EPISODE 73 – Time Hacks for Building Businesses

EPISODE 73 – Time Hacks for Building Businesses

By mick | November 24, 2021

EPISODE 73 – Time Hacks for Building Businesses | Builders Becoming Entrepreneurs?

Hey folks and welcome to another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast!

I'm Mick Hawes, if you've never met me before from Builders Business Blackbelt, and I'd love to be your construction business coach or your builders coach. I think everybody needs a coach.

One thing that I learned many moons ago when I was working with Tennis Australia, believe it or not, I was working with all of the top tennis players around at the time and I realized that the best of the best they kind of don't go anywhere, they never ever go into a competition without a coach.

And a coach can be many things and you can tap into a coach at many, many different levels. You know, I have the utmost respect for people in the building industry because they're some of the hardest workers you'll ever come across.

I wanna make it, get them a return on their investment of effort by trying to focus them on the things that will give them a return. And funnily enough, that's kind of the topic the main topic of conversation in this episode, episode 73.

We're gonna be talking about, as I said, understanding the leverage component of your time, how to leverage your time significantly better. So you get a great investment on your time and your effort because I find most builders don't. They work hard, but they don't get the reward. They get stress, they get time taken away from them. They get their time wasted. They don't get respect. They deserve all of that sort of stuff because of the effort they put in. So I wanna share with you today, some ideas to be able to turn that around.

Q and A as well. I'm gonna talk about the best time management tool in the world, on the planet, in the universe.

And of course, idea of the week. We have an idea of the week so we can show you our floating light bulb. And not gonna tell you what the idea of the week is, it's gonna be a surprise, but well worth sticking around to get.

*Transcription of the show”

What is leverage? Well, being a builder, you should know what leverage is or what a lever is or the value of a lever. And, you know, I think it was Archimedes who said, you know, give me a lever long enough, you know, I can move the world. That's not the direct quote, but it was something like that.

But you know that when you've got a long lever and it's strong enough, you can move with a lot less effort, very, very heavy weight. And that philosophy, that metaphor carries across into your business. I observe that the big majority of builders that I speak with aren't using leverage anywhere near the extent that they could.

And the thing is, let's talk about why we need to address this is that without leverage, and I'm just talking about your time, your effort now, without thinking high leverage, in relation to your actions, your decisions, your time, in other words. Without leverage, you get significantly less done.

Have you ever thought, have you ever felt, have you ever got home and fallen into the lounge after you've put in a massive day, or a massive week and felt, what did I actually accomplish? That is because you weren't using your time in a high leverage way. You're using it in a low leverage or no leverage way.

You were just trading your hour for a dollar figure. That's not leverage because if you continue to trade your hour for a dollar figure, there comes a limit. You can obviously increase your hourly rate, and I encourage you to do that, but there will be a limit if the only income stream that you're deriving is from trading your hours for dollars, particularly from a physical point of view, if you're still on the tools, that is a very short straw.

I can't tell you how many builders I've talked to who said, I need to get off the tools as they start to get older. And some of them are in their mid thirties, like give me strength. You know, I've got to get off the tools because my back's gone and I can't do it anymore. And all of that sort of stuff. Correct.

But that's not the reason you need to get off the tools. You need to get off the tools because it's very, very low leverage and you might be screaming at me right now saying, but I love it on the tools. Great. There's a big difference from having to be on the tools and choosing to be on the tool tools from, you know, for a few hours here and there or a few days here or there or whatever, just because you love it.

No problem do it, but you need to experience the difference between having to do it, which you currently doing and, and choosing to do it. And I mean a proper choice. And that choice is that if you never, ever got on the tools ever again, it wouldn't affect your business at all. It would still increase and improve. It shouldn't have anything to do with your skill and ability on the tools to build a sustainable, successful building business.

So without leverage, you get significantly less done, you get significantly less return on your investment, as I've just explained, because you're trading your dollar for an hour figure. You get significantly less money. So with the return thing, there's a lot more to the return on your effort than just money, there's meaning there's fulfillment.

The bottom line is, you will also from a financial point of view, get significantly less money if you don't figure out how to leverage your time. I've got a note here. And I'm using a note pad here today because I've left my iPad somewhere. So I've gone back old school, I normally have an iPad down here secretly, for my notes, but today we're going completely old school and using paper.

Yes, you will get significantly less money because there is, there is a limit to how many hours you can put in, even if you've got a very, very significant hourly rate, which seems to scare and frighten many builders. But even if you did, there's still a limit to it. Whereas if you learn how to leverage your time and your effort, there tends to be no limit. Fulfillment, you will get significantly less fulfillment. If you're just continually trading your hour for a dollar figure. And without leverage, you'll get significantly less time for you and what you want to do.

