I always choose the fuel option whenever possible…
“I always choose the fuel option.”
This isn’t one of those posts about living large or look rich to be rich. This is just a look at a simple choice that I made a long time ago after I realized that life is short and that time is in short supply. As an starting entrepreneur, your time is the most valuable asset you have. Because, in a party of one, if you are not working one side of the business, then the business isn’t working.
Let’s back up to the beginning of this story to 5 years ago.
I was booking a quick turn-around trip to Chicago to go vet a project that was a “make-it-or-break” project for my young and budding integration business. I booked my compact vehicle, set the pickup and return times perfectly so I didn’t have to pay for an extra day and scrolled down the page. The usual insurance options, GPS options and the like slid up the screen and then I encountered the Fuel Option in question. It was a simple check box that asked if I wanted to fill up the gas tank on my own or pay to have someone else do it. I hesitated. By default I wanted to check no to the extra cost which was conveniently priced at $9.99, but I hesitated...
The question of “what my time was worth” popped into my head. I could not check the option and make sure to leave my customer/site visit early to ensure I had enough time to stop at a gas station to fill up after. What would that take? 15 to 20 minutes maximum?
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But, then another question entered my brain. What if that 15-20 minutes of “face time” with this customer would ensure the project went to my company. How far would another 20 minutes of intestinal listening and relating to my customer take me? Would I make up for the $9.99 I saved.
"I checked the option and made a note to stay my full time on site and not worry."
It seems like a simple thing, but I remember really connecting with that customer. We landed that project which was a $650K project and catapulted us into a ”real business.” Since that moment I have always checked yes on the fuel option with regard to rental cars and other aspects of life.
I never work on my car. Not saying I can't. I've changed oil, replaced brake pads. starters, alternators and the like, but I don’t work on my car anymore. Why may you ask? Do I not understand that there is money to be saved doing the work myself? Of course, I do. I just choose to spend the hours doing the repairs slower than a trained mechanic towards creating new sales, drawing CAD drawings or managing a project to pay for it. My back, stress level, and spouse unanimously support this decision.
My business growth has always improved the more time I am willing to put into it. Finding and prioritizing that time is the tough part. Since I don't do car repairs, that has gotten easier. This philosophy has been something I have adopted in many areas of my life. Yard work? Pay a service to get it done. Shopping? Thank God for Amazon.
My time is valuable. So is yours. Always check the fuel option when you can.