Ep. #1161 - Secrets to Buying Back Time
In today’s episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey and Jacob Mead, CEO & Founder of Jacob K. Mead, discuss the secrets to buying back time as a business owner. The duo shares their thoughts on understanding your value, learning to say no, opportunity cost, and why it is crucial for founders to learn how to step away from their businesses.
Covered In This Episode
Time is a resource many startup founders can’t seem to get enough of but also fail to maximize. Jacob K. Mead can help you get your time back.
Listen to Matt and Jacob talk about the secrets of buying back time. They discuss the value of time, opportunity costs, and using time productively. They agree that most founders fear stepping back and saying no, emphasizing the need for strong leadership. The duo brainstorms ways to create more efficiency using a time-conscious approach, like automation.
Are you ready to claw back your precious time? Join the conversation in this Startup Hustle episode now.
- Jacob’s backstory (1:18)
- Jacob’s BuyTime Podcast (3:23)
- Understand your value when buying back time (4:01)
- Opportunity cost (6:20)
- Overcoming the fear of saying “no” (8:00)
- Use your time productively, not kill it (14:25)
- The value of strong leadership and delegating (17:06)
- Utilize systems automation (21:01)
- Learn how to step away (29:22)
- Ways to create more efficiency and a time-conscious approach to work according to ChatGPT (33:48)
- Know where you want your time to be (39:27)
- The realist’s guide to a successful life (42:38)
[The] definition of opportunity costs is the value of whatever you choose not to do…anytime you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else. So, you know, where is that now? If I had come off of two straight weeks of being with my kids 8 hours a day, or 12 hours a day, or 24 hours a day, I might be dying to go to the networking event. But with that, there might be a better balance there. So that’s what you there’s not necessarily a right answer to that. That’s just kind of a gut feel kind of thing. But in the business sense, definitely undervaluing your time is a big deal.– Matt DeCoursey
I hate the saying, oh, I’m just trying to kill time. It’s like, why would you kill the most valuable asset there is? Like, you don’t want to kill time. You want to use it productively, and it’s 100% use your time productively…You can do a lot in two hours. If you really put your mind to it. You get down to business….You’re instantly always using your time and prioritizing.– Jacob Mead
The stepping away process is so important. I think there are some business owners out there that are so scared to step away, even for a day, even for two days….And that’s so hard to get to that point because it’s a mental barrier that you have to break…And the way you do it is to start with a day, take a day, and step away from your business. Shut off your phone and see what happens….your business won’t burn down. It’ll still be there.– Jacob Mead
Your goal as an entrepreneur should be to build something bigger than yourself. As you mentioned, if everything depends on you, that’s not well, that’s not scalable, it’s also going to drive you crazy. And you’re not really, you kind of created the job for yourself, not necessarily a business– Matt DeCoursey
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 00:00
And we’re back. Back for another episode Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey here to have another conversation I’m hoping helps your business grow. If you want your business to grow, you’re gonna have to learn how to manage your time. Now one thing that I can tell you is you’re gonna get 24 hours in a day, every single day that gets shorter doesn’t get longer, you need to determine how to buy your time back, or use it effectively. That’s what we’re going to talk about in today’s episode of Startup Hustle, which is powered by FullScale.io. Hiring software developers is difficult and Full Scale can help you build a software team quickly and affordably and has the platform to help you manage that team. Go to FullScale.io. To learn more, there’s a link for that in the show notes. That’s my business if you weren’t already aware. And we love talking to Startup Hustle listeners. So click away. And let’s talk about it. Joining me today is Jacob K. Meade and he is the CEO and founder of Jacob K. Mead, which is a professional coaching organization. There’s a link for that in the show notes. Straight out of Ankeny, Iowa, Jacob, welcome Startup Hustle.
Jacob Mead 01:06
Thank you so much. I’m super excited to be here.
Matt DeCoursey 01:09
Yeah, I love this topic. We’re gonna get into some good stuff. So stay tuned, folks. But on the way to getting that started Jacob let’s get a little bit about your backstory.
Jacob Mead 01:17
Yeah, so I actually grew up in Burlington, Iowa, which southeast Iowa and I moved up to Des Moines actually worked for a company up there RadioShack at the time, and they actually went bankrupt. But during the course and journey of working for RadioShack, I learned so much in sales and so much about technology that actually took a job with Sprint, when Sprint was a carrier. And learned a lot with Sprint and even learn more on how to effectively manage and effectively use my time and I started my own business open that up. And I grew it substantially quick and 36 months I was able to go from $0 in revenue to a million dollars in revenue. And after that things just kept going forward. And now I’m in the aspect of really teaching people how to buy back their time because that’s something I wish I would have learned at an earlier stage in my business, it’s so important because I think that’s what really helps get your growth. And so now that I missed that opportunity in my business, I want be able to share how to get that with other people.