I'm sure that most of you, if not all of you out there, if I said, what would you be doing every single day if you didn't have to work? If money just kept coming into your bank account, as much as you needed, as much as you wanted, what would you be doing? It probably wouldn't be doing what you do now. Probably, there might be a small number of you out there that say, no, I will be doing exactly what I'll be doing. All the power to you. I'm suggesting that the majority couldn't say that. So that's why we need to address this, leveraging your time scenario.

Let's address the what, what do you need to do? I think the most important thing you need to do is know what the next right thing is. We talk about that quite a bit in Blackbelt. Every Monday we talk about what is your priority, not your priorities, your priority. What is the one thing that's gonna make the biggest difference?

So we talk about that every week. My coach talks about it as well. Taki Moore, he got me onto this with the, with his next right thing. In fact, we had a really fun and inspirational session with Mike Michalowicz. Mike Michalowicz, is the author of Profit First. And in Blackbelt, we have another level to aspire to, and it's called boardroom and Mike kindly put some time aside to speak live to our boardroom members the other day. And he was talking about his book, Fix This Next, say that 10 times really fast. And it was all about this kind of philosophy.

You've got to know what to fix next. And he used the analogy of your business being a chain, okay? There's a link, a series of events and actions and processes. And they're all connected together like a chain and most people, he, in his world, he says he sees most people working on what they think needs to be worked on, but it's not necessarily the weakest link in the chain. And you've heard the analogy many, many times before.

There's not a real lot of point strengthening the links that are already strong. You've got to strengthen that one link, otherwise your chain breaks. So we've always gotta be figuring out what that weakest link in our business is. And it changes, like some time it can be in your marketing.

Sometimes it can be in your sales. Sometimes it's in your delivery. Sometime it's in how you run the backend of your business and your mindset and how to scale the business and how you manage your money and all of that sort of stuff.

There's lots and lots and lots of chains, links in the chain. And, as you improve your business, different parts of the business show up as the weakest link. So we've got to know what that weakest link is at that time. And he did this fantastic analogy, and I'm not sure whether anyone out there has heard of Maslow's hierarchy of human needs and it basically states it's a pyramid and it's got five levels. We won't need to talk about them all.

But the first sort of few, the bottom one is the human need is air and water and food, like absolute, basic levels. And we don't care about anything else unless we satisfy that. Like, if we can't breathe, we care about nothing else. And so the other levels don't matter. And the reason that Mike showed us this and he called it, the hierarchy of business needs, not the hierarchy of human needs, but he talked about the human needs.

So we kind of got the concept of it, which is why I'm sharing it with you now. And the reason he was sharing it with us was because I said, is there a process that you have to find out what the thing is that you need to fix next or what the next right thing is? And he used profanity and said, yes, 'cause he's a very, very funny man.

And, he said, what we try to do with our objectives and what have you is to go from A to B. We try to improve our business by moving from A to B in our business. And he said, sometimes the A can stand for apparent. And what that means is it's the apparent problem. And it might be that you haven't got enough sales or something like that, or you're not making enough money.

And so you need to make more sales. So you need to put on a sales person and you keep chasing this apparent problem. But then he showed us this hierarchy and I'll continue on with the explanation of Maslow's hierarchy first. So you really get it. So the bottom part of the pyramid is all about food, water, air, nothing else matters until that's satisfied.

But once that is satisfied, then the next one is safety. Like we need to keep ourselves safe and have shelter and all of that sort of thing and be a bit warm and comfortable. And then we need to belong when the third level up is connection and belonging and being understood and all of these sorts of things.

And then there's a couple others above that, but you can understand that you don't care about those, you know, connection things, if your shivering cold and about to die of exposure, you need that shelter. You need to be safe, you know, and when you've got, you know, if you haven't got food, you kind of not even worried about the safety to a certain extent.

So the principle is until this one is fixed, the bottom one is satisfied. The next one is of no consequence. And so he then started to talk about this apparent problem thing, and you keep chasing the apparent problem. And he said the, what most people say to him, most people say to Mike, when he says, what are you currently working on? Their answer is everything, I'm working on everything. And he said, well, how's that going? And most people say, it's not working.

I'm working on everything yet, nothing is working. And that's the reason that we need to figure out what is the next right thing in your business? What is the weakest link in your business that will allow you to get where you wanna go? And so he drew the business human needs pyramid, and he started off with revenue or sales down the bottom. And he said, that's the lifeblood of a business.

And I totally agree if you've got no money coming in, you are stuffed, okay? And so you need to make sure you've got money coming in. And then it was, what was really interesting with the way that Mike described this, is he said that you need to ask the question, have we got money coming in? Are we making sales?

