Earn $1,000,000 in 10 minutes/week!
How many hours a day do you spend reading and writing emails?
If you’re like me, it’s at least 1-2 hours per day.
The problem for entrepreneurs and consultants is that we often don’t bill for this time because emails are so short, but those minutes add up!
How much money are you losing?
If your hourly rate is $100, (which is conservative for most consultants – especially those of us in big cities) spending just 30 minutes/day on emails adds up to $12,500/year in billable hours!
If you spend 1 hour/day on email, you’re giving away $25,000 per year.
Do you realize if you put that money in your Roth IRA, and earned 6% return, in 20 years you’d have over ONE MILLION DOLLARS?!!!
Still comfortable not tracking your time spent on email?
How to fix it?
Tracking your emails is easier than you might think if you use Gmail? The downside is that you’ll need to use the gmail interface to read and compose your emails, so you’re Microsoft Office or Mac Mail needs to be limited to non-client emails. I thought this would be a deal-breaker personally, but when I realized that it directly resulted in more money in my pocket – it became surprisingly easy – a pleasure in fact.
How long does it take to actually track email?
The majority of time in setting up this system was spent figuring out and creating the spreadsheet rules. (which you can skip, since I’ve done it for you) It will probably take you 10-20 minutes to setup.
At the end of each Friday, I spend about 5 minutes updating my spreadsheet and uploading to Toggl, which I also recommend. That’s less than 30 minutes/month and typically results in an extra 20 billable hours. That means I earn 40x by hourly rate during that half hour. Even if this takes you an hour/month, that’s still 20x your normal rate.
The Best Part…
… is that I don’t hate email anymore, now that I know I’m being compensated for it. I don’t have the feeling that I have to “squeeze in outside of my billable work”. I can take my time to read and write quality responses for my clients, which they immensely appreciate
Now… I love my inbox! It’s well maintained and very often – EMPTY.
Start Tracking Time Spent on Email
You’ll need a Gmail plugin called Cloud HQ Time Tracker, which installs with a click and a free trial setup. Less than 5 minutes. This is a handy little extension that will track time spent on every email, whether reading, writing, or both.
Go to the Chrome Web Store and search for “Cloud HQ Time Tracker.” It looks like this:
You’ll need a process for exporting and adding up the hours your email hours each month and allocating that time to individual clients.
The export feature exists within Cloud HQ and guess what? I’ve already set up a spreadsheet you can access here. It does all the calculations for you – AUTOMATICALLY. You just have to cut and paste your export into it.
Step 3 (optional)
If you ever need to assign emails to a client even when those emails are not sent directly to/from the client (like subcontractors or team members on a project) you’ll need to implement a method to assign those emails to the correct clients.
For example… let’s say you have a client called ABC Company and you refer to them as “ABC”. You manage a team of people and want to track time spent corresponding with them on the ABC project. The method below works well and is very easy to use.
Include “ABC” somewhere in your subject line whenever you write an email about this client, like one of these:
> Subject: New Report Schedule [ABC]
> Subject: New Report Schedule – ABC
> Subject: [ABC] New Report Schedule
You have to replace some of the values in the spreadsheet formulas in order to auto-calculate time spent for each client.
Open the spreadsheet. It’s initially setup for up to 20 clients and 1,000 emails. If you need more emails each week or month, duplicate the tab. It’s best to use to new tab for each month regardless.
Once the spreadsheet is open…
Step 4a: Perform a “find and replace” to insert your client abbreviations. This will allow you to track emails that are ABOUT a particular client, but not directly TO/FROM that client.
From the menu, select: Edit > Find and Replace. That will create the popup below.
Click on the “…” to display more options and complete the fields as below.
Step 4b: Perform a global find and replace your client domain names. This will allow tracking of any emails sent to/from a client domain name.
Repeat the process to insert your client URL’s. (you don’t need to include the “.com” portion)
Finally, each week or month, export the data from Cloud HQ Time Tracker and paste it into your spreadsheet.
Open your newly exported file in your preferred spreadsheet app. Select all fields and copy and paste them into the Email Time Tracker Google sheet, beginning with your cursor on the field with the text: < begin paste here >
Your totals for each client will be in the top row for that month or week. I do this weekly so that I can track more precisely throughout the month, but doing this monthly would probably work just as well. Then add the client totals to your monthly billable hours.
The first month I did this, I reclaimed and billed 24 hours of what would have otherwise been ‘lost’ time.