Matt DeCoursey 02:18
So many people give the excuse, I don’t have time, most of the time they do. In fact, is what I found. Now, what do I know about this subject? Well, I wrote a book on it more or less. My first book, Balance Me: A Realist’s Guide to a Successful Life, is essentially about understanding the value of whatever it is that you’re doing and how to determine what’s valuable. And I think if you want to accomplish stuff, like you talking about buying your time back, that in order to buy it back, that means you got to stop doing certain things. That’s the price that it comes in. And you know, my premise in that book was was legitimately, like, whatever moves you towards your goals, whether they be personal, professional, or physical. And if some actions may even move you towards multiple goals, those are the most valuable. It’s about getting rid of the low value stuff to like playing video games. Unless you are a professional gamer. You’re burning your you need to buy that time back. So with when it comes to your overall thesis on this. And by the way. All right, I believe you have a podcast coming out tomorrow about this new launch, right? So
Jacob Mead 03:23
I have a podcast coming out. It’s called the BuyTime Podcast, it launches tomorrow. And it really dives deep into every aspect of buying back your time and how to get to that point where you have that freedom of time and you feel like you actually have more time to be able to spend where you want to whether that be with friends, family loved ones or working on business ventures. Yeah, get more of that.
Matt DeCoursey 03:27
Yeah, and what’s the end? So like, what with your take on this? And I’ve had this conversation with quite a few different people and people have a different idea about some of it kind of comes back to the same principles. I’m interested to hear what your main thesis is, with buying your time back.
Jacob Mead 04:01
Yeah, so I work with a five-step process in the buying time. And one of the things you know, we talked a little bit about understanding your value. And it’s funny, you mentioned that because I just shot a video a couple days ago on how to understand your value in business. And that’s one of the steps I tried to help some of my businesses with this because a lot of times they don’t understand necessarily their value, and they’re spending so much time doing something. But when I asked them, Hey, what’s your value in that? They have no idea. They can’t tell me. It’s a blank stare. It’s a deer in the headlight look and so my I teach them okay, well, I understand your value in a concern as simple as taking a product or service and charging the most for it compared to all of your other competitors and seeing if people still purchase it. And if you find that people still purchase that product or service, then you have some sort of value that you’re providing than anybody else. And the reason why we want to figure this out first is because in order to even start buying back your time, you need to have your sales process in place and this is one great step to understand okay, what kind of value am I providing? And what kind of am I providing my customers? And what kind of services? Do I provide that offer that amount of value?
Matt DeCoursey 05:06
That time principle and undervaluing it is real. I mean, so many people undervalue the value, they underpriced their own time, and those actions end up take taking up the time that you could be using for more valuable stuff. And I think you’re right, charge more, see what happen.
Jacob Mead 05:26
And that’s what I get. A lot of people that are, you know, will say, Well, I’ve called around for someone to fix this little hole in my drywall, and none of the big companies want to do it, or they’re gonna charge me $800 just to fix a tiny hole. And the reason why those bigger companies are going to charge $800 to fix a little tiny hole in a drywall is one they understand their value, they know that they can do another job that’s going to give them $3,600 versus that $800. And so they’re gonna have to pull someone from that $3,600 job to do an $800 job. So they know their value, they understand that value is time, and vice versa. And so, because they understand that is the reason why they’re going to charge more. And I try to explain this a lot of the businesses and once they grasp that concept, and they open up their eyes, and like, wow, someone still bought my product, and I charge more for it than any of my other competitors. And then I asked them, Why, why did they buy it more, and then they start, they open up, they’re like, Well, I provided this, this, this, and then they really start to explain their value.
Matt DeCoursey 06:20
Yeah, and so many service providers or businesses, or just people in general, you’re talking about the value. Now you’re talking about in a business sense. You know, there’s this term opportunity costs, and I think that people often pretend to understand what that is. But the definition of opportunity costs is the value of whatever you chose not to do. And there isn’t like a true fiscal or, you know, ROI or KPI or any of that on what opportunity cost is because a lot of times, okay, I’ll give you an example. If I choose to go to an evening networking event, and I want to go find more business, I’m going to experience personal opportunity cost because I will forego doing whatever I might have done with my children. And you can’t put it you can’t put like a price tag on that. So it’s a matter of like finding that balance and what you want to do. But remember, anytime you say yes to one thing, you’re saying no to something else. So you know, where is that now, if I had come off of two straight weeks of being with my kids eight hours a day, or 12 hours a day, or 24 hours a day, I might be dying to go to the networking event. But with that there might be a better balance there. So that’s what you there’s not necessarily a right answer to that. That’s just kind of a gut feel kind of thing. But in the business sense. Definitely undervaluing your time is a big deal.
Jacob Mead 07:43
Oh, it is. And it’s sometimes hard to, I have a lot of sales experience. And so for me, it’s sometimes hard to look at something as as if I’m actually getting value from it if it’s not monetary right away. And that’s been a struggle for me to actually overcome. And so yeah, I 100% agree with you there.
Matt DeCoursey 08:00
Yeah, so I have a little hack with that because I’ve taught a couple people this principle when it comes to getting a higher value your time because I think that business owners and just people in general, they’re worried they’re gonna miss out. They’re like, Hey, I, you mentioned the $800 contract. Well, if you’re busy doing that, you might miss the $3,600 money. Right. So if you’re uncomfortable with saying no, or you don’t feel confident, you just have to edge it up along the way, like, you know, for give me an example. So you’re a public speaker, and you’re out there booking $200 speaking gigs, which is pretty shitty in the world of public speaking. But you’re not confident and doing it more, you go ahead, booked the next one for 200, but refuse to book the next one for less than 300 400 506. Or until you get your way up there. You’ll develop the confidence along the way. I’m a sales guy too. And sometimes people that aren’t great at sales are also the same people that are under selling or shit. So yeah, there’s there’s something, something to be said there.
