Drip, drip, drip . . . you can almost hear the seconds of your life ticking away, like a leaky faucet dripping drops of water. And as you listen to that sound, you can almost feel it stealing some of the mere 86,400 seconds available to you, me and everyone else day after day.

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Unfortunately, about 28,512 seconds have to be devoted to sleeping, eating and surviving. So, how do you get the most out of your remaining 57,888 seconds, to achieve the big vision you have for your life and business?

After all, there are so many riches in life: We live in a world of abundance, as Peter Diamandis wrote in his book by the same title. The only truly limited asset is time. Those who get what they want out of life and achieve their vision are masters of themselves and the activities they pursue.

Be careful with your time and generous in sharing knowledge.

Guard your time the way the alpha male lion guards his territory. People will eat up your time if you let them. But that doesn't mean you should hoard your time. I recommend that, instead, you share knowledge by coming from a place of abundance.

You have plenty of valuable knowledge to share, right? Publish it. You have only limited time, so allocate it wisely. You might know the adage, “The fool and his money are soon parted.” I prefer: “The fool and his time are soon parted.”

The point is to be aware of your time. Set a kitchen timer or your smartphone countdown to measure how long each activity takes. Because, if you’re like me, you'll think you can get a certain thing done in 30 minutes, but when you look up, it will have been 67 minutes. Time awareness is the first step to self-awareness.

Consider this useful framework which has helped me.

When Joshua Lee and I coach entrepreneurs, we use his $10 x $100 x $1,000 x $10,000 Time Matrix Multiplier chart:

The object here is to assign different values to different activites. Before you do something, you ask yourself, “Is this activity I'm considering doing a $10-per-hour, $100-per-hour, $1,000-per-hour or $10,000-per-hour activity?"

To earn $1 million in personal income means you have to bring in $3,788 of spendable profit every workday (based on 12 months in the year and 22 workdays per month). So, focus only on $1,000-per-hour and $10,000-per-hour productive activities. Otherwise, the math just won't work and you'll fall way short of your goal.

Related: This Productivity Hack Completely Changed My Life, and It Can Improve Yours

Why you should consider charging for meetings.

A woman emailed me out of the blue asking me to coach her and her business partner (free) on setting up their iTunes show. She asked for 60 minutes, but I said we could get it done in 30. (The training ended up taking 42 minutes because I miscalculated; I have to work more to develop my own skills.)

Today, more than two months later, she still hasn’t launched her show. And, thinking back, I've realized that had I charged her even $20, she might have hemmed and hawed. Yes, I generated goodwill. But goodwill doesn’t keep the lights on: I could have used that time better.

When people pay for a time slot, they value it more. They don't ask about the weather or other random stuff. The fee helps them clarify how the time slot will be used.

How I acted on this lesson.

A second person subsequently asked me to coach him on setting up his show. Because we’re part of the same entrepreneur group, I offered a 30-minute consult for only $50. He gave the response, “Well, I’ve got to think about it. . ."

And I didn’t hear back from him. It’s been 47 days since that conversation, and he hasn’t done anything further to start his show. But I had money to show for my time, nevertheless.

Conclusion

If you’re like me and live the philosophy of “give first,” the notion of charging for most meetings may feel uncomfortable at first. But after observing many millionaires and a few billionaires, I now see that the common thread they share is the ferocious protection of their time.

The lesson here is that each person and activity must qualify for and earn a "millionaire’s" time. This mindset shift will serve you well on your entrepreneurial journey. Without getting a handle on yourself and how you allocate your time, you won’t achieve the vision you have for your business.

I can say that with almost 100 percent certainty.

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