How Much is Your Time Worth?

Wow, a Lot More Than I Thought

Over the past several weeks either I or my assistant, on several occasions, have been late to our regularly scheduled daily meetings. Most of the time it’s just a few minutes. But there were a couple of times that it was closer to 30 minutes.

It’s not like either of us were just being lazy and chose to be late. In every case there were some miscalculations of the schedule prior or some unexpected situations that came up. We all know that life happens.

Being on time comes down to prioritizing and making decisions accordingly.

I’ve always struggled with giving my time the same level of importance as other peoples. I wouldn’t be late to meetings with customers, committees at church, or in the community. The lack of importance of my own time oozes over to the time of my assistant’s. This is unacceptable.

As I was thinking about this and considering ways to give my time a greater level of importance I came up with an idea. What if there was a monetary penalty for every minute that we were late. Let’s say $1.00 per minute. If I’m late I pay her a dollar and if she’s late she pays me. This caused me to consider…

What each minute of my time is really worth?

So, I did some calculations –

  • There are 60 minutes every hour
  • There is an average of 12 hours per my workday
  • There are 6 workdays per my work week
  • There are 52 work weeks per year
  • This means there are 224,640 minutes available to work each year
  • My gross revenue target for this year is $500,000.00
  • $500,000.00 divided by 224640 minutes means that each minute of the workday is worth $2.23

$2.23 for each minute doesn’t seem like that much, until I did some more calculations –

  • $2.23 x 5 minutes = $11.15
  • $2.23 x 15 minutes = #33.45
  • $2.23 x 30 minutes = $66.90
  • $2.23 x 60 minutes = $133.80

Who new that my time was that valuable?

It’s amazing how much the little things can change the big picture. This gave me a whole new sense of urgency. It has caused me to evaluate decisions differently. Which of these things on the list is worth spending that much time/money on?

It has caused me to focus more intensely on which actions I need to take to accomplish my mission.

I’ve never been one to give my time the value its worth. Working for myself it’s always hard to give it a monetary value. This new discovery changed that. This weekly solution has cost me $267.60 so far and by the time I find some pictures and get it uploaded it’s going to be closer to $350.00.

I sure hope you find that much value in it. 😊

Of course, everybody’s level of importance is going to be different based on individual preferences. But this new awareness of the value of my time has given me a new focused intensity to spend my time wisely.

So…it looks like the penalty for being late to the meeting is going to be $2.23 per minute.

It’s Important to Have the Right Tool for the Job

And There’s More to the Right Tool Than Meets the Eye

For those of you that remember the TV sitcom “Home Improvement” you’ll remember Tim ‘the Tool Man’s’ attempts to give everything from cars to household appliances “more power” and the infamous ‘grunts’ that accompanied this.

There’s something primal in finding a new tool and learning to use it.

You’ve heard it said that, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”, which I agree works pretty well. However, I would argue that an even better way is…give him a new power tool.

There is a tool out there for every job and often times more than one. As cool as tools are, they’re worthless if you don’t have them, don’t know how to use them and then actually do so.

The biggest “tool” problem is…the lack of “business system tools”.

Most “construction guys” would prefer to use a circular saw or screw gun rather than a computer. Paperwork usually isn’t what they think of when considering tools.

One of the most important tools in the “construction tool” arsenal is paperwork. Profitability and the success of the company hinges on the accuracy and knowledge of income and expenses. It requires having the right tools, knowing how to use them and then actually doing so. 

One such tool is the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal system. Early on I had no system for doing proposals and like most contractors I guessed. That’s when I decided that I had had enough and developed a system that took the guess work out of proposals. I’ve been using and refining this Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal for more than 25 years. You can use this same tool by purchasing the downloadable system (complete with templates, instructions, and examples). This way you can stop rolling the dice with your profits and take control of your money and your business.

In talking with construction companies about the bidding process they all see the benefits of having a system but can’t see the value for the price. These same people wouldn’t think twice about spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to buy cordless tool kits or pneumatic nail guns and compressors, not to mention the price of skid loaders.

The real question is value…not price.

When considering tools, you should consider the return on your investment. Those power tools that you purchase are going to wear out over time and need to be replaced. The Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal won’t. You can purchase the Blueprint for Building a Better Proposal for less than the price of a good quality cordless tool kit and the return on that investment is priceless.

Having the right tools, knowing how to use them, and then actually doing so can be the difference of having a successful company or giving up and going out of business.

You’ve never been afraid to get a new power tool and learn how to use it.

