November 11, 2010

Wanted: Time investment consultant

Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd make a comparison between ‘money’ and ‘time’ just at the beginning of their book, “The Time Paradox” . One of the phrases that I really liked in this book states that “a financial planner helps to determine your investment strategy based upon your personal investment goals – if only there were such a person to call upon for investing time.” The main difference between time and money is that you can physically save money whereas it is not possible to store time as it flows out continually. The authors emphasize the point that our lives go on for a limited amount of time. Just like there is an opportunity cost for our financial investments,  a similar cost is valid for our investments of time.

In our business for over 20 years, when we ask our clients about the reasons of their search for a new partner, one of their most frequent answers is their need for more personal time. As shareholders of SMEs,  they realize that allocating time to their business limits their participaton at other events.  They can’t find the necessary time for their families, friends, hobbies and many others. A group trip missed because of business obligations may result in a lot of frustration for not appearing together with the friends and family in the pictures taken on that ocassion. It is not possible to experience once more the trip, the exact same way. In other words, the opportunity cost of the time spent on business can get very high. And if your age has progressed and you think that you have passed the half way …

Your business is of course very important. Your investments are also important. However, none of them could be as important as your life, made up of a limited number of hours. Like Zimbardo and Boyd  say, you can put your money in the bank and keep it there but you will continue to consume the hours of your life. It is better to make use of those hours in ways that make you happy, not frustrated. Acquiring a partner in your company could be the right decision in your way to happiness. You would then gain both money and time.

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