When I talk about the gains of shaping time and crafting systems, I talk about things like…
energy • spaciousness • efficiency • effectiveness • flexibility • resilience • direction • order • calm • support • consistency • automagicness • trust • confidence • integrity • alignment • flow
And those are all good things. Improving how you organize your time and activities will improve your physical, mental and emotional health, relationships, surroundings and so forth.
And because everything is connected, those gains will have a positive effect on your financial health as well. I’m sure you get that.
But that effect is neither indirect nor something abstract and subjective. It can be measured. It can be quantified. And that’s something I don’t often talk about but should.
So let’s talk numbers – specifically numbers of dollars. Because there are real financial costs to not having sufficient systems in place.
To illustrate my point, here are a few examples from my own life…
Over the last three years, not having systems in place to support my physical health has cost me about $15,000 in medical services (and that’s with health insurance). And I lost at least that much in income during recovery, and much more in loss of momentum.
I estimate my backlog of unfinished products is costing me about $2,000/month. A lack of adequate marketing systems to support those products and other services costs me another $2,000/month in income.
(Somewhat ironically, I can calculate these losses with decent accuracy because I have good systems for tracking my finances.)
Recovering such losses requires time and energy for systems crafting. It requires the discipline to stop putting these projects on the back burner in favor of other activities. And it requires outside input from people who can reveal my blind spots and support me when I stumble or get confused.
In other words, there’s an investment involved. But it’s not like I don’t know what the payoff will be.
What I’m not doing because I don’t have appropriate infrastructure in place is costing me thousands.
And what you’re not doing because you don’t have appropriate infrastructure in place is costing you thousands.
On a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month basis, what is it costing you to…
- correct the mistakes that result from rushing into or through things?
- clarify avoidable misunderstandings and miscommunications?
- have a backlog of unfinished projects?
- check but not process email?
- not follow up with inquiries or clients properly?
- not have a marketing plan or a way to measure its effectiveness?
- avoid your bookkeeping?
- make exceptions to policies (or not have any)?
- DIY what should be automated or delegated?
- feel run-down or recover from preventable health problems?
- look for what you can’t find?
- recreate what you’ve already created?
Do those costs go beyond unrealized potential income to include actual expenses? Like late fees, rush fees and other avoidable charges? Extra work for your VA, web designer, bookkeeper or other supporters? Too many take-out meals? Medical bills?
Either way, I’m guessing those costs are at least $1,000 per month.
Let’s do some math. If you’re losing just one revenue generating hour per weekday to a lack of systems, and that hour would bring in $50 – that’s $1000 per month. For some of you, an hour of “billable” time is worth more like $150-500 – which is a loss of $3,000 to $10,000 each month.
Even if you’re not at the $10,000 level yet, can you see how a foundation built without systems will cost you even more as your business grows? And not by a little, but by a factor of ten or more?
Of course, money isn’t everything. But it is an essential form of energy. And if that energy isn’t flowing through your life in an abundant way, what it doesn’t buy isn’t going to be enough to sustain you all by itself.
So make the investment. Take this off the back burner, devote some time and energy to it, get the necessary outside perspective and support.
You know what your time is worth. You know what you’d do with it. You know what you’d do with the money.
So let’s make it happen. Because there’s always something you can better systematize right now that will directly improve your bottom line.