“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent.”

Carl Sandburg

Imagine for a moment that your time is a glittering, rare gemstone—not just any old rock, mind you, but the kind that makes seasoned jewel thieves plot elaborate heists involving disguises and possibly a charming, yet unreliable, sidekick. Now, picture yourself, yes you, casually tossing this gem into the “Everything’s A Dollar” bin at your local convenience store.

Sounds absurd, right? That’s because it is.

We’ve all been there, trading our time like it’s going out of fashion, agreeing to tasks and projects that make us feel like we’re stuck in a never-ending game of “Whose Time Is It Anyway?” where the tasks are made up and the points—or in this case, the rewards—hardly matter.

But here’s the kicker: when it comes to the grand bazaar of life, your time is the most precious commodity you’ve got. And it’s high time (pun intended) we started treating it with the respect it deserves.

When you’re providing a service—whether it’s building websites, crafting artisanal coffee tables, or knitting bespoke sweaters for poodles—it’s never just about the finished product. It’s about the hours, the sweat, and the occasional tears (hopefully not too many) that go into creating something valuable. It’s a performance, a slow dance between you and your craft, and every step should be savored, not rushed through like a fast-food order.

Respecting your own time is like throwing yourself a mini parade every day. It’s acknowledging that what you do is important, that every tick of the clock is a testament to your dedication and skill. And when you start marching to the beat of your own drum, something magical happens: the world starts tapping its foot along. People begin to see the value in what you offer, not just in the tangible product, but in the intricate dance that led to its creation.

So, the next time you find yourself on the verge of trading your time for less than it’s worth, remember that you’re the maestro of your own symphony. Each moment is a note that contributes to the grand opus of your life. Don’t rush the melody. Instead, conduct it with confidence, passion, and maybe a touch of humor. After all, a little laughter makes the music sound sweeter.

And who knows? With enough practice, you might just find that the world is more than willing to dance to your tune, respecting your time as the priceless gem it truly is.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go respectfully decline an offer to design a full branding package ‘for exposure’. Priorities, you know.

Stephen Boudreau serves as VP of Product + Content Marketing at Virtuous Software. For over two decades, he has helped nonprofits leverage the digital space to grow their impact. To that end, Stephen co-founded RaiseDonors, a platform that provides nonprofits with technology and experiences that remove barriers to successful online fundraising. He is an avid (but aging) soccer player, audiobook enthusiast, and the heavily-disputed UNO champion of his household.

Copyright ©2024 Stephen Boudreau.