Tony Robbins is a legend within the motivational speaker realm, but he's taking on personal finances in his new book Money: Master the Game. What's interesting is that the things he's addressing can also apply to an entirely different area: Your business creativity.
In his latest interview on Inc., Robbins talks about "taxing your own money":
There's a man named Theodore Johnson who was a driver for UPS. This man never made more than $14,000 a year. When he retired, he was worth $71 million! [Early on,] a friend of his came and said "You've got to invest.' He said, 'I've got no money to invest!' His friend said, 'If the government came to you and put a 20 percent tax on you, you'd scream bloody murder! And then you'd pay it. Because you have to. We're going to put a wealth tax on you for you and the money's all going to go to your future self.'
Now replace money tax with research tax. How can we come up with brilliant business strategies, new ways to serve our clients and smart solutions to pressing problems without making time to read, to think or to process? Taking 20 percent of our time to truly strategize seems worth it for future prosperity, and, like financial investing, our effort compounds over time.
Like money, we often feel like we don't have enough time to invest into our company - unless an outside entity intervenes. I recently met with time management master Laura Vanderkam, and she talked about an overextended client whose water heater broke and flooded her basement. The client spent about 15 hours managing the damage that week - and still managed to do everything she needed to get done. Did that time just magically appear? No, she made it a priority. We should do the same with our space to innovate.
This concept has vibrated through some of the most successful companies in recent memory. From the 1970's, production giant 3M has given employees 15 percent of their work time for personal experiments and research. It helped 3M discover one of its most defining products, Post-It Notes. Google adopted similar practices with similar results.
The problem? You don't have a corporation giving you time to explore. You need to give yourself permission. Here's some food for thought:
- Officially start your work week on Tuesday: Mondays are often a wash, anyway
- Schedule a blank day: Put your research time in your schedule, just as you would an all-day retreat or meeting
- Use the do-not-disturb sign: Whether physical or virtual, DND time makes it easy to dedicate an hour or more to thoughts and strategy
- Go for a long walk: And leave the phone at home