One of the keys to being a successful entrepreneur (or probably a successful anything) is to act intentionally. We are faced every day with choices of what to spend time and money on. It is easy to let other people or circumstances dictate what we spend time and money on, but to be successful, you should make the decision intentionally.
The overriding goal in any business is, quite simply, to get paid. You should spend your time getting paid. But one does not always get paid in money. One can also get paid in expertise, in reputation and in referrals. In order to effectively prioritize your time and efforts, you should know what each of those is worth to you, and how they exchange.
The successful entrepreneur needs expertise, reputation and referrals. Your expertise in your chosen industry or field is the backbone of your success. Your reputation helps you turn referrals into customers. Referrals let you put your reputation and expertise before a potential client or customer – and by referral I mean someone with a problem you can solve and the money to pay you to solve it. You must have each of these – expertise, reputation and referral – in order to by in the position to solve someone’s problem and have them pay you to do so.
The successful entrepreneur should have some idea how his money and time translate into expertise, reputation and referral. For example, you might decide your time is worth $300 per hour, and that a good referral is worth $100 to you. If you know that, then you can decide whether sponsoring an event for $500 is worth your money, or whether attending an event is worth your time, based on how many referrals you expect to gain. You can also assess the success of the sponsorship or event based on the number of referrals you received, and decide whether to participate next time. Finally, you can make goals for yourself at the event – in our example, if you are going to attend a three hour event, you should have a goal of getting introduced to three good prospects there. This allows you to act intentionally, and increases your chance of success.
The entrepreneur who knows what his time and money are worth in terms of expertise, reputation and referrals is able to act intentionally. The entrepreneur can better manage his time and involvement, rather than letting circumstances or others dictate for him. He can better evaluate the success or failure of events he does get involved with. Spend a little time thinking about the value of your time, money, reputation, expertise and of a referral, and apply those measures next time you are asked to sponsor an event or participate in an event. I believe that by acting intentionally, you will have better results, and make more money.