I like to ask owners I work with a question - what role do you play in your business? If the person I’m asking this question is honest
their answer is it depends. It depends on what they’re actually doing at a particular time.
When I’m working with clients I like to help them work on the $10,000 per hour question. The one that will help them move the needle in their company. If most business owners are honest with me they’ll tell me their time is usually spent on things that are worth $25 to $300 an hour.
I want you to think about how you spend your time. I want you to think about how roles fit into your life. You’re willing to do this, aren’t you?
This is the person who actually does the work your company provides. In a manufacturing business it might be a line worker, a salesperson or customer service rep. In a professional business it’s the person providing direct service whether it be putting together a tax return, writing legal documents or just doing administrative work.
This job is usually worth between $20 and $300 per hour. It’s what the company gets for the work that a player does. Not the most valuable way you can spend your time as an owner.
If you happen to be a solopreneur or a micro-business owner this is where you will spend over 95% of your time. You’re just busy doing the work and that’s OK. If your business is larger, you better not spend much time here. If you do, you’re not creating a business; you’ve just created a job.
Now you’re supervising people who work for you. It’s rare that you do direct work. You’re job is to help make those you work with better. Remember, if you’re doing administrative work you’re not being a coach, you’re being a player. A coach is only when you are directly working through your employees to help your company provide a result.
When you’re doing this work you are probably working on activities that create $500 per hour or more. It’s how you make your people more effective and efficient.
You’ve now moved past of a coaching role to people who do player work. You are mentoring more than coaching. You spend your time working with your coaches making them more effective.
The only problem you might have as a general manager is you spend a lot of time working as a coach. You get involved in working with people doing the direct work. You might even spend time on administrative activities. After all, you need to find a way to fill up the time you spend at work.
The more time you actually spend as a general manager, the more money your company can make. A good general manager’s work is worth $1,000 or more. The problem you’ll have here is that end up spending most of your time as a player or coach. Be honest with yourself. If you find this is where you are, how much of your time could you be doing something that has more value to your company?
This is where the $10,000 per hour activities happens. This is where you’re putting together plans for how to say no to the wrong customers. This when you’re hiring people who are going to make your company better. This is where you work on what it takes to fit in and make your company great. It’s even where you develop what the persona’s are that you really want to serve.
When you’re working in the role of an owner you’re only working on strategic activities. You’re not managing managers, you’re not managing line workers and you’re not doing direct or administrative work. You’re working on strategies that will make your company better. As soon as you start working on implementation you’ve moved out of the owner role.
The role of an owner doesn’t take much time. It’s why you earn $10,000 per hour when you’re doing it.
What do you think? Do you think you can start thinking about how you spend time in your business? Is there any chance you could start to move towards the $10,000 per hour activities?
We’ve put together a case study on roles you play in your business. You’ll get a chance to dig deeper into what role you play. Having a clear understanding of what the right role is at the right time will help make your company better.