7 Ways To Maximise The ROI On Your Time

Anything is possible at the beginning of your business trip. You meet a lot of people, follow and build your network. They go for coffee, brainstorm, and attend several networking events each week. It’s not sustainable, but it’s essential. In the beginning you have to be everywhere.

However, many entrepreneurs get to a point where this no longer makes sense. Where the opportunity cost of saying yes is greater than the benefit of the event itself. A different strategy is required here. While there is a place for chance encounters and openness, a personal guideline can set the right foundation.

dr Emil Hodzovic is a former doctor turned high-performance coach and investor who learned the hard way how exhausting and inefficient general networking can be. As the founder of health developed, Hodzovic helps coaches and business owners live optimal lives by balancing health, wealth and happiness, and practices what he preaches by exploring new ways of living and working. He attracts new high-ticket clients through referrals and networking and is a member of several groups, but sees his time differently now than when he began his entrepreneurial journey.

Intentional networking is Hodzovic’s antidote to too much time and too little time, with six key components.

level up

Alcoholics Anonymous describes lower companions like those people who persuade or trick you into going back to your old ways. Often someone who is successfully progressing on their AA journey will relapse after hanging out with these people. Lower companions represent an earlier version of you. As an aspiring entrepreneur, your lowly companions might be the family member who always wished you got a real job, the friend who reminds you what a messy teenager you were, or the interest group that you no longer have.

“When I first started, I would run deep, attend every single event or meetup and say yes to every outreach request,” Hodzovic said. When we become a combination of the five people we spend the most time with, it makes sense that these slots would be filled with A-players, not those that reflect who we used to be and keep small. Recognize and avoid. Join groups that are level above your business trip to maximize your opportunities for growth.

Pay attention to high and low energy

Pay attention to how you feel when you leave someone’s company. It’s probably either full of energy or ready for bed. For Hodzovic, awareness was key. “I’ve found that I come out of some interactions totally energized, and as an introvert, that was a huge realization. So I started specifically looking for those and in turn avoiding the ones that were disproportionately exhausting me.”

High-energy conversations are about ideas, fun and personal growth. Travel, business and productive sharing. Encouraging someone, helping them, reassuring them and reflecting their powers. Low energy people bring low energy issues: gossip, lawsuits, drama, politics, hearsay, and current affairs. If you can be yourself and feel better after saying goodbye, you may have found your energetic companions. If you find yourself needing to censor yourself, they’re not your people, and intentional networking says to leave early and never come back.

just say no

Time is your only finite resource. While you may have traded your time for money in the early stages of the business, now you are trading your money for time. With assistants, team members, and outsourced services, you pay to get time back. The opportunity cost of each experience is great, and time has been freed up for you to make more money or seriously relax.

“A mistake in this phase would be to fill the time gained with unproductive events,” explained Hodzovic. So just say no Politely withdraw from low-energy conversations. Decline the invitations, leave the WhatsApp groups. Don’t jump on the call, don’t book catch-up appointments. Say no to everything except those insanely valuable opportunities or the people who are insanely valuable to you. If they don’t come to you, get them instead.

Pay to play

As an entrepreneur building a serious brand, you want to meet people who are doing the same. But where do they all hang out? Hodzovic believes that free networking events have limited value, an event you could quickly outgrow. Often the solution is pay-to-play, where the guest list is checked before you arrive. Baby Bathwater, Frontier Club and 100 Million Academy are examples of networks with high barriers to entry. Barriers are what you want once you reach this level.

When you are confident that you can bring a lot to the table, you can select the table. If you’re wondering why you’re stuck, you may have picked the wrong one. Meeting people on purpose takes strategy, and paid networks might be for you.

have something to give

“The secret of conscious networking,” explained Hodzovic, “is not that you meet for it take. On the contrary, you meet them give.” Your buy-in to new groups is your insights, your emotional intelligence, your impressive audience, or your people skills. You are the aces up your sleeve, and you dish them out freely.

You can’t give enough with the right people. Bring the high energy, never the madness. Do favors, practice impartiality. Talk about the biggest problems and see them go away. Be open to opportunities of all kinds because you can trust their source. Like karma and boomerangs, it all comes back to you.

Run a personal CRM

“Tracking your engagements may sound sterile, but it’s necessary to maintain those relationships over time.” Hodzovic swears by a personal CRM system. You have calendar events for your appointments, so why not for your employees? You might meet someone in a mastermind, hit it off amazingly, but then life gets in the way and if either party doesn’t do it on purpose, the energy won’t be sustained. You may live in different countries and in different time zones. Out of sight can be out of mind without regular check-in reminders.

Keep records because you care. Notion and Airtable can both be configured to act as personal CRMs, and there are plenty of other apps out there. Entrepreneurs consciously pay attention to their business growth and SEO, but rarely to their network. Make a change by making a note.

If you’ve graduated from the School of Early-Stage Entrepreneurship, you may need to rethink who you spend your time with. Take control of your social commitments like your finances or sales activity and target the biggest rewards. While there will come a time to give back, you can make a bigger difference in the long run if you focus right now. Protect your time, protect your energy and spend both wisely with a new personal policy around what you visit.

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