My friend and client is a large general contractor/project manager in Ontario. He purchased a gristmill built in the 1860’s with the idea of converting it to condos. The three-foot square timber posts, the 15-foot ceilings, the hand cut granite block walls and the mortared boulder foundations make this building a designer’s dream. Did I mention no other buildings are to be seen from any vantage point, including from the fifth floor, just woods and creeks?
There are literally tons of metal pipe and steel structures from different eras inside the building that need to be removed. He and I have been working on that many Saturdays during the past year. This weekend we cut down half the frame of a steel vat. The walls, which would have held 10,000 gallons of liquid, we had already removed. As we left, dirty and weary, the conversation revolved around the sense of accomplishment we felt for a job well done.
I suggested to my friend we felt such a high degree of satisfaction because normally the projects we work on have a time horizon much longer than a couple of hours and we frequently do not see the fruits of our labors immediately. The mill, from start to finish, will be a five-year journey for him and the business succession plans I work on might finally conclude 30 years from now.
While soul satisfying, our work only had a value of $25.00 per hour. In our real jobs, the vision to see the completion of a complex task over a long term pays us $500 to $1,000 per hour. How much is your hour worth? How distracted are you by $25-per-hour tasks when you should only be working on tasks that generate what your hourly rate is? Successful business owners spend their time working on the highest value revenue generators in their business and hire others to do the lower value tasks.
The year I hired my first employee my net income—not the gross income, but what I actually took out of the business—doubled and I was happier. I enjoyed my work more because the tedious, pain in the butt jobs were done by someone else. This freed up my creative thinking time to work on larger, more complex files. The mental stimulation and the freedom from the emotional angst of sweating the small stuff made me a much better advisor to my clients.
Successful business owners spend their time working on the highest value revenue generators in their business and hire others to do the lower value tasks.
As always, you are not alone. At The Covenant Group we have literally seen all of the problems business growth causes, so we can help.