Don’t tread water if you want your business to thrive


Treading water is only good if you are awaiting rescue

The only reason why I can foresee someone preferring to stay put in the water instead of forward is

  • Taking a leisurely dip
  • Boat sank, land is miles away, and awaiting help from passing boats

In business, treading water is akin to doing support work, and non revenue-generating tasks. What do I mean by that?

Examples of non revenue generating tasks are

1)Reading and responding to emails

2)customer service oriented tasks

3)Maintenance of website and uploading of new materials to website

4)Delivery and courier

5)Following up on customer requests

6)Newsletter and website design, aesthetic items

All the above, while important, are non-revenue generating. They keep the business afloat, yes, but they do not bring in the moolah, the dough, or the bucks.

You should be focusing on revenue-generating, core processes in order to maximise your own value. How much is your own time worth?

Let’s find out the value of your time

You do not need a calculator for this exercise (If you do, all the more reason why you need to learn to outsource your work!)

1)What is your monthly pay?

2)How many hours do you work a month?

3)Divide total pay by hours in a month spent working

4)This per hour figure represents how much you are currently worth.

Example- Sam earns 3500 a month. He works 44 hours a week,  or 174 hours a mth. This means he earns 3500 dollars/174= 20 dollars an hour.

Our man Sam is worth  20 dollars an hour.

Acid test

If  your time is worth 20 dollars an hour, would you spend it giving out flyers along the shopping belt districts? (A job that could be outsourced to eager students awaiting O level results for 5 pops an hour)

If you spent 4 hours giving out flyers, you just wasted 4*20= 80 dollars of your own time. DELEGATE this task to a student, and you only spend 5*4=20 dollars!

Consider- 1)Use up 80 dollars of your time to stand under blazing sun giving out flyers(and risk being spotted by relatives doing this unglamarous job)


2)delegating this task for 20 dollars and use the other 4 hours to concentrate on things that actually HELP YOU EARN for your business, or spend it with your family?

Seems like a no-brainer now, does it?

Another example I often use is of graphic designing.

Lets say you are going on a marketing campaign for your products. You need some graphics done on your website or flyers.

You have had little or next to nil experience and expertise to design a flyer. You end up copying and pasting graphics on the internet and end up with a mosaic of pictures(which are passable, but nothing too impressive)

In the end, you took a whole day to come up with your flyer or website graphic.

My advice is to…..


It feels good to do something on your own, it feels like your own baby! But it is time to admit, there are people out there who are BORN to do these kind of graphic designing stuff. They would charge at most 20 dollars to do the job you have done.

Remember, you are worth 20 dollars an hour, and you took a whole day to do it, so you just kidded yourself 160 dollars worth of your own time. AND the end result of your self-pride work is less than half as impressive as the graphic kid’s work which costed you 20 dollars and looks TWICE as impressive!

If you are bogged down with routine emails, TRAIN a freelancer to answer the way you do, your expectations and so on.

It is better to out-task your email answering, especially if it is routine, to another person, so you can take some time off to relax with your loved ones, or to concentrate on tasks that actually earn you more bucks.