Founders’ Series: The Optimal Ratio of time allocated to Learning Vs Executing (Part 1 of 4)

Why is this knowledge Important to Founders?

One of the struggles that I faced as an Entrepreneur is to decide how to allocate my time. This is a ceaseless learning process which I believe an experienced entrepreneur will get better over time.

If you are starting out as a struggling entrepreneur without any financial support from external parties, your single objective may be to cut cost. You become really cheap. Each penny saved would buy you a little more time to gain traction among an undefined group of customers

However, being cheap comes at a cost. You may not be able to afford to hire people with the skillsets that are in high demand (e.g. coders were in high demand in 2010s) to get things done. As a result, you may choose to acquire the skillsets as the founder to save cost. This dilemma