The Value Of Time

Time is  our most valuable and limited commodity. We all have a finite amount. We all get 24 hours in a day (A lot or a little depending on your outlook). One of the most common issues I come across when working with clients is a general disregard for the value of time and a general lack of concern for the fact that, well, time WILL come to an end for all of us at some point. How do we determine the value of our time and what do we do with the time we have left once we finally wake up to the fact that yes, time is running out?

I know, it seems dark and morbid to say that “death is an ultimate motivator.” But, it’s so true. Think about it, whole artistic movements have emerged from the idea that we should all live today as though it were our last day on earth.

Now that everyone is feeling really upbeat and happy, let’s get to the actual point of this post:

If you want to determine the value of your limited time so you can better utilize said time to build a life you can be proud of, you must complete a few steps:

  1.       Determine your strengths. There are some things you’re good at and some things you’re not. This is true for EVERYONE. But bear in mind, just because you’re “bad” at something, doesn’t make it a waste of time if you’re passionate about it. I once knew a boy who loved to write. He was TERRIBLE at it, but he enjoyed it so much that he wrote for the sake of his own mental stability. That is OKAY. I suggest we don’t think about those types of “bad at it” tasks. Let’s focus on the tasks that not only are we bad at, but we hate as well. If you HATE mowing the lawn, and it always looks like an alley cat with mange when you get done, it’s NOT your strength… but maybe you’re really good with flowers, and can grow a flower garden with barely a flick of the wrist. Well, that’s a strength (to which I say, pay some kid a few extra bucks to mow the lawn and save money on a landscaper by doing your flowers yourself).
    *) Here’s a side note for you; you can be good at something and still hate it – but that is RARE. Most people REALLY ENJOY THE THINGS THEY’RE GOOD AT! When was the last time you met a really great artist who hated creating art? Probably never.
    *) Side note two; it takes approximately 10,000 hours of practice at anything to be considered “really good.” This is not my statistic. I heard this at a seminar I attended about time management and it really stuck. Why in the world would anybody spend 10,000 hours doing something they hate? They probably wouldn’t. Unless they’re mentally unstable.
    *) Sidenote three; HERE’S A BIG ONE – I am not, I repeat, I am NOT talking about the things you don’t like but MUST DO ANYWAY. Please continue to launder your clothing, clip your toenails, brush your teeth, wash your dishes, et cetera.  FOCUS… the lesson at hand pertains to people who continue to do things the hard way, despite having BETTER OPTIONS!
  2.       Determine the actual, quantifiable value of your time. I found a website called clearerthinking.org that dedicates an entire program to figuring out the value of time and how that value varies with each individual – the crazy part is that your time value is as unique as your fingerprint almost! This website has tons of other cool stuff I’m still exploring, but WOW to figure out the value of your time in terms of monetary expenditure is totally eye opening.
  3.      Decide WHAT you’re going to do about it. And ACTUALLY DO IT.

Here’s the thing, most of the people I help on a daily basis have spent hours upon hours working on their businesses and have nothing to show for it. Why? Because they’re NOT WORKING IN THEIR SWEET SPOTS. If you’re not good at something, and you hate doing it – there’s a good chance, no, a GREAT chance that you’re slower at it than you are at something for which you have talent or passion. For example, if you know you need a website to launch your health and wellness business, but you don’t know anything about websites and you don’t LIKE web design and you even hate the idea of learning about domains, you’re NOT going to be quick and you’re certainly not going to have the best website in your market.

It seems SO clear when you look at it from this perspective: If I’m going into business and I will have competition, and I KNOW I suck at web design, WHY? Why? Why am I putting countless hours into designing a web page that will be, at best, mediocre? Will it compete? No.

The reasons people do this usually revolve around “control” (this is one of my ‘things.’) I like control, but once I realized (several years ago now) that I could be more in control of my life as a whole as soon as I let go of control on some sticky details, I was FREE! And, I’ve never looked back.

