I work about 17 hours/week.
I have since ~2008.

I hope to share some of how I do it with you.  Today is #1 out of 12 actionable ways to cut your working time down.

This is how I make decisions about business opportunities I do or don’t pursue.

I know there’s always something bigger.
Something sexier.
Something easier.
Something that will make you so much money, you just have to do it.

Here’s the piece most people miss:
Time is more valuable than money.

You can’t buy time.
You can’t get more time.
You can’t do more things by having more money if you’re time-strapped because of making money.

So how do you keep your time free while still making money?

2 rules:
1. NEVER sell time for money.
2. Evaluate every business decision based on the question: “Who’s time does this require? Is it mine?”

Rule #1: NEVER sell time for money
Selling time for money is anywhere you’re required to do work in order to get paid.  It’s a “done-for-you” service. It’s fulfilling on something you sold.  It’s coaching. It’s managing the PPC accounts. It’s selling yourself as “I’ll do this for you.”
The problem with done-for-you service isn’t that you can’t get someone else to do the work for you, it’s that the client always wants YOU!
The buck stops with YOU.
They want answers from YOU.

There are 2 problems with this:
1. You have a limit on the amount of time you can give.
2. Someone else is always willing to sell their time for cheaper.

I’m not saying all businesses like this are bad.  They’re not.
I’m just saying that working 17 hours/week isn’t achievable if you’re selling your time.

Rule #2: Evaluate every business decision based off who’s time it requires
Every time I have an opportunity to add a feature, create a business, pursue a partnership…the first thing I look at is how much of my time is it going to require.
I’m ok if it requires my initial time, but no actual physical work.
I’m ok if it requires my initial time, but then no ongoing time or brain power.

But I’m not interested in the opportunity if at any step along the way it requires my ongoing committed time.
Ongoing committed time sucks the life out of you.

Two ways I decide if something is going to require my time are
1. If I think it’s automate-able with software or OFS
2. If there are clients involved. New ongoing demands from clients mean it requires my time.

There’s a lot more to be said about this, but that’s my system for making decisions about whether or not I pursue an opportunity.

PS. Yesterday (as of writing this, May 25) was my 99th ski day of the season. Here’s how my friend (I took the picture) got to the snow: