Note from the Editor: The following article was originally posted on the Personal Trainer Development Center for professional trainers. The article has been modified for healthcare practitioners.
PERHAPS THE GREATEST WAY to attain and maintain wealth in the Naturopathic medical industry is to maximize your assets and minimize your liabilities.
Now that sounds nice, but to do it in practice is not as easy as it sounds. On Tuesday I’ll be sharing a list of 5 strategies every practitioner should follow to generate more wealth.
Today I want to talk about the most important asset you have: time.
Over the course of a lifetime money comes and goes. It flows. Most everything that we have in life we can lose and, with the right amount of effort, we can get back.
But time – time can never be regained. Once time is lost, it is gone. It is the most valuable asset you have. But how valuable is it?
Can you measure the value of your time and, once you know how much your time is worth, what do you do with that information?
I want to share with you a very simple formula to figuring out how much your own time is worth. As you’ll learn at the end of this article, once you figure this out you’re able to buy time at a discount and, as a result, catapulted your development. So first,
How do You Put a Value on Your Time?
The first step is putting a value on your time and doing that is not a straight-forward or simple task.
James Clear laid out a pretty simple method he calls “realized income methods“. It’s a simplistic overview but good enough for most. Much of the breakdown below follows his line of thinking with application specific to Naturopathic doctors from me.
According to Clear, the first step is to write down two numbers:
- The amount of time you spend to earn money.
- The amount of money you earn during that time.
Let’s get into each of the two numbers above:
1. The Amount of Time You Spend to Earn Money
In order to properly measure how much you make per hour, you need to measure the amount of time you invest to earn money, not just the time you work. Saying that you earn “X” dollars per patient hour isn’t sufficient.
You need to estimate the time invested that goes into that session both before or after such as:
- Travel time to and from the clinic
- Research for the patient
- Program writing
- Reminder emails / phone calls
- Scheduling time
- Admin time
- Marketing, community talks, “free” consultations
- Time after the session for charting the patient’s file
You can estimate the time spent doing the tasks above if you like but your estimation will likely be quite off. Clear advises using an app such as RescueTime that actively measures how long you spend on different tasks on both your mobile device and computer.
2. The Amount of Money You Earn During That Time
Write down what you earn. Look at your past 3-5 monthly pay cheques and average them.
That’s pretty simple.
How Much is Your Time (Really) Worth?
Finally, once you have the total number of hours you work (using the data above) and your average from the past few monthly pay cheques, perform a simple calculation:
Total pay per month / hours worked = $/hr that your time is worth
Now You Know How to Buy Time at a Discount as an Investment
Let’s say that you’ve calculated based on the above that your time is worth $24.98 per hour. Below are a few examples I just made up to show you how you can use your time/value calculation to see when it makes sense to get back time:
- The closer grocery store is, on average $15 more expensive per shopping bill but it’s within walking distance and saves an hour because it’s closer. You’ve saved $9.98 by going there – that’s a good investment!
- Instead of spending 4hrs to clean your home, you can pay somebody $45 to do it. You’ve saved $54.92 by hiring somebody to clean for you – that’s a good investment!
- Moving to a more expensive apartment close to your clinic will cost you $300 more per month but will save you 1.5hrs/day of commute time 6 days a week (36 total hours monthly). You’ve saved $599.28 by moving to the closer apartment – that’s a good investment!
For #3 above I’m especially passionate because this is similar to what happened with me.
Moving to a more expensive apartment that allowed me to walk to work saved me an hour and a half commute a day. I then used this extra time to read and study and credit much of the success I had as a personal trainer to that extra study time.
I recognize for some that your current financial situation may not allow you to make these judgements. My goal in writing this is simply to share a method that I believe contributed to my growth more than anything else I did.
Years back I figured out how much my time was worth. After that I systematically looked for opportunities in my personal and professional life to buy time at a discount. My hope is that this information helps you as much as it helped me.