This is true of anything. If you REALLY VALUE your time, isn’t it smarter to find someone who IS PASSIONATE about, say, web design or content writing (or whatever – and yes, these just happen to be products Virtue provides) and let them do the work you don’t like/don’t do well? Because when someone is passionate about a particular thing, they do their best work! Meanwhile, you could focus on the stuff that pertains to your ACTUAL BUSINESS, like perfecting your product or working with clients.

http://timemanagementninja.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/iStock_000007305840XSmall-Steal-time.jpgMoney is another factor that keeps people from valuing their time as they should. Because somehow, though it doesn’t logically make sense, they’d rather spend 100 hours of their time doing something they aren’t really gifted toward than to make the investment and let a professional finish the SAME PROJECT in a fraction of the time. There’s a good chance this group has never taken the value time test, nor have they counted up how many hours they’ve actually spent doing what they hate/are terrible at doing. To these people I say, since time is your most valuable and most rapidly depleting non-refundable, non-renewable resource… WHY AREN’T YOU PAYING CLOSER ATTENTION TO IT (I mean, do you just waste money all over town, doing things you hate to boot, without ever thinking about the funding source)? NO, you do not. Unless you’re, again, mentally unstable.

I beg you, do the time is money test – but beyond that, think about where you WANT to spend your time. If today were your LAST DAY, would you be glad you spent it doing something you hate? The investment is up to you, because YOU’RE the only one who will see the return.


Love in Him,


Corporate Culture? What The Heck Is Corporate Culture?

Okay, so I admit, today’s post is unique in that it pertains to a role that Virtue doesn’t even offer as a position. As CEO, I am also CCO (a fact that I now know, upon researching this subject); which is exactly why I’m so intrigued by this concept. You may have heard this phrase thrown around the corporate world and wondered “what in the world is THAT?” Well, wonder no further

Bear in mind, a company’s culture should be established at its origin, but because life changes on a dime, it’s important to establish a protocol for maintaining YOUR culture, in the midst of constant cultural change.

  • Corporate culture is the pervasive values, beliefs and attitudes that characterize a company and guide its practices. To some extent, a company’s internal culture may be articulated in its mission statement or vision statement.


So what does this mean for you?

A growing trend amongst Fortune 500 companies is to expand the C-suite by adding a Chief Culture Officer position. Tasked with creating and promoting an enduring culture which defines a company, the CCO does not have an easy job. Culture changes quickly in our digital age and through experience top management is discovering that change is coming no matter what. Their choice is to either embrace the idea and add their ideas, or let the culture become a product of anyone who chooses to wield their influence.

What Does the CCO Do?

Tin he Chief Culture Officer is becoming an increasingly vital cog in the modern corporate machine. The CCO mixes and mingles with the frontline employees but has easy access to the CEO and COO. More than just a middle-man, the CCO helps to shape the public image of a corporation as well as the internal culture.

He/She will need to observe the natural ebbs and flows that occur within a culture and predict where they will go next. By using the inevitable change to their advantage, a good CCO will gently influence where needed to keep the public and internal image synchronized as well as positive. This keeps employees productive, engaged and committed.

Being a CCO is not an easy task and requires an absolute commitment to having a great corporate culture. The right person will utterly glow when speaking about how to incorporate the “millennial culture” into the corporate structure. They will wax poetic about how longer more playful work breaks actually result in more completed work and smile when everyone objects without really considering the evidence. The good CCO will accomplish what he/she set out to accomplish; a workforce culture that is in blissful harmony with the corporate culture.

By accepting change as a major asset, a corporation can become an industry leader rather than the recipient of other’s crumbs. The CCO understands this and works with everyone to take the company to greater heights – and profits – than ever before reached.

Why Does Anyone Need a CCO?

Though it is a new concept, learning the craft of controlling corporate culture is incredibly important to your company’s image and brand. When no one is paying attention to the culture, then chances are the employees are dissatisfied.

The economy has caused everyone to tighten their belts and the frontline people feel the cinch more than any other department. Many corporations discover too late that their corporate culture is hating the corporation; in some cases with good reason. The cost of the “Great Recession” has been passed to down to the employee in the form of decreased benefits and wages yet increased responsibility. Of course there are the lay-offs too which have a bad habit of making people feel disposable.

So in an age where many employees feel like property rather than people, it is increasingly important to avoid being the “evil corporation”. By consistently providing direction to your employees and giving them the tools they need, your employees can work smarter not harder. Freeing up time once wasted on fixing broken copiers and re-setting the (stupid!) router, you can now get more work out of your existing staff. And guess what? They will enjoy doing it!

