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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Gordon

Are You a Founder? Your Time Is Worth $500 An Hour

Whether someone is starting or growing their business, their most precious resource is often time. David Friedman, a fellow Tufts alumni and 2x founder with an exit in Boston, once told me that startup founders should consider their time to be worth $500 an hour.

I couldn’t fathom it.

When you’re building a business, you often find yourself handling situations because there isn’t a job set up to handle it yet: tech support, paperwork, facilities, and more. At the time of our conversation, I was working 12 hour days where everything I was doing felt necessary and important and like I had to be the one doing it. One example? I was sending out individually created invoices using Google Sheets after manually tallying work hours and depositing client checks at the bank down the street from my apartment. It felt like a luxury I didn't have yet to budget and pay for Quickbooks.

It wasn’t until later when I had a team (and Quickbooks and then eventually someone to take over Quickbooks from me, thanks, Cheryl!) that I understood what David meant:

The challenge standing between me and my business plan was the time to execute it and the opportunity cost is incredibly expensive.

If you can pay someone or a service to help accelerate you, it means more time to execute against your plan. Looking back, I’d gladly pay Best Buy $400 to fix a computer to get half a day back, which, by David’s standards, was $2,000 worth of my time.

So I ask you this: what are you doing that isn’t worth $500 an hour of your time? Make a list, prioritize it, and figure out where you can pay someone or a service to help accelerate you. Email me at if want to chat about it!

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