Picture this. You drive almost an hour to a function only to arrive and quickly decide about the opportunity cost and time decay. I arrived and not 7 minutes later I was departing with a handout and names of the points of contact I needed.

A few items to note and thought process:

  • As you arrive and scan the room, you realize the event format and the type of information being provided by a 6-member panel is not conducive to your learning, transformational conversations, or practical to your timeline.
  • As you look at your phone calendar, which should be in 15m time increments, you realize you have a busy day, account for traffic to return, and cannot have time decay.
  • In another time, you may have just bit the bullet and stayed the course only to possibly regret it later. Possibly due to higher expectations.
  • The opportunity cost is real. If you stay until after the panel you might engage some personnel at the trade booth; if you depart now, time is on your side to make better use of it.

As an employee, you get paid to be somewhere. Self employed have to account for the time they spend on the ground and place a value on their time, especially founders. Atomic Habit author James Clear wrote an extensive blog post about the value of time.

If t is representative of time, then the value of time especially those self employed, business owners and investors increases. Meaning that within minutes of arriving on location someone that isn’t an employee must quickly put a price on the value of their time, take into account time decay (time erodes and can’t be purchased back) and determine if 7 minutes is the line in the sand.

Knowing when to pause and direct your time elsewhere is an important skill set to hone in on.

David Molina is an American entrepreneur, founder, and blogger. A son of Mexican immigrants, a former farm worker and high school drop-out, he went on to be the first in his family to attend and graduate from a university and earn an Officer Commission in Infantry. Molina has been a founder, co-founder and launched a wide range of companies and organizations including a veterans nonprofit, featured in multiple news outlets including The Bend Bulletin, Portland Business Journal, Univision KUNP-TV, Humans of Tech, and The Seattle Times.