Jacob Mead 09:01
And I love that, you know, start small and then once you start seeing your value start going away, you need to add more to it. Just as you are climbing the ladder and like a corporate world, you’re going to climb the ladder in your personal life and your business too.
Matt DeCoursey 09:13
I found a lot of people that I talked to in life suck at saying no. Like, I mean, I talked to people all the time. And they’re like, I’m like, so one of the questions I’ll ask a lot is what’s the biggest problem you need to solve? And people will say they’ll say something like, oh, I don’t know, I just got so much stuff going on. I don’t really know what to do. And I’m like, well, is it valuable stuff? Or is it just stuff and it usually comes down to that person? Not being able to say no. Oh, 100 it works. I’m the master of no at this point. And it works and it’s a good thing and
Jacob Mead 09:51
I’ve been there. I didn’t want to say no because I would feel bad I’d be like if I tell them no, they’re gonna think poorly of me. And now I say no a lot like nope No, no, if I don’t see a value in it or how it’s going to actually help benefit me or help benefit that person, I’m like, no, no, I’m not good at doing this.
Matt DeCoursey 10:08
Yeah. And the people I know that say yes to everything and have done that for 10 years are usually the unhealthiest, unhappiest people I know, along the line. So you know, overwhelming. Yeah, well, it is. And then I mean, you just got you know, the thing is, that it only takes an hour, does it because it’s occupying your thought process. It’s occupying, you have to drive there. You gotta go there. Like if there’s follow up or anything like that. Now, you know, I mean, it’s things always take longer, and are more involved, I noticed with a lot of things that I was saying yes to in the past. And you’re like, oh, but it’s only a one hour thing. Yeah. But it’s sitting in my head. And I’m thinking about it. So you got to, I think part of buying your time back, is that it’s what’s kind of, I have described my own thought process in the past as sounding like a blender full of bottle caps. You know, it’s just like, Ah, you have to quiet that down. If you want to get into doing genius stuff, and how genius output, you got to get rid of that mental clutter and it’s real.
Jacob Mead 11:15
It’s real. And I’ve been there, and I still get there every now and then you got to figure out what you’re going to declutter.
Matt DeCoursey 11:22
Yeah, so Alright, so we’re buying, we’re buying our time back. Yeah, I’m gonna take a turn here and say, if you if you have enough discipline, to do this, get just get it simple piece of paper and write down what you do in a day, preferably more than one, you know, just like, here’s your notebook paper that your kid has for second grade, steal a piece of it. And over in that left column, right 8am 8:30, 9 and write down the things like I walked through this in my book. And I used to have an app for this, I shut it down, because it was something I was saying yes to that wasn’t giving me the returns I needed. But, but with that, you go through and you look at all the stuff and you can, you could be as simple as thinking green, yellow, or red, right? And the green things are going to be the things that move you towards whatever it is you want life, personal, professional, or physical, whatever that is, and go and look at all the time that you’re wasting. And, you know, if you’re one of those people, I don’t have enough time. You might, you really might. And you know, what can you delegate, what can you offload, but the most efficient thing at all, when it comes to buying your time back, it’s just to quit doing certain things. The most, the thing that creates the most efficiency and is to literally not do something at all. Just stop.
Jacob Mead 12:47
Just stop what you’re doing that you don’t want to do. So many people do things they don’t want to do. And I’m like, Just say no.
Matt DeCoursey 12:52
Yeah, yeah. And so with that, you know, like I mentioned, like, there are a list of things that sort of low value activities, okay. In this modern world, social media, and social media, mobile devices, and gaming are three things that are massive, massive time sucks, and I have retrained myself. Okay, so some just because you get an email doesn’t mean you need to answer it five seconds later. Look, every couple hours, turn off, turn off the things that distract you like, I have no notifications. As soon as it passes, my wife pops up, like to get my text messages. I’m like, Nope. Why not? Because I’m not looking at my phone all day, every day. So you know, but with that you look at you look at when and where you’re basically wasting time. And then it what you do on the flip on the flip of that is go back. And especially if you and this is where multiple days of this is helpful. You say oh my gosh, from six to 9pm. Every night, I’m playing three hours of Call of Duty. I want to If that’s you, I don’t want to hear about how you don’t have time to do the other shit that you really want to do. Because that’s where your time is. But you notice these patterns, and then go back on the day and the next day. And rather than doing that you just got to remind yourself like this is a low this is low value, and then do something that moves you towards a goal. Any goal pick one anything.
Jacob Mead 14:25
It’s 100% true, and I hate I hate the saying oh, I’m just trying to kill time. It’s like why would you kill the most valuable asset there is, like, you don’t want to kill time. You want to use it productively, and it’s 100% use your time productively and a lot of times if you see that you’re falling into that, oh, I’m playing a video game every three hours or I’m on Tik Tok or are watching reels for four hours a day. Okay, well there’s your time. And what if you just cut two hours out of that. What can you do in two hours? You can do a lot in two hours. If you really put your mind to it. You get down to business. You can do a lot in two hours and and you just keep cutting back and cutting back until eventually, that doesn’t even come second hand to go do that. You’re you’re you’re instantly always using your time and prioritizing.
