myself out as a business owner, I have learned first hand the importance of valuing my time as an entrepreneur. You can start looking at the ways you’re doing this by looking at your work load to personal time ratio, workload to income ratio, and overall happiness level.
What does your work to personal time ratio look like?
Have you taken a genuine day off in the last week? I mean a whole ass day. Where you didn’t guilt trip yourself for binge watching a show, reading a book just for fun, or spending time with friends. This is a part of the personal time ration I’m talking about.
I’ve been so guilty of taking on too many clients at a time. I wasn’t charging what I should, so I had to take on more clients than I could handle, making their projects a priority over my personal life. Everything was an “emergency” project in my head, and I was giving out unrealistic timelines because I didn’t want to disappoint them. When in reality I should have been estimating 2-4 months for projects, and only take on clients that genuinely valued me as a person. Having a realistic timeline for projects meant I wasn’t prioritizing my work over my personal life. It meant I would be estimating a few days each week to myself and my family and/or friends.
By overestimating the time a project would take me with a client, it meant I wouldn’t have to feel guilty for select days needing to be rest days. Because hello mental health. I had to quite literally burn out in business and be forced into a long hiatus in order to actually realize that I wasn’t a machine, that me having a personal life mattered too. Which leads us to work to income ratios.
What is your workload to income ratio?
If you feel like you’re constantly working but feel like you have no income to show for it, then there’s likely an issue with your workload to income ratio. Are you actually charging what you’re worth? Are you being realistic about how much time this project is going to take you? How many clients you can realistically take on each month? If you’ve attended even one business course you’ve likely seen the calculators. The reverse engineering of what you need to charge each client in order to receive the income you’re desiring.
I wasn’t doing that. I was living in a scarcity mindset and taking on projects with clients that didn’t trust my expertise. There was no work life balance, just work and stress when not working.
What does your happiness level look like?
Are you fulfilled? Do you feel grateful and excited more days than not? If not, there’s likely a mixed ratio like mentioned above. Whether you’re not making the money you want to live the lifestyle you’re wanting to live, or you are but you’re overworked. This is why genuinely sitting down and finding that balanced ratio is so important. It’s the importance of valuing your time as an entrepreneur. Just because you’re a business owner doesn’t mean you should be completely drained. The whole point of many of us becoming small business owners is to pursue our dreams. We get to make the hours we want, charge what we want, and work with who we want. The downside is that many of us are forgetting who we are and the value we have to provide to our clients (or consumers).
Remember that you aren’t simply charging based off the time it takes you to accomplish something. Your value is in your story. It’s the why for you doing this, the years of experience, and your heart in providing the best experience. So go out there and start valuing yourself! Take the much needed break and stop feeling guilty about it, otherwise your body will force you into a full blow burnout hiatus. Look at the numbers and charge accordingly. Trust that you are deserving of being seen, and receiving the income you want to live the life you want to live.
Because you deserve (and are worthy) to live a good life, despite what your past might have looked like.