Mar 15, 2013

How I Value TIME Very Much

Few months ago I was invited to speak at one seminar in Jakarta during weekdays (I live and work in Bandung by the way, it's like four hours, at least, traveling back and forth). I learned and researched about the committee that held the event and how they and my company could possibly work together. I sent them an email asking some questions to gain information and they replied respectively. I couldn't tell how my company could benefit from me speaking at their event at the time, however, they told me that they would give me a certificate for sharing my experience.

I never mind sharing. I love it actually as some part of me has always wanted to be a teacher or lecturer. But commuting from Bandung to Jakarta back and forth, not to mention spending my whole day during weekdays (when the work load is so high), and/or even during weekends when I should have and enjoy my me-time is such a big deal for me. So long story short, weighing all the pros and cons, I replied their email and said "NO" for the reasons above, nevertheless I offered them to do Skype/webinar, of course, if they wanted to.

They immediately replied my email and it was crystal clear that they didn't take my "NO" properly as they thought and stated explicitly that money was my main reason (FYI. They couldn't provide accommodation and/or a speaker fee). They wrote one lengthy email saying how "sorry" they were that they could not afford to have me speaking at their event, without considering my offer to do Skype/webinar or any other ways so that I can still share my experience without being physically there (I didn't understand why I should be physically there??). I was like "what are they thinking??!!", but of course I kept it to myself and said nothing. I believe I have explained very well the reason why I couldn't come to their event on my previous email. So I thought, "well, if you can't understand what I try to tell you, then it's your problem. Just deal with it yourself".

I think one great benefit of being an entrepreneur is having the flexibility with time. I often hear some women who say that they want to have a business so that they can have more time with their children. I think they have a point. Yes, they CAN have more free time compare to 9-5 working mothers. It's your business, you set the rules, your very own rules. You can work two hours a day if you want (if you think that's enough). Again, it absolutely depends on how you want to run your business.

While me, being a single woman, I'm taking the liberty of dedicating my time fully for Wangsa Jelita. From Monday to Friday, I start to work from 7AM (sometimes 9AM if I work late the day before) until 7ish in the evening. Weekends are sometimes holiday (in disguise) as I quite often speak at seminars (to promote my company and the cause we support) or spend some time with some of my mentees. No worries, I do too have my me-time and I promise myself to have that on Sundays. But if you ask me if seven days a week is enough? I will say, 'no, it's not'.

Don't get me wrong. I am not grumbling. In fact, I enjoy my life very much and every second of it. I know exactly that it's the life I choose and love, but it's just frustrating when some people disrespect that, especially when they demand unrealistic expectations from me - to be precise, taking my time, for their own benefit.

Again, don't get me wrong. I'm not a heartless machine that doesn't take human relationship in earnest. I have family and friends too. I'm a people person by nature, and that means I love serving people, especially when it comes to my surroundings and people I can relate to (fellow young entrepreneurs are included). Even though I always see my work at the top of my priority list but I will never mind to put it aside for people that I care about as I get my personal satisfaction from that. I know and I have set what my priorities are.

My surroundings know very well how conscious I am about my time as I have learned that it is the only one thing we can never buy back in this life. I always joke how I despise living in Jakarta due to its traffic which consumes most of my time. I mean every word of it actually. It's just difficult to understand how I have to spend (at least) two hours to go to a meeting venue, (at least) two hours for the meeting itself, and another two hours to go back. So if I really have to do it, I need to make sure I have a solid reason that makes sense. I have done something similar twice so far this year (four hours traveling for two hours meeting) when I took a day trip to Singapore to meet our distributor. But again, it's a different story - two hours crossing the ocean, expanding the business and growing the impact which my company creates, I believe THAT makes enough sense.

So.., when someone asks me to travel for two hours through traffic in Jakarta, impose me to neglect my responsibility towards my customers, company, and employees? I think my answer is only obvious and the reason is only fair.

I said it once and I'm saying it again how I value time very much. Wise man say that "time is money". My twist, "time is invaluable even money can't buy it". Thus, I surely respect people when they respect my time, and in contrary, whenever someone tries to abuse it, I most likely take offense at that.

Uhm. Can't help it. Hence the writing.