Don’t be afraid to get a new “proposal power tool” and learn to use it either.

What Are the Benefits to Having A Porch?

How Adding a Porch to Your Home Can Change Everything

When talking about houses one of the things that is discussed with pride or envy is a porch. Porches will make all the difference to how your home feels before ever stepping foot inside. You’ve probably heard it said that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. This is true for your home as well.

A porch done right can make a great first impression.

Timber Creek Construction is in the pre-construction stages of building a front porch on Will and Ivy Tatum’s new home. They are currently in the process of getting a home set in the country on some family property. The family connection and history lend itself to making the home special. The porch on this home will do just that.

Factory built homes have come a long way from the early days of single wide trailer houses when they weren’t much more than a camping trailer with skirting. I don’t know but having a trailer tongue sticking out on one end and a license plate on the other, just doesn’t feel very long term.

Tatum’s purchased their new Commodore modular home from Shocker Homes east of Wichita in Augusta, Kansas. It is a structurally sound wood framed home bolted to a concrete foundation. (No trailer tongue sticking out on this house.) LG Pike Construction in Arkansas City, Kansas set the home on the foundation with a crane. This process alone was impressive. (Follow this link to see some video.)

Porches vary depending on geographic location, architectural design and purpose. According to, a porch is, “an exterior appendage to a building, forming a covered approach or vestibule to a doorway.”.

A porch without a roof is not a porch.

A wood structure with spaced flooring is a deck. A concrete slab without a roof is a patio. A raised uncovered concrete area at a doorway is a stoop. All of these serve a purpose, but none of them can offer what a porch can.

The roof portion is what makes all the difference. It’s the part that adds the real value.

Here are a few of the benefits to a porch:

  • Additional protection from the elements (sun, wind, rain)
  • A protected and shaded place to enjoy a cup of coffee, read a book, entertain guests or simply take a nap.
  • Protection from bugs if it is screened
  • Improves appearance of the home’s exterior
  • Increases the value of your home

One of the reasons decks or patios are done rather than porches is the cost. There’s no question that the addition of the roof will increase the cost substantially. Like any construction project that is undertaken, the more that is done, the more that it will cost.

The question…Is it worth it?

Watch the difference that this porch will make to Tatum’s home. Once you see the finished project, I think you and they will both agree.

It was definitely worth it.

Keep watching to see the difference a porch can make.

If you have questions about this project or others contact us in the comments section below.

The Value of a Professional Builder

What’s It Worth to Hire A Professional?

I was talking with my wife, who’s a realtor, earlier this week. She was telling me about an individual that had been trying to sell their house themselves and not having any luck. Reluctantly they are now considering listing their house with a realtor.

Her question was why would someone not list their house with a professional? I have thought about this same thing regarding construction for years.

The ‘Do It Yourself’ philosophy has become an industry on its own. This is not to say that doing things yourself is all bad.

The question should be about value, not about dollars.

To hire or not, is the question. I’m pretty capable with a wide range of skills, but there are some things that are just better done by professionals. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer not to do my own surgery or fill my own cavity.

The number one reason that most people don’t hire a professional is the cost. When the purchase or project is in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars the professional fee is big. Is the money saved by not hiring the professional really a savings? The actual cost in dollars, time and heartache may be a lot more in the end.

The value of hiring a professional can go well beyond the dollars spent.



  • They have been through the pitfalls and can help you avoid them. It breaks my heart the number of times that I have been asked to come finish a project that someone started and then realized they were in over their head.


  • There is a process to everything and construction is no different. If you do things in the wrong order the eventual cost is often more than the professional fees. If the walls are sheetrocked before the electrical wiring is ran it isn’t going to turn out well.

  • Doing all the different things a good professional does takes a lot of time. If you plan to do them and do them well, you need to plan to spend the time. As is the case with most things, looking at something from the outside it looks easier and quicker than it really is. What is your time worth?

Once you’ve decided to hire a professional keep in mind that not all of them are created equal. You need to give some consideration to the hiring process and find the right builder for you. In some situations professional may not be the best term when describing some builders. The wrong builder can be as much of an issue as not having one at all. What is the cost of cheap? Good communication with fixed pricing are both crucial to a good professional experience.

The important thing is for you to give some thought to the question of hiring a professional before moving forward and then regretting it later. In Proverbs 19:2 it says, “Being excited about something is not enough. You must also know what you are doing. Don’t rush into something, or you might do it wrong.”, ERV.

What is the value of a skilled professional’s guidance?