Listen in as Tim Conley from FoolishAdventure.com shares his TIM formula [Time Income Mobility] with James Schramko. This is designed to help you set up your own life better by filtering your TIM.
In this episode we discuss:
- The Toyota 5 Whys
- How to design your lifestyle around business,
- Dan Andrews
- Pick the destination in advance and be happy with in advance,
- Ensure there are enough options for you when you get there,
- Action Steps To dial in your TIM,
- How to be clear on what your life is,
- Why is better to build an asset before you travel,
- How to consider your EXIT prior to starting,
- Why ‘eventually’ is a bad word,
- Get a management team early on,
- If you are already in a business determine the points in your business where you need to change,
- Why the conductor of the orchestra is a great role,
- ‘Two is better than one’ rule of managers,
- Question everything and remove assumptions from your life,
- Think about why are in the situation you are in now,
- much much more….
James: James Schramko here. I know you get busy with your day-to-day business and for that reason; I wanted to go back to my good buddy Tim Conley from FoolishAdventure.com and have a chat about his team technique. It doesn’t actually stand for his name. It’s just a coincidence, I think. So I’m going to introduce Tim now, and we’re going to dig right into this topic and have a little bit of a discussion around it. Welcome back Tim.
Tim: Yo! What’s up, James?
James: Hey! I’m just kicking back here in lovely Sydney weather. I’m wondering what it’s like over there.
Tim: I’m actually wearing a hoodie because it’s a little chilly here in Phoenix. Normally, we have nice, warm temperature at this time of the year, we’re the equivalent of other people’s summers, but today has been just a little too chilly for me.
James: Nice. Well, I’ve got some lightweight hoodie here so we can still wear them all year round because it’s in keeping with the job description, especially the white nighters. So, could you introduce us to this idea of TIM that I’ve heard you talk about, and I think it is going to really touch a nerve with our average listener who’s probably struggling with some of the aspects of this from time to time.
The idea of TIM
Tim: OK. So TIM is my little acronym for Time, Income and Mobility, maybe I’m a little clever. That’s about as clever as I get though by making it off my name. But this whole idea of time, income and mobility was a way to make the concept of having freedom, be a little more concrete because when I started looking at the way I was going about trying to gain personal freedom, I was looking at it as one, big concept of this idea of freedom and it’s so abstract. And most people can’t even identify what they mean when they say they want freedom. And so that’s what TIM was about. It was about to identify the three core elements of personal freedom, not political freedom or other forms of freedom that you hear out there. Just yourself. I broke it down to having time freedom, income freedom and mobility freedom.
James: Right. That is a nice, little formula to master if you can. I think the closest I’ve come to something like that in all of the things that I’ve encountered with business is the acronym that people use for SYSTEM, which when you think about systems, they’re kind of freedom from having to do things you shouldn’t have to do more than once, etc. SYSTEM stands for Saves You Stress, Time, Energy and Money. I reckon that time, energy and money is pretty close to the concept you’re talking about when you’re thinking about freedom.
Tim: Right. Right. So these would be the building blocks and SYSTEM would be the way that you would implement it into your life.
James: Right. So have you got a framework that you step through with this?
Tim: Well, more about trying to define it in your life because people take this idea of freedom and they make it way too abstract to put it into action in their life. So you need to figure out what elements of your time do you really want to free up? Because a lot of people, they just say, “I need more time. I need more time.” But they don’t understand where to prioritize to gain that time. With income, they say, “I want more income.” But then they go off and they get a job, or they get some form of income, build a business that generates income that does not give them the ability to have more free time or the ability to have mobility, and they feel like they end up trapped.
James: So they’re doing the classic difference between preference and performance. They will just say something but do another, and you’ve identified what’s causing that is that maybe they haven’t given it enough definition.
Tim: Right. Most people don’t actually provide definitions for the words that they use. I annoy a lot of people, especially my members and my clients, where they’ll say something to me and then I will go back and it’s like, let’s define that word that you’re using so that we’re both on the exact same page and can understand one another. Most people have not actually given definitions to the words they like to use like freedom, and income, and revenue and things like that.
