The above verse marks the point at which W.H. Auden’s poem abandons sentiment and proclaims the inevitable, destructive, march of time. This is something which internet marketers come to know only too well. The contrast between a traditional nine-t0-five job and a home business is most notable in the change of relationship with time.
While sitting in an office, pushing paper, the hands of the clock move excruciatingly slowly as you will them towards 5pm so the race to the elevators can begin. But in your home office, with a constantly expanding to-do list, the hours and days (italics) “run like rabbits”. You push the end of your work days back, working longer and longer into the evening.
Try as you might, you cannot bend time to your will. Your perception of it varies but it continually moves forward at the rate of one second per second (we’ll leave Einstein’s theory of relativity for another time). Even if you could work twenty-four hours a day without collapsing and dying, the likelihood is that you would still find yourself coming up short.
This is a sticking point for so many internet marketers. No matter how many time-saving tools and techniques they apply, no matter how fast they work, and no matter how many hours they put in, their business still experiences a rate of progress that would make a glacier look hyperactive.
If any of this is resonating with you, please clear away all distractions for a moment and focus on this one, simple truth:
You Cannot Conquer Time
Working hard, long days is commendable but, if your progress has stalled, the problem isn’t going to be resolved by cramming more and more into every hour of every day.
You need to stop. Right now. And figure out a different approach.
But if you’re thinking that the tactic I’m going to suggest is outsourcing, you’re only half right. If you had the money available to farm out all of your work then you wouldn’t be in this situation. So I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that, when it comes to business expenditure, you have a limited budget.
If I’m right, it’s not because I have unusual insight. It’s because EVERYONE has an upper limit on what they can afford to invest back into their business. And if your limit is on the low side, it simply means you’ll have to be a bit more creative. Let me help you get started.
I’ve highlighted four simple steps you can take to outsource more of your work, without the costs you might normally associate with this approach. Each step has its own residual benefits, so if you’re desperate to break the habit of trying to wrestle time to your will, try and avoid discounting any of them. Even if it involves something towards which you might initially feel some resistance.
1) Read “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss
If you haven’t read this yet, then you’re probably tired of hearing people insist that you must. Sorry to add to the clamor, but swallow whatever it is that’s making you resist and read it anyway.
The time management suggestions and philosophy in this book are worthwhile. It’s the guidance on outsourcing however that is especially valuable. The wisdom you acquire here will be very helpful when carrying out the next three steps.
Go to: www.fourhourworkweek.com
2) Share Your Profits
Instead of paying for outsourced work upfront, look for people who are willing to work in exchange for a share of the profits. For example, if you need a programmer to build a website, offer 10-20% of your net profits for that website for as long as they continue to work with you.
Not every programmer is interested in this kind of contract but there are plenty who are. The residual benefit of this arrangement is that it provides powerful motivation for the programmer to complete the work swiftly and to a high standard.
I would recommend only offering this deal to people that you have already hired at least once before and who performed satisfactory work.
Over the years I’ve obtained literally thousands of dollars worth of goods and services, free of charge, by providing my services instead of payment.
You may think that search engine optimization, running a Pay Per Click campaign, or setting up a lead-capture page, are relatively simple exercises. Yet these are often a mystery to the self-employed, small, or even quite large businesses. Offer your expertise in full or partial exchange for whatever it is that you want to acquire and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how often people are open to the idea.
Don’t think for a moment that you’re the only home business owner who has too much to do, and not enough funds to outsource everything. Search for someone who has strengths and abilities in different areas to you, and arrange to combine your efforts. You can do this as a simple exchange, but you may find it even more effective to collaborate on a shared project.
Online forums and internet marketing seminars present opportunities to broaden your network of contacts and find like-minded individuals who might appreciate the chance to pool resources.
Don’t Fight It
Rather than viewing time as a destructive, inescapable force that must be fought against, learn to work within its restraints and make a point of enjoying its passage. This won’t happen if you persist with the idea that progress can be achieved, purely by working longer and later.
Show me a successful internet marketer who performs every single piece of work related to their business, and I’ll show you a work addict heading for an early grave. Having limited funds is not a good reason to avoid outsourcing aspects of your business. Go now, get a pen and paper, make a list of ALL of your work connected to your business, and commit to outsourcing at least one item before the end of the month.
I advise starting with the job you enjoy the least.
And don’t put this off. If you do, then the chances are good that W.H. Auden’s daydream will soon become your reality.
‘In headaches and in worry
Vaguely life leaks away,
And Time will have his fancy
To-morrow or to-day.
You can read W.H. Auden’s poem, “As I Walked Out One Evening” in full at www.tinyurl.com/AudenPoem
About the AuthorDavid Congreave began working online in 2001. He is now an SEO and Internet marketing consultant, a writer, and an editor. He lives and works in Leeds, UK with his wife, Leanne.
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