Do we have revenue? And then the next part of the question is, is it adequate? And what he means by, is it adequate, is it adequate to service the next level? Pardon me. The next level in his business needs is profit.

So there's no use worrying about profit, if you haven't got any money and you need to ask yourself, is the revenue stream adequate to be able to deliver profit? And if you've been watching the intro of this, like before we got started, we got a five minute countdown timer. He is in there.

And he says, you know, when people say that the key to fixing their biggest business problem is to have more revenue. He screams into the microphone, liar, you know, and says, you've got to bitch slap people to knock some sense into them sometimes because they haven't got a revenue problem.

If your revenue is adequate, to be able to be making some profit, you don't have a revenue problem. You have a profit problem. And I see this so often, people think that if they're not making any profit, they need to have bigger jobs, more jobs, all that sort of stuff. Bullshit, you don't, you don't have a revenue problem.

You have a profit problem. So instead of trying to fix the revenue problem, stop that shit and start trying to fix the profit problem. Get a copy of Mike's book, implement Profit First, understand how to put the income account into place and the distributions and use the instant assessment spreadsheet. I offered that the other day. If you want a copy of it, let me know. I'll get you a copy of it. It's wicked.

And it gives you targets to go for, for how much you should be paid, how much profit your business should be making based on your level of revenue. And it tells you the truth instead of the fake smoke and mirrors crap that you get from your profit and loss sheet. The next one up in his hierarchy, and I don't think we need to go any further than the bottom three to get this point across, is efficiency.

So systems and procedures. So, you know, you can get a little bit more free time and what have you. And again, he said, he hears it so often and so do I people say, you know, I'm that flat out. I hear what you're saying. I need to do this and do that, I'm that busy onsite and what have you. That I need to put another person on to free me up because we've got that much work. It's not an efficiency problem.

It's a profit problem first. You should not ever, ever be putting anybody else on unless the business can afford it. I don't know how many people that we've put through the Profit First process as they joined Blackbelt. And our Profit First professional has not found one profitable builder yet. And they have all of these other people and outsourcing and all that sort of stuff. They're paying all of this money to, and they're not even making any profit.

So you've got to go, is my revenue adequate to produce profit? If I'm not producing profit, it's a profit problem. Now is my profit adequate to be able to produce efficiencies in the business? Can I still be profitable and reduce these efficiencies? There's no point reducing the efficiencies or sorry, increasing the efficiencies, becoming more efficient, if you're not making profit.

You've got to get these needs in the right place. So you know what you need to be working on and using your time in a leveraged way. So if you do this properly over time using your time in a leveraged way and focusing on the right next thing, you end up having a very, very strong chain, because you're always looking for what actually is the weakest link in my chain currently, rather than just going by your gut feel and working on the apparent problem.

You need to go through this process to figure out what the actual problem is. And even my coach, Taki Moore, he has this amazing matrix for coaches where you find out exactly where you sit in your business maturity in your business pathway, and it shows you exactly what you need to be doing next. And he sees it and I've done it, which is why I'm so fortunate, you know, to be in his group and have access to things like that.

That it gets me to stop chasing the apparent problem and start to look at what actually is the weakest link in our business at this current time. And I really encourage you to go to work on that. So in summary, unless you're committed to the next right thing, you're not using your time wisely. If you get sucked in to the business, you're not leveraging your time. If you're not leveraging your time, you're wasting it.

So what I'd love to do is organize to get you on a call. So we can have a conversation about where you are, where you wanna go, what's in the way and help you to identify what the next right thing is for you to focus your attention on.

Because as soon as you start to focus your attention on the next right thing, things change.

And as I said, right at the start, you can invest your time in things that will return give you a return on that investment every day forever into the future, versus how most builders are doing it now.

The hour that they invest or spend, they only get paid for it once. And then they've got to spend another hour to get paid again. What I'm talking about is look for things that you can work on, that when you invest your time in them, they will return you every day forever into the future.

That is leveraging your time. I hope it made sense. It is now time to go old school and turn the page. I normally just sort of scrolled up on the iPad, but you can't do that with this. All you like nothing happens.

Q & A

So the Q and A, the question somebody asked me was, Mick, what is the best time management tool? They were starting to get serious about time management and wanting to get the tool. And I said, what I said at the start, you know, I'm gonna share with you the best tool in the world. The one you use is the best one.

I have a preference, I'll talk about in a sec, but fundamentally, any tool is better than no tool at all. So if you're using your phone, great. If you're using a computer, great. If you're using a proper, like physical diary that you write in, and even then there are some that work a lot better than others.

In fact, the best tool still, in my opinion, look I'm not wavering from what I just said. The one you choose to use is the best one, because if you go and get the one that I'm about to talk to you about, and you go, you know, I leave it in the car or I leave it at home and you don't take it around with you and you don't use it, well it's worthless.