Research proves that employees who feel valued and like they are part of something important are more productive and less likely to leave. They are more likely to be proud of where they work and to recruit others to join the team. No better PR could be had for your corporation than the effusive praise of your own employees.
Getting Started

Since Chief Culture Officer is a new position within the c-suite, the role might have to be crafted from scratch. An emerging group of consultants and think tanks are beginning to offer their services in this area for a fee. The position of CCO will be rolled out like any other product complete with even an implementation team! This time of uncertainty for the CCO will be short as a group of leaders from the millennial generation are ready to change the image of corporations from hostile to familial. Start planning now and it will be much easier when the time comes for you to begin influencing your changing corporate culture.

How To Get Traffic To Your Website Through Good Copy

In order to increase traffic to your website, it is important to have the best content available. Gone are the days of search engines based on keywords. Today’s search engines are more complex and based on the context of the query rather than only the words it contains. If you’re not into writing yourself, getting good content can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be with the right resources. Let’s start with the most important part of getting good content…finding a writer.

Don’t roll your eyes or click away, it MATTERS, and you have some options:

Staff Writer vs Independent Contractor

A versatile staff writer is a unique asset to have if you have enough work and the economy of scale to provide medical benefits. Once hired, a staff writer can provide a variety of services whenever your business needs if given the right tools and direction. Additionally, a staff writer has the same accountability and availability as any other salaried employee which allows for a certain level of trust. However, the tax man rests for no one and you will be responsible for payroll taxes, Medicare, and Social Security. This is a considerable cost for most businesses and is not always an option for small businesses.

Using independent contractors to write content is not only a great way to have diversity of thought amongst your worker-bees; it is also extremely cost effective. Why is that? Well, the biggest benefit financially is that an independent contractor is responsible for their own taxes. Payroll taxes are not an issue with freelance writers, as they report and are responsible for their own earnings through a 1099 tax form. By hiring a freelance writer, not only are you getting a professional with a quick TAT, you are also freeing up capital that might otherwise be tied up in payroll taxes. Still, there are some things to keep in mind. If you hire an independent contractor, he or she will have the power to dictate his or her workload and hours – which could leave you feeling a bit “less-than-important” if your terms are CLEARLY DEFINED up front. It’s always smart to identify and clarify any “fine print” before you sign on the dotted line. This is also true when hiring a contractor to create content for you.

Finding Quality Freelance Writers

Whether you are looking to find someone long term or looking for someone to complete one project, lots of people are out there willing to fulfill your content needs. Some may have a fee/word requirement while others work on an hourly basis. So how do you find the quality freelance writer you need to propel your business forward?

One way is to post an ad on career websites such as Indeed.com or in your local classifieds. Another is to use a freelance service such as Elance or oDesk. Both kinds of services will require a detailed description of the task as well as a price range in order to yield high quality candidates.

Online career sites and local classifieds are a more traditional approach to finding talent. An ad is posted and many applicants will apply with their resume. It is then your decision as an employer to choose the best candidate for the job. By applying for the job, it is assumed that the freelance writer accepts all listed terms. The delivery of service is not monitored by the career or classified website and there isn’t a way to provide feedback for great or horrible service. After the job is done, the ad is simply removed.

As with the other info, there’s a speed bump you might have to navigate; not all freelance writers are as awesome as they first appear. Far too many people learn the hard way that when it comes to these freelance sites, you get what you pay for. If a writer says he or she can do five pages of copy for ten bucks – run away – far, far away. This may sound harsh, but years’ experience in the industry has taught us to “know when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away or RUN.”

Use A Professional Service

Of course, we’re most partial to this option because it’s what we do. But, we understand that our services aren’t for everyone, hence the above info. Still, using a service has tons of benefits that the above options don’t offer. For example, there’s not “hunt” for the right person. There’s no tax issues to think about or schedules to make out. You don’t even have to pick the topics if you don’t want to! With a service company, like Virtue Marketing, you simply choose your products, and Client Care takes it from there. You will need to answer a few questions, but you can be as involved – or uninvolved – as you like. We talk to some of our clients every day, and others prefer to sit back and watch us work. The sky is the limit and you customize the service to suit YOU. At Virtue, we have already cherry-picked the finest writers available, who have experience in legal, medical, and consumer content. Not only that, but we LOVE what we do and we are eager to serve. Our writers are happy to share their expertise with you whenever you need it!

BONUS TIP: No matter what option you choose, it is essential to be clear about your expectations and budget. There should be hard deadlines and the cost should be arranged and clearly established ahead of time.

With Love,