Matt DeCoursey 15:07
So if you look at one hour a day times 365 days, I mean, dude, that’s 10 full-time, almost that’s nine full-time, weeks of work. Right there. I mean, you get it, there’s so many things that you can do, you could get a pilot’s license, you could actually learn to fly a jet in that amount of time, not even just a basic pilot’s license. You know, you say, oh, I want to learn to speak Spanish, I want to learn to make more connections, I don’t know, do something with it, do something with it. And the time really does add up. It’s, I think another thing is that, you know, for those of you listening, ask us can you even focus for two straight hours, I can’t, I can’t, like, I break things into little bite bite sized pieces and kind of run with it. So like quit telling yourself, that everything needs to be accomplished in one setting. You know, there’s there anything that’s worth doing is probably people look at, at goal accomplishment and task achievement as the singular action. And I’ll use one of the most popular goals that people in America have, which is to buy a home. That is not a one, that is not a one-step process. You know, I just bought a farm literally just bought a farm a couple of weeks ago, and I was reminded of how many steps there are in that process. And I’m a well qualified buyer. And I was just like, still, I was like, wow, there’s a lot of things. But those are all little checkmarks. And those are all things that you can do. This is an example of eating the elephant one bite at a time, you know, so you got it, you get those little things in there, write them down, put a checkmark next, I’ve trained myself to give give an endorphin release every time I get an item off of my checklist. So, yeah. All right, what else?
Jacob Mead 17:00
Check it off.
Matt DeCoursey 17:01
Yeah, what else do we have here? What? I’ll leave it to you, sir.
Jacob Mead 17:06
So I basically, you know, once you can understand your value, you know, and especially in your business, the next thing I like to coach on is making sure you have that strong leadership in place. Because in order for you to be delegating, or if you feel comfortable stepping away, if you don’t have that right management team or that leadership in place, you’re you’re always going to go back, you’re always going to feel like you have to be there and you can’t step away. So a lot of times, I’ll see some business owners, they come to me and they’re like, I’m working 60 hours, 70 hours a week. And my first thing is like, why are you doing that?
Matt DeCoursey 17:39
What are you doing? Doing what?
Jacob Mead 17:41
Doing what? I have to do this, this, this, this, this? And then I go, why? And there’s like deer in the headlight look like what do you mean, why I have to all get done. It does, it has to get done. But you don’t have to be the one that that gets it done, you can delegate those tasks, well, I can’t bring someone on board. And then you have to dig into the reasons of why you can’t bring someone on board is a lot of times I find that it’s because they don’t want to relinquish some of the control. And that’s one of my things I try and coach on is how to relinquish the control, it’s tough for a lot of people, they want to do a control every aspect of their business, because it’s their baby, essentially, you know, it’s something that they started or something that they built from the ground up, and they want to have control over that. And it’s just like, a kid, and you know, I have two kids myself. And so what the older they get, the less control you you, you have over them, you know, they start to make their own decisions. They start to make their their own ways of what they want to do. And so it’s the same in businesses, you have to relinquish some of that control. And in order to do that strong leadership because you’re not going to want to do that if you don’t have that strong leadership in place. And so finding that leadership, and how do you find that leadership? Indeed, or go to the job searches. I don’t find leadership that way I like to get on LinkedIn, I like to get personal connections because that’s how you’re going to find those strong leaders that you can actually utilize in your business. You can actually get to understand them and get to know how they operate that strong leadership, so important into getting your time back.
Matt DeCoursey 19:03
If you find yourself saying this, but it’s faster for me to do it. Then you’re you’re lying to yourself, because here’s the thing that might be true right now. But the amount of time that it takes you to teach someone else to do, it’s probably about the same amount of time it takes you to do it. And you at least and that in that situation, meaning the second one have an opportunity to no longer have to do that down the road. If you’re like, Oh, I do it the best or it’ll take me too long. I can do it faster, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, you are just continuing to sentence yourself to doing that again, and you can’t make yourself the conduit for everything at the business. And I will tell you firsthand if you do that, and I have done that in the past. You’re going to spend more time undoing that later because you have to rewire everything. I mean literally if you’re a conduit which is what electric flows through Who needs to change to a another set of panels, you’re gonna need to rewire the whole thing. Speaking of not reinventing the wheel, if you’re having a hard time finding expert software developers, you’re not alone. It’s a big problem. There’s about 300,000 open software jobs in the US. Why we don’t have enough people to fill them, as well. We help you with at Full Scale. You can go to FullScale.io, where you can build a software team quickly and affordably. Use Full Scale’s skills platform to define your technical needs, and then see what available developers testers and leaders are ready to join your team. Go to FullScale.io to learn more, there is a link in the show notes. So that there is also a link to Jacob K. Mead, that’s m-e-a-d.com. If you want to learn more about what Jacob’s doing and a link to his podcast, which comes out tomorrow. All right. So we’re back and we’re I’m wheeling and dealing, man, I’m buying stuff up here. What are we buying? I want more time, what do I need to do? I’m hooked.
