The Value of Compounded Time…

July 25, 2011

Chris Brogan's in disguise

Image by acnatta via Flickr

If you get the idea of Compounded Interest, this post makes a ton of sense to you.

I was mildly aggravated by one comment I saw on Chris Brogan’s recent post “Selling Information” where he sought to (completely unnecessarily in my mind) defend his position to sell access to a 2 hour webinar on Google Plus for 1,000 people at $47 a pop.

One guy wrote:

were you aware that the webinar seats 1,000 people? yes, Mr Brogans haul off of this stands to be $47,000 for an hour or two of his time (fyi)....lots of personal attention you are gonna get on this puppy!

Actually, I was more than mildly aggravated, I was severely ticked off.

Mostly because it demonstrates what I consider to be the mindset of far too many (“how much time did you spend actually doing the work?”)

In his mind, Chris Brogan (whom I had the privilege of meeting a few years ago and is one of the few ‘social media gurus’ I actually think is an innovative thinker) is going to “work” for 2 hours and get paid $47,000.

But, that’s the mindset of someone who thinks he is working in a factory.

It’s not the mindset of someone who thinks in terms of “how much value is he creating for those attending AND how did he get to a point where he can even create that value?”

And that’s where the value of Compounded Time Fits in…

Chris is a “time person” (link to my personal blog). He values his time and makes the most of every single moment (takes one to know one).

So, here’s how he gets to the point where he can make $47,000 in 2 hours.

Let’s say you have 2 people of similar talent and intelligence.

Each night, after a full day of work, doing some exercise, and spending some time with their kids, that person has 2 hours to do whatever.

Person 1 spends 1 hours paying bills, managing the house stuff, etc. and then an hour watching Law and Order:SVU re-runs (no offense, it’s a good show).

Person 2 previously invested 4 hours over 4 nights to get to the point where house maintenance tasks only take 20 minutes (bills are automated, etc.) and now has 1 hour and 40 minutes left.

During that time, he may kick back on his couch with his iPad and scan/read 100 blog posts, watch some videos of thought leaders in his industry, comment on a few blogs of those he respects and, if he is trying to formulate some new ideas or new understanding, writes a blog post of his own (mostly for himself, just to grapple with the ideas).

Now, let’s say that Person 1 and Person 2 do this every weeknight for an entire year.

When the year is over, Person 2 has spent 100 minutes x 5 nights x 52 weeks= 433.33 hours on gaining mastery on his craft. That’s an extra 18 days!

Basically a FULL month over Person 1.

Do that for a few years and, pretty soon, a HUGE gulf opens up between the two of them.

Nobody sees that part….

By investing in himself, his blog, his community, he gets to a point where he can offer all this stored compounded time to people in 2 hours and he deserves to get paid for it.

(In fact, if you factor in all of that time, it’s like getting paid garment factory worker wages, right?)

It’s all of the work he did, day in and day out that mattered.

It gets compounded, like interest.

When you do that…no matter what industry you are in, you’ll have “pay days” that will make others say “hey, that’s not fair!”

Of course, they were watching SVU while you were working.

Kind of like the modern day Grasshopper and the Ant, only this time the commodity isn’t food for the winter, it’s information and knowledge for the globalized attention economy.




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