An entrepreneur’s time versus an employee’s time

An entrepreneur’s time versus an employee’s time

Time is relative. It can be cheap, free, expensive, long and short. For an Entrepeneur time is one of the most valuable assets there is. You can’t buy more. It is fixed and you only have a certain amount of it.

Every minute you are not spending on your company you are losing money. That is what it feels like, to most entrepreneurs I know.

For managers, employees (people who work at companies) time is, well, different.

You’ve got a fixed amount of it per week, which you have to get through. You make the best of it and try to reach goals, finish projects and have productive meetings. For every hour you work you get paid.

If you don’t work for an hour, you still get paid.

A few years ago I was invited to a brainstorm session by a big company. They had invited a few other entrepreneurs, on a Tuesday morning, to attend this session and advise them on how to be more innovative. Food and drinks were free and they figured it would be a nice networking event for the entepreneurs.

I told them I would love to attend, if they paid me 3000 euros.

They were appalled and explained to me that no one got paid. I told them that that was a mistake and they should offer all the other entrepreneurs some money. They insisted the event would be nice to attend and inspiring. I explained to them that I would most likely provide the inspiration and it would be logical for them to pay for that.

I explained that all the entrepreneurs were losing money by not spending time on their business, and all the managers from the big company were making money because this was during office hours and they were being paid to be there.

I gave them a choice: either pay me, like they were paying the employees and managers, or hold the event during the weekend, so nobody would get paid.

They suddenly realized that they would never be able to get any of the senior managers together, unpaid, during the weekend.

They ended up paying me, and the event was held on a Tuesday.

photo credit: Diego Cervo via Shutterstock.

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