Jacob Mead 21:01
Yes, get that get that time back. So the most important assets you can have. And so I know, you know, we we talked quite a bit about understanding value and having strong leadership’s and I always say after you understand your value, you have that strong leadership, then you need to figure out what are you doing that can be used for systems and automations. Your what what can you implement as far as systems automations to get your time back. There’s a lot of businesses that I find I have still still to this day are doing things pen and paper or they’re automatically they’re, they’re following up their leads, you know, every single day, and they don’t have an automated process in place. So finding that automation and finding those processes that that you can use will help get your time back. And then once you have more of your time you can focus in on other areas of your business. But automation and systems, it’s so powerful, I find a lot of companies don’t want to invest the money, they look at, oh, it’s gonna be this much per month. And I don’t know if I can see the return on that. Well, what’s the return on your time. And that’s, that’s something that is so important is learning how to utilize those systems and learning how to use all those automations in place. And now we have AI, which I’m still learning myself, but there’s so much out there that can do things that you used to do manually, that they can automate. And that gives you your time back. You pay something for that because you’re paying for that program. It’s just an aspect of buying back your time. But in return, what else can you accomplish, and so systems automations super important.
Matt DeCoursey 22:30
And with that, carved steps out of it. Find out when where and how you can remove a step from the process. If your business is growing quickly, and you’re trying to implement processes, procedures, any of that stuff. It is just a known fact, in the world of management and efficiency that the more steps in the process, the less likely you are to train anyone to do it successfully. In fact, it gets quite exponential like adding one step. Making it a four-step process, as opposed to a three-step process can actually be twice as hard to implement for once one single step. And if you don’t believe me, why did Amazon spend a billion dollars to make it so you can click one button to buy? Not three swipes, not a cart, not a frickin checkout? Yeah, you can do that too. But if you hit this one button that buys it, boom.
Jacob Mead 23:33
So convenient. And I think I think my wife realizes she’s always getting
Matt DeCoursey 23:39
Anything. Now you talk about also like what you know, you’re a self admitted salesperson, much like myself. But you know, you talk you talk about that. And it’s the same thing with selling like the more steps or obstacles you have to overcome to go put money in a cash register to the last if you’re gonna sell. So and you mentioned like you mentioned automation and tools, I mean, there’s a drop a few things that we use at Full Scale. So well first off scheduling, you know, GigaBook.com. I’m also the founder that being able to post this shared schedule or give just give send people a link and let them pick the time they’re available, it’s going to cut down on your communication. There’s tools like Zapier – Z,a, p, i, e, r.com that will help you connect platforms that might not inherently connect with each other. Our use, we use a tool called Miro-m,i, r, o.com, which is mind mapping as they like to say, but it lets you visualize as all like all these templates that help you create a basic wireframe. If you’re having a hard time getting people at your business, you understand the process, visualize the process printed out and stick it to the cash register or to the wall or something. Make it visual, put it there, simplify it, draw it out. And you know like I mean, these are simple tools. I got 325 employees, and they are worldwide. So we had to get really good at the efficiency side of things. Yeah, and there’s a, you know, another thing too is we use Typeform helps us create data collection forms, like, lickety split. And with that, you know, very easy to share, very easy to send out, it sorts them into spreadsheets, and, you know, like all of that. And these are things like your someone sitting there listening and going, Dude, you didn’t like move mountains there? Yeah, I did. Because I might have given you, like, a significant amount of time, out your day or business back with a few simple tools that. Oh, yeah.
Jacob Mead 25:44
All that systems automation is out there that you can utilize. And it’s finding the right ones. And I’ve had it in the past where I’ve tried something, it didn’t work out. And I went back, I tried something similar, and it was better. And so I’m always looking at, okay, how can we cut the process down, like, you mentioned earlier, from multiple steps down to very minimal amount of steps. Easier to train your keep staff a little bit easier that way, and new staff easier to train, but 100% utilizing those make a big difference?
Matt DeCoursey 26:11
Well give you an example. Literally right now, I just got an email that came from the StartupHustle.xyz site where I have a type form embedded into that and it and it collected all the information about someone that wanted to be on the podcast. I’ve got their first name, their last name, their phone number, their LinkedIn profile, all this stuff. And then it connects to a CRM and some other things. And this is stuff that people used to do manually. Everything I mentioned and suggested is not high technology in 2023. It is utilitarian. But it isn’t, it isn’t difficult to learn how to use it. I don’t want to hear you say, oh, but I’m not a tech person. Really?
Jacob Mead 26:58
Yeah, you don’t need to be a tech person, you just need to know where to go. Yeah, there’s people that can set it all up for you.
Matt DeCoursey 27:04
How much time did you spend learning how to do whatever it is that you do in life because that’s a hell of a lot more time it’s going to take you to, to do the things that I mentioned. So scheduling things, it’s a big thing, if you don’t have a calendar, a schedule, then you’re going to probably colossally fail at time management because you literally aren’t managing your time.
Jacob Mead 27:26
Yeah, like just going about the day, I don’t know what to do.
