Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Time as cash.....

My dance instructor keeps me talking as we dance. Of course, anyone who knows me also knows that I have no problem talking--to anyone. Anywhere. About anything.

But he does it to keep me from overthinking where my feet are supposed to be going. I am not a naturally rhythmic person and this is hard work for me. And don't expect my arms and my feet to go in two different directions......PLEASE. He knows this, so we talk.

One of our conversations the other day led me to reflect on the concept of how much our time is worth. My instructor and I both facilitate group sessions with people, albeit in totally diverse topics, and occasionally all our prep work to plan a session is fruitless. No one shows up. Or a session is on a Saturday or other generally unscheduled day and as the presentor I HOPE that no one shows up. (I can't speak for him on that one, but I'll ask him the next time we're waltzing.)

When no one shows, we probably don't get paid. But if I'm all set up for folks to gather and I'm hoping merely to pack back up and go home, that means something: There are other significant ways to place value on my time.

And as I get older, I'm finding the alternate price tags we assign some blocks of our time are just as valuable, if not more so. Do I really need to schedule six trainings this week when it will leave me exhausted and depleted, unable to enjoy the seventh unencumbered day? There's barely time to catch up with normal things like laundry as it is. (I started to add cleaning, too, but all my friends and family would shriek with laughter at that reference....better I just not mention it.) Plus, my current car runs fine, even if it is five years old. Do I really need a new one?

I value time to do nothing if I choose. And please don't interpret that to mean that someone else pays my bills while I'm cloud-watching. No one does, and no one has for the majority of my adult life. I have simply learned that  if I'm hoping no one attends one of my seminars, even if that means my income is lower, then my time has taken on a richer, more meaningful texture. I have matured to the point that I recognize and accept that.

Now...shall we dance?

1 comment:

  1. Is there something simple and affordable you can offer people as a freebie for showing up? People like freebies. If they show up, then you have a teachable audience (hopefully). Think they call this a marketing ploy.

    My insecurity compels me to suggest not letting them have the freebie until after the talk, but as a speaker, you may have confidence in your ability to hold an audience, even once you have rewarded them. On the other hand, perhaps an immediate reward will make them feel an obligation to listen to you. Oh dear, now I am totally confused! Does anything work?