WAM’s been in business now for nearly three years – our profits completely home-grown through a combination of client work and selling products. The overwhelming constant in our success has been to use time as an investment in our business. Time is, indeed, like money. You can use it to just buy stuff or you can use it to make an investment.
Use time to invest, not just to purchase
Time is money. But look at your time more like stock (and more like a mutual fund, not like this piece of garbage I’ve been holding onto for years) rather than cold-hard cash. If you spend an hour on a piece of functionality and the result of your efforts is only what you wrote, you purchased that piece of functionality with your time. But, if you can extract it, learn from it, or re-apply that knowledge elsewhere, you’re now making a sound investment with your time.
How we’re investing time into client work and products
Virtually every addition in the past two years to X2O was at a result of needing it for a client project. Any opportunity we can find to generate code so we don’t have to re-invent it again and so we can offer it to future clients, we take. The early additional time investments have always been worth it. I can’t think of a feature in X2O that I wish we didn’t spend the extra time on. Our data-modeling product is as good as it is now because of what our clients needed for their own projects.
It works the other way too. With DoneDone, every feature we add to our product now makes resolving bugs in our client work better. When we add new features to DoneDone, we’re making our own lives easier as much as we hope to make our customers’ lives easier.
In the end, these investments in time actually convert to real money. More product instances sold, more repeat business, and more efficient client work.
When you’re a self-funded small business, you have to find ways to make your company next week a better company than it was this week. One of the easiest ways to do that is to be a smart time investor.