Manage Your Time As You Manage Your Money

Time is money, that’s one of the oldest English sentences I learned. I guess I wasn’t even in school, and I remember I knew the meaning of this. And keep in mind that English is not my primary language, I was born and raised Romanian. Years after, I still surprise myself thinking in these terms. There is a common understanding that your time is one of your most precious assets, so you should take good care of it. Interestingly enough, this happens mostly in Western cultures, Eastern cultures seems to have a more relaxed attitude towards time.

But even more interesting is the fact that, despite the ubiquity of this saying, almost everybody tries to avoid its message. Don’t get me wrong, people are still putting a high value on time, making it a very precious asset, but almost nobody really treats time the same way they treats their money. People are eager for free time, they are making a lot of effort to gain some extra time, but once they get it, they are wasting it instantly, in a way they will never do to their money. In this post I’ll try to share a few simple and easy ideas for really keeping your time safely in your wallet, the same way you do with your finances.

Keep it clean

If you are a person moderately rich, I bet your wallet looks like a pharmacy. It’s clean and ordered and you know in less than a second where to find the ten dollar bill, as well as the Mastercard you use for shopping only. And even if you are not a moderately rich person, but you have a positive attitude towards money, I bet your wallet is clean and ordered. I know mine is. And I know I have quite a positive attitude towards money.

So why don’t we do the same with our time? For me, that translates in a very clean and ordered working routine. If time will be sliced into ten, twenty and fifty dollars bills, I would know instantly how much do I have left, and where I find the needed bill every time I need it. Slicing my time in ordered pieces, the same way I did with bills and cards in my wallet helped me a lot. And is such a simple yet powerful analogy: keep your time as your wallet.

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Why Going To New Zealand

Once my business completely sold and after all the other assets will be transformed into money, we will move to a new country, New Zealand. This announce made quite a bit of shock among my current circle of friends, business partners and relatives. For those of you who don’t know, New Zealand is almost exactly under Romania, the Eastern European country in which I was born and lived up to my 37th year. Basically, if you put a long enough sting into an Earth scholar globe, and start from Bucharest, it will go out exactly from the Auckland, New Zealand, the other side of the planet. I guess it’s more than 180 degrees of change, if you know what I mean… So the surprise and shock were understandable to some point.

Most of the people were puzzled by the size of all the involved changes and, most of the time unconsciously, made the assumption that the decision was a sort of escape, a “take the money and run” attitude, in which we try to move from a difficult country as far as possible. Living in Romania is hard these days, it’s an evolving country, and its evolution is accelerated. There is an incredible diversity of attitudes and people, from the consumerism and deception, to spirituality and compassion. The proportion of these ingredients varies drastically though, and this mix makes up for some pretty interesting rollercoaster. I was living here all my life, and for the last 10 years as an entrepreneur. It’s not easy, and I know a lot of people who got really sick and tired of all the moral problems like corruption, deceptive politics, economical instability, and ran as far as possible from them.

Well, is not my case. I know it’s difficult to live in Romania, but I’m not going away because of that. From some very practical approach, living in a new country, whatever country that might be, is far more difficult than living in a country you do know for more than 30 years. The main point is that I’m doing it out of intention, not out of reaction. This is a very important difference and I will try to make it as clear as I can below.

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Change management: it’s still you, only better

Each and every personal development program gives you at least one big thing: a promise of change. It tells you that during this program or challenge, you will change your habits. That’s something pretty big. And, most of the time, overlooked or ignored. People tend to forget that changing is a difficult process. Not because you have to spend your time and energy to make it happen, but because it will shift your identity. It will, literally, make you another person. Are you totally in sync with this new person? Are you identical with the new you? Are you congruent in thoughts and actions?

Perhaps not. It’s trivial to know that because you do that personal development program in order to change something about you, and that something is something that you don’t have yet. And those things in the old new and those things in the new you will collide, sooner or later. At that moment you will have an identity problem. If the change is small, the identity problem wouldn’t be big, not even noticeable, most of the time. It’s like loosing 3-4 kilos, it will show a little difference, but not so big, many people won’t even realize that.

But if the change is big, like a total lifestyle shift, then the identity crisis will be for real. You will notice it and people around you will notice it. It will make you question yourself almost every minute. It will challenge your thoughts and values. It will be something really important. 

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Dragos Roua’s Next Steps

It’s time to make some announcements here regarding the future of Dragos Roua’s blog, and also the author’s – Dragos Roua, by his name – medium term intentions. First and foremost, I have to tell you that I’ve finished the exit from the company I founded 10 years ago, Mirabilis Media. The company was one of the players in the web publishing industry in Romania, owning several niche portals (automotive and gastronomy, mainly). I was the founder and the only shareholder, and I started the negotiations for the sale more than a year ago. The exit was a real success, both in terms of financial compensation and transaction structure (basically, I negotiated my own exit terms with the buyer). I feel relieved.

To be honest, in the last year, the company felt more like a burden than a fulfillment for me. Although I was disciplined enough to make it work better and better – thanks to all the productivity posts here 😉 – I didn’t felt any specific joy or exhilaration by working there. Don’t get me wrong, the company was one of the best in its field, and I had to chose from 7 potential investors, with whom I had negotiations for more than 14 months. It was a real asset, and the conversion into money of this asset was a real concern to me. But the everyday feeling was not as strong as it was in the beginning.

So, it had to be sold. It had to become something else for me, in order to free me and let me continue my chosen path. In DragosRoua’s terminology, this company sale situation was one of the crossroads I hunted, in order to become more me, to come closer to a much vivid life experience. I spent 10 years of my life in this business, and it was the moment to acknowledge that all the goals I’ve set in the past were reached. Is so easy to get stuck with your own patterns. Especially when those patterns are creating a comfort zone around you. Getting out of the comfort zone is what really scares you. And perhaps that fear prevented me to do this business exit even earlier.

Whatever was in the past, is done now, anyway.

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