So the one you use is the best one. But if you wanna know what the best tool is, I still think it is a paper-based system. It should have a month at a glance. And there's a whole process that you can learn on how to use a month at a glance.

And it will change your effectiveness, like crazy that this is the tool that we, we share with our Builders Business Blackbelt members, and on a consistent basis, they come back to us in a very short space of time saying I'm getting more done by lunchtime than I used to get done in a whole day.

And instead of feeling stressed, they feel guilty because they think they're not working hard enough, which is a better problem to have. It's crazy, but it's a real thing. And we can address that as well, but let's create that problem first.

Let's get you feeling guilty because you don't feel like you're working hard enough, but you're getting just as much, if not more done in half the time than what you're used to. And if you get a system like that, you can, and you work it properly. And that's another thing that you need to understand. It's really not the tool. It's the philosophy that you use the tool with is the thing that can make the biggest difference and love to share that with you.

In fact, we have shared it with you. If you wanna go back through various episodes of the podcast. There is one that very definitely talks about the prioritized daily action list or the P-D-A-L and if you go back and watch that episode, you'll get basically one-on-one training on how you need to set up your day and prioritize it.

So get stuck in, go back and as I said, that's why we've put all of this on YouTube now. So there's a link in the chat, go to the YouTube channel, hit the subscribe button so you'll get notifications of when a new podcast is live or uploaded or what have you.

You can just subscribe. You can also hit this little bell there, hit that, and you'll get notified when it's all happening. And you can jump into the comment section there also, and ask all of your questions either live or with the replay. So very, very cool if you do that.

Idea Of The Week

Right idea of the week. We'll do it real quick because we're running out of time. Idea of the week is to time block for you. Time block for you. I often in the Facebook group post this question, who's the most important human contributed to the success of a business? Is it the business owner? Is it the team? Is that the customer?

We're getting into all sorts of arguments about it, because most people, firstly pick the customer and then other people say, you know, you've got to have a good team and all that sort of stuff. Look, I agree with you. You've got to have a customer. I know that I'm not somebody who just landed their spaceship in the car park five minutes ago, I get it.

You need to have a customer, but let's assume that you've got a customer and you've got some team and there's you. The thing, the person, that makes the biggest difference to the success of the business is you. Not the team, not the customer. You have the biggest leverage as we've just discussed in this whole podcast. And so you need to time block.

And again, there's training on that in past episodes of the podcast as well. You need to time block for yourself. You need to schedule time blocks for rest. You need to schedule time blocks for recreation or recreation.

You know, you need to revitalize yourself. You need to time block and schedule time for improvement, improving your skills, your abilities, your understanding, your mindset. And that's how you leverage your time by time-blocking for personal improvement as well.

Jump On A Call

So I hope this episode has been helpful. I hope it's inspired some thoughts, as I said, I'd love for you to have a chat with us so we can find out where you're at, and potentially guide you to the next right thing for your business and start to really sure up your chain and get rid of the weak links in your chain.

And all you need to do is book a call. So there's a link in the Facebook group. It ends in B-B-B dash call. So if you click that, you'll book a call, we'll have a chat find out where you are. What's in the way, where you wanna go. What should be the next right thing is pretty, it's a pretty cool call, like things can change just in sort of the seven to 10 minutes that you might be on this call and you'll leave it feeling very, very clear as to what the next thing is that you need to do.

So how to do that, as I said, it's in the links, sorry, a link is in the comments, the Facebook or... YouTube, it's I think it's in the description in YouTube, or you can go to buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au. If you're listening to us and not watching us, you're doing the audio only thing.

All you need to do is get on the web and go to buildersbusinessblackbelt.com.au and there's a button there you can press to schedule a call and we would love to be seeing you. And as I said, the last few weeks, don't fall into the trap, the going, I think I'll wait till after Christmas to do that. Bad, bad, bad decision. There is a massive, massive, huge, incredibly big opportunity right in front of you right now, because you're about to have some time off.

But the main thing is that you're quite busy right now. Most builders are super busy right now. Best time, absolute best time. If you're gonna wait until the dust settles, bad choice, bad decision. People who do that, don't get anywhere near the value out of this conversation as when you are super busy and you're about to have some time off. It's the absolute primo time. So please jump on a call.

Love to talk to you. We'll be back again next week. On another episode of Builders Business Success Podcast. Live at 10 o'clock, 10:00 a.m. Sydney time, Eastern Australian daylight savings time currently. On Facebook, on YouTube and love to talk to you then. I'm Mick Hawes from Builders Business Blackbelt. That is it. Bye for now.
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