James: Right. So they’re bandying around this broad terms. I love that definition exercise where you say to someone, “Think of the color blue.” And then you ask them to think about it, and then you say, “OK. Now tell me about your blue. What’s it like?” And they’ll go, “It’s light blue like the sky.” And then other times, they’ll be saying, “It’s deep blue like the ocean at night.”
Even one word can have completely different meanings to people. So I can understand how people get lost in that broad word like freedom. Something you did the other day, when we were talking about an exercise that I used to do, when I was learning about valuing my time better, I was talking about having someone come and mow my lawns, and you jumped on that.
I think you were excited by what I was doing because when that guy came to mow the lawn, I would go up to my office and create a website. I would do a business revenue activity that would justify the expense for mowing the lawns. I was doing this exercise in putting a monetary value on time, and you were all over that. And I can see you have a definite interest in matching up or correlating the activity and the definition of what that means.
Revenue vs. expenditures
Tim: Yeah. Partly because it removes abstraction. So a lot of people think, well, “I’ve got a housekeeper, and I’ve got someone who mows my lawn, I’ve got someone who cleans my pool, and yet all I do is seem to be working my butt off all the time trying to pay for all these things that have got going out” because they’ve never actually matched their expenditures to their revenue generating activities, they’ve never done that. And when you told me this framework that you had, I was like, that removes that abstraction. That gives you something definite, very concrete.
So if you see that all you do when you hire all this additional support is you just have expenditures going out and no additional revenue coming in to cover those expenses, then you know you’re in trouble.
James: Yeah. I’m having similar conversations with students when they’ll say something to me like, “Hey, I’ve got a deal where I can put a banner advertisement on a big website. If that goes well, I might look at doing it again. I’m like hang on a minute, what do you mean look at? You either know or not know. The answer is you’d put a trackable link and at the end of the campaign, in hindsight, you’ll garner a decision based on fact.
You’ll say, “It brought X amount of visits. Of those visits, X percentage of them made a purchase, which resulted in X amount of dollars.” And you balanced that amount of dollars versus how much it cost you to put that there in the first place and then you’ll actually have a hard decision that says yes or no instead of a vague, we’ll see how it works or maybe, we’ll do it again. There’s no maybe about it. It’s on a rough. So I guess that is exactly putting definition on each little micro activity that we do, wherever possible we should track.
Tim: Right. And as you said, it’s like, well, I don’t do that so much anymore because you know for a fact that when you free up your time, it does translate into a higher quality of life. But if you’ve never tracked it to begin with, then you can never know. You end up having this problem of causation versus correlation. Most people think the activities that they’re doing are the things that are making them successful or even making them unsuccessful. But it could just be a correlation. They take these ideas and say, “Oh, it was because I did this. That’s why I’m now earning this money.” It could be, “I hired this guy who’s mowing my lawn and now I’m making more money from my ad campaign.”
James: It’s like that research that was in the book Spin Selling by Neil Rackham, where the top sales performers didn’t even know why they were good sales performers. It took researchers sitting in the room and measuring all the data and statistics to figure out that it was a special questioning technique that was working for the top performers. It wasn’t what color tie they were wearing or the color of the shirt.
Tim: They thought it was those kinds of things and also it’s all about the closing questions.
James: Yeah, open or closed questions.
James: Every sales trainer has a module on closing. The book really explodes that whole thing, and it’s far more about the investigation mode of the sale that causes the result in large sales. I love that. Sometimes, we think we know, but we probably don’t.
Tim: Yeah, yeah. That’s usually what happens when you hear someone giving other people advice. I am always wary of the advice that I give to my clients, my members, and even on my show because it’s so easy to fall into that correlation versus causation paradox. I did this thing, the activity that I participated in, did that really cause the outcome that I said it caused? And it’s very hard to track many things.
I don’t want to get too esoteric in that, but it’s something to be aware of. That’s why definitions get you away from abstraction and the further away from abstraction you get, the better your outcomes are. They become more defined and then they’re easier to achieve.