Matt DeCoursey 27:30
So one of the things, you know, that I’ve talked about recently, because I’ve got another project I’m working on with the house to do with high performance is there’s things so we have this inherent quality as people to make things and 15, 30, and 60 minute blocks. Couple years ago, I went 10, 20, 40. Right, like, and you have to book time with me through my booking link, but I put buffers in there. So something spilled over, I was good. And also mainly because you’ll find that when you schedule appointments with people, they’ll be like, Oh, I see we have a hard stop at 10:20, not 10:30. So the person you’re talking to inherently seems to understand better that you’ve got this finite amount of time you get the overlap, because things are always going to take longer than you think. And then also, what that does is sometimes gives me a few minutes to attend to a couple other things. So I don’t get through a very busy day. And then realize I still have three hours of work. Following up on like a bunch of other stuff. Put the put the put the buffers in the schedule, if anything, block off certain times, make it wildcard time or whatever you know, that is. Don’t book yourself back to back to back to back to back to back to back.
Jacob Mead 28:54
Oh, that’s a stress you’re at. You’re asking for shots when you do that. Because yeah, every
Matt DeCoursey 28:59
One spills over. It’s like it’s kind of like if any of you have ever had an appointment or whatever. And they’re like, Well, I’ve got to cut this a little short. I’m running behind today. Like, is that my fault of yours? So 100% What are some others? What are some other egregious errors that you see people making when it comes to, like, all of it?
Jacob Mead 29:22
You know, I this is one of the big things and some business owners. And once you have all these processes in place, they don’t know how to step away. They don’t know how to actually step away and let their business run without still being there. And so it was hard for me to learn because I actually took two years off for my business. And it was hard. It was tough for me to do. I barely stepped foot into the door. I only did so just so I still can say hi to the team and actually encourage them and have some one on ones but as far as actually being there and running things. I had to step away for two years for a couple reasons. One, I wanted to see if my business was sustainable without me being there because if it’s not, there’s no way you’re gonna be able to scale. There’s no way you’re gonna be able to sell because you’re not going to be selling a business, you’re gonna be selling yourself. So you have to be able to step away and your business has to run without you. But then secondly, I want to be able to see if I did effective training enough for my business to be able to grow, and I have the right team in place for this to be able to grow, not just stay at the same level while I was waiting. And I found in that two years, and let me tell you, that was the toughest mental struggle to get over. Because I constantly had this pull of I have to go in, I have to be there and that I’m doing wrong by not being there. But after I overcame that, I realized that it made me feel proud. It made me feel proud of my team, it made me feel proud that my team was able to handle it, and it made me trust them. And it was nice to have that time to be able to work on other business adventures, be able to help other business owners, and then also just to be able to spend time with family and loved ones. I spent some more time with my family during that two years. And you know, we had a new baby girl at the time, too. So it was nice just to be able to have that time but not have to worry that things weren’t getting done. And so the stepping away process is so important. I think there’s some business owners out there that are so scared to step away, even for a day, even for two days. And when I say step away, I’m not talking step away and you you’re constantly on your phone answering all the questions. I’m talking to you step away, and you don’t have to pick up your phone. That stepping away. And that’s so hard to get to that point because it’s a mental barrier that you have to break. And then you also have to be able to, you know, trust your team, which is why this comes later on in the process is because you want to have that that strong team. But yeah, that’s it’s all part of the buying the time process is is stepping away is is going to be the kind of the way you start. And the way you do it is start with a day, take a day, step away from your business. Shut off your phone and see what happens. I’m going to tell you one thing that won’t happen. Everyone’s scared, your business won’t burn down. It’ll still be there. When you go back. There may be something that that happened, but see how your team handled it. And then you could address that. But that’s that’s what I what I like to talk about.
Matt DeCoursey 31:37
Well, let’s do that. It forces evolution. And I think a lot of times business owners overvalue the the importance of their presence at the enterprise. You know, just meaning like, you know, it’ll still be there tomorrow. Or it’s very few things that, you know, I mean, you’re right about that, that that can definitely it will it’s going to help you uncover the flaws of your business. It’s going to help you uncover the strengths to like you mentioned, like, there are some things that you might be, like, this does not go well, when I’m not here. Okay, what do we need to do to fix it because me being here all the time isn’t the fix. Your goal as an entrepreneur should be to build something bigger than yourself. As you mentioned, if everything depends on you, that’s not well, that’s not scalable, it’s also going to drive you crazy. And you’re not really you kind of created the job for yourself, don’t necessarily a business.
Jacob Mead 33:02
Oh, yeah, you and that’s what you did, you’ve pretty much created a job for yourself, they’re gonna be working 40, 60 hours a week. And if not more, and you don’t want to do that you want, the way I look at it is you want your business and I coach a lot on this and how to get there. But you want your business to be a time asset, not a time liability. And there’s a lot of people in business, that it’s the opposite, their business takes so much of their time because they’re the ones doing everything and they have to be there in order for their business to work. I mean, there’s some businesses that I know of that will put a sign up on the door to say they’re closed for a week just so they can take a week vacation. And that’s that’s not where you want to be with your business. You want to be able to take that week and not have to put that sign up and still come back and know things got done.
