Many solopreneurs who have online businesses find time management a challenge. This is especially true for coaches, counselors and others in the helping professions who have had "contact hours" but not a "billable hours" mindset like lawyers and accountants do. But there is something to be learned from these fellow pros.
Our time is valuable.
Not only is time valuable in terms of our income streams, but also to our mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and relational health.
As I get older, I'm more keenly aware of how much time is used in various activities such as daily life chores when factoring in the accommodations to aging, bucket list implementation planning and resourcing, and getting my affairs in order (not that I'm expecting to go anywhere anytime soon, just newly aware of all that's involved) -- on top of completing work projects, and just making time for family, spiritual, and social life.
Yet, not a day goes by in my practice, and likely not in yours either, in which calls or emails don't come in requesting our attention on just a "quick simple question". LOL - those are usually the ones that take the longest to answer!
To accomplish everything I want to do, some changes are needed in how I manage time.
Old Habits Die Hard
I've built my professional brand in large part on being a helpful resource. That's meant feeling good about giving away a lot of my time in service to educating introverted colleagues on making online client attraction marketing easier. So I was surprised recently when I tallied up how much time was spend in unfocused phone calls and explanatory emails that I wasn't considering as "work".
Dealing with these calls and emails was teaching, and problem solving, and advising, as one of my friends pointed out, and it took up a lot of time. I was psychologically invested in being a helpful resources, so it sometimes took hours to answer those simple email questions fully.
How much leisure time do you have? my friend asked. When was the last time you took a real vacation? How much sleep are you getting? Questions every solopreneur should ask herself.
Hmmmm. She was right. I was bad at time management. Changes needed to be made.
New Consult Policies
So now, just like a therapist doesn't do free counseling whenever a call is scheduled or email shows up with a "quick question", neither do I as a marketing consultant and website designer. Calls and emails for the purpose of discussing topics like the following will incur a consultation fee as of 1 Jan 2018:
identifying a new niche to highlight on your website
developing topics to blog about
gaining page rank in Google (not even Google cares much about this anymore)
changing the domain name on an existing website
whether to unpublish your website for a while
sprucing up the homepage when you have no idea what you want
telling you what could be improved on your old website
Since most of the answers to these types of questions can be found in my several blogs and No Hype Mentor and DeWriteSites Facebook pages, I want to empower you to look there first.
Ootherwise, the fee for these calls and emails will either be wrapped into and itemized in a project invoice, or you will be invoiced when the time expended exceeds 15 minutes. the current rate is $25 per half hour.
If we are currently engaged in a website project, or working under a webmastering arrangement, a limited amount of unrelated marketing questions may be answered by email at no extra charge. Clients are requested to first check the De*WriteSites and TheNoHypeMentor blogs, where many answers to common questions can be found.