Matt DeCoursey 33:48
So you mentioned using technology to help your life. So I asked ChatGPT, which by the way as the muse for so many things you want to talk about. I asked it what are some ways to create more efficiency and time and a time conscious approach to work and showing the ease of use and the fact that AI may be smarter than both of us. Sorry, Jacob, I’m gonna put you in there. It’s a pretty amazing, pretty sophisticated engine and that’s not really
Jacob Mead 34:22
Like takes every every brain power out there and puts it in once you
Matt DeCoursey 34:24
If you meet anybody that says they’re smarter than ChatGPT send them to Startup Hustle dot XYZ and have time to be on the show. I have so many questions. Alright. So and I think these are good tips, prioritize and set clear goals. I mean, that is like, we should probably shouldn’t be on minute 34 of the show before we mentioned that because we kind of mentioned it without using the word priority, but do the most important things first, or the things that you need to get done most practice time blocking that’s similar to what I was saying earlier with blocking off some of your time for certain activities or leaving buffers in there. Embrace proactive planning that’s taking the time to plan ahead and anticipate potential obstacles or challenges. Back to that things take longer than they normally do. Oh, wow. Here we go. Learn to say no.
Jacob Mead 35:20
My favorite. Yeah.
Matt DeCoursey 35:22
Delegate and outsource. Minimize distractions. Practice single tasking. Okay, this is an interesting debate. I’m gonna pause here for a second because we went through this like era of multitasking. Now, I have ADHD. So I have a difficult time sometimes doing only one thing. When it comes to certain things. I think that this is not some people want you to be in the multitask or the single task realm. And I just got to just straddle the line a little bit because there are some things that I can do together. I talked about this in Balance me. This is bundling. All right, so you take a low value activity, commuting, driving your car. So I’m here at our office in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. It took me 30 minutes to get here. On the way here my assistant rides with me we do a morning review, we go through a to do list, we go through a bunch of stuff, we’re bundling it. I intentionally push phone calls two times when I’m in the car. Same thing goes so, like, I mentioned buying a farm I did I bought a farm about 20 minutes south of where I’m at I think you’d love it the in from Iowa, sir. What right? No, everyone loves i It’s amazing. I actually got I after a couple of weeks, I finally made a post on Facebook because I was so busy experiencing some peace of mind that I didn’t put it on social media. I got more likes on that than I got when I had the last time I had a child. Yeah, it’s wild. But but with that it takes 20 minutes to get out there. So I save some phone calls. Right? So make do those like people wait, trust me, not everything needs to be done right now. But but so I don’t agree with the practice single tasking. I think if you have an important thing, like, working directly with or for a client, that’s a single task, you know, but can I make a phone call that I needed to catch up on? And at the same time draw let my Tesla drive me because that’s what, that’s what I’m in. Right?
Jacob Mead 37:29
I have a video that’s downloading. And while that video is downloading, I supposed to just sit and let that video download? That’s like no time for something else.
Matt DeCoursey 37:39
In print, embrace the power of routine, I think this is important. At the same time, I don’t want you to get so routine that that becomes the next, like, it’s can be too rigid. I’m a fan of agility and fluidity and things. I think that it’s impossible to have a completely strict routine as an entrepreneur because, I don’t know, shit happens.
Jacob Mead 38:04
Yeah, things happen all the time. And
Matt DeCoursey 38:07
I like this next one, take regular breaks. You know, it’s just sometimes stepping away for a minute. And then continuously learn and improve. I, I’m gonna say about your own activities. I’ve What are you wasting time on, man? I think it’s really easy. So, like, in Balance Me, I’d say personal, professional and physical. I asked people to I have like a speaking thing I’ll do with this sometimes. But give everyone a piece of paper and see you have 100% of your own time. Where are you spending it amongst these three categories? And there’s always one smart ass that goes past 100 It’s like I do more than 100%. Not in this case, time is rigid in that regard. Right? I’m like, Thanks. I appreciate the ambition. So you have what what your spend your time on and then you have what you would really like to be spending your time on. It’s a very simple exercise, personal, professional, physical, what percentage and it shouldn’t be 33, 33, 33.3 because that’s not really the way it works. Yeah, it’s different. There’s no right answer there. But if you look at if you do that simple exercise, what am I spending time doing on compared to what I want to be spending time doing on. The comparison of the two very easily helps you understand where you need to put more effort and where adjust.
Jacob Mead 39:27
Yes, and I I always say with that too, it can change you know where maybe a time in your life where you have to spend more with work and you’re going to spend more time there and you’re going to do that for a period of time and then it may switch to where it maybe you have a new baby where you’re spending more time with family because you want to spend more time with family you cut back a little bit at work and then maybe it comes to a point where you realize your physical health isn’t where it’s supposed to. So you’re spending more time in the gym less time at work so I think it you know it constantly can change but it’s really good to know where you want it to be so seeing that actually physically seeing it makes a big difference to versus just thinking about it at least least for me, because I’m in the same boat as you I have some ADHD. So for me, I have to see something like physically down, otherwise it gets all jumbled. So being able to physically see that makes a huge difference.
Matt DeCoursey 40:14
Well, that understanding and awareness, improvement matters. And that’s part of why I bought a farm property because I’m actually getting exercise. I’m spending time with my kids. You know, walking around the farm, walking into the pond, doing stuff like that. I’m getting the best of both worlds. I’m not single tasking in that regard, but doing a lot of different stuff. So I think it’s
Jacob Mead 40:36
On the farm, and I’ll bring my daughter out, she loves those baby goats.
Matt DeCoursey 40:39
So you know, and I didn’t even realize this until recently. There’s like a whole bunch of goats that like if you scare them, or startle them, they just faint. Over on their side, and I was like, wow, this is interesting. And I was like, maybe I’ll get one of these. And then I realized that all my kids would do would be with scare that poor guy. So
Jacob Mead 41:01
Cops would be scared to death.
Matt DeCoursey 41:03
Poor little goat. Now whether you want to believe me or not, I will tell you that I did not look at this list of ChatGPT stuff until we started talking. And it had put a bunch of stuff out, I found it to be interesting that many of the things we discussed prior to the list, were on that list. So yeah, maybe we are, maybe we are smart as ChatGPT.
Jacob Mead 41:25
I mean, I wouldn’t say that but
Matt DeCoursey 41:29
No, you’re gonna. You don’t want to be the smartest person in the room.
Jacob Mead 41:34
In the room, that’s a good way right there. Don’t be the smartest.
Matt DeCoursey 41:38
So once again with me today, Jacob K, Mead, professional coaching, and coach and author and check out his podcast which comes out tomorrow there’s a link to JacobKMead.com And the shownotes. What would you like to say on the way out man, then the comments. You go, you go first I’ll take a turn after you.
Jacob Mead 41:56
I know, I love hearing all your input on the buying time process and all your inputting in your knowledge and the time and just hearing about your book that was that was was awesome. Because there’s not a lot of people out there that know actually how to utilize their time and actually how to get their time back. And so hearing that, you know, you went through the same kind of struggles and that you actually figure that out and you and you have that that process and that mindset, that’s empowering. It means that, you know, my journey to help other business owners and my journey to be able to help other people get their time back does mean something because it means so much to you. So, I loved hearing that. Thank you so much for sharing that about that. I will certainly enjoy that.
Matt DeCoursey 42:38
That honestly, I mentioned the word the Realist’s Guide to a Successful Life. I am a realist, and like it is what it is, you know, like thinking that you want something to be one where there’s idealism, and there’s realism. And those are the in that book, those are pages right out of my playbook. Now. One of the the okay, I constantly get this comment from people, they’re like, how do you get so much done? That’s why it’s time management. And, you know, like, if you’re an entrepreneur, and it’s not, I think that this the some of you need to put down hustle culture. Just meaning, like, the trust me, I can put in 100 hours a week. But do I really need to, you know, and it’s not about doing the least amount possible. It’s about using the time effectively, because you’re gonna get to a point of diminishing returns with a lot of stuff. If you’re on your 16 hour days, 10 days in a row. Probably I can do that, you know, and to do the most important stuff first. Take a second look, you know, look back, say, you know, study your own actions, where, what am I doing that I could just stop doing that’s gonna give me a bunch of time back? Dude, that’s free. You don’t even have to buy that. Right? That’s it’s like giving it back. And trust me I have yet to run into well, okay, there’s been maybe two people. I’ve been doing that the system that came out and Balance Me I’ve been working on and practicing for 15 years, and I’ve maybe met two people that didn’t need it. And they were like way, way, way high performers, they already got it, they got the whole thing. And they’ve already installed a bunch of help with that. But you know, so much of what you want to do is in fact right in front of you. You just got to figure out what you’re doing. Take the low value stuff, get rid of the low value people in your life. Okay, that might be another thing who’s who is who is your time? So not just what, who?
Jacob Mead 44:37
There’s a lot out there so limited clear on that, right? And I was actually on the plane to Montana one time and I got opened up my iPhone notes and I wrote down people that actually provide value in my life and I started writing it down and then the people that don’t provide a lot of value in my life and I put next to it in parentheses, the amount of time that I was spending, either communicating with them on phone calls, communicating with them through email, or spending time with them in person and It was an eye opener, I’m telling you.,
Matt DeCoursey 45:01
Those are the same people that bring negativity into your life, I find.
Jacob Mead 45:05
100%. And it’s it was, it was amazing. I was just on a flight to Montana as I want to do this, I wrote this down, I had some time. And it was I, we landed us looking at this as like, Man, I gotta, I gotta figure this out. And then I changed things when I got back.
Matt DeCoursey 45:20
So let’s just say to retrain those people to be a little more effective for you, like, a good example, as you get these. So you know, with over 300 employees, if each one of them were to waste one minute of my day, and my whole day is gone. So you get some people that are, like, every time something comes up, they want to ask you a question, you’re like, Could you ask me five of these at once rather than five different times? Because that’s just the way it goes. Also consider maybe if you got people that are constantly asking you for stuff, I invented what I call my rule of Yes. If you think I’ll say yes, 90% of the time, don’t ask, just do it. And I will deal with the 10% of the time that you’re wrong. It empowers people to do things, like, a great example is I had a former office manager, it’d be like, so we ran out of stamps. You want me to go buy some more stamps and, like, here’s the thing is, if I’m busy, I’m not I’m going to be, like, do you think we’ll ever mail something again? It’s not a great day. It’s not a great day. You know.
Jacob Mead 46:23
Sometimes just just go do something and it’s not the right decision. It’s 10% of time is going to be but not some will. We’ll deal with it at that time.
Matt DeCoursey 46:33
Yeah, and if my wife is listening, please follow that advice after 12 years. She don’t listen to the show. So we can say about whatever we want. All right, man. I’m gonna catch up with you down the road. For those of you listening check out Jacob’s podcast, go to his website. Thanks for joining me, man.
Jacob Mead 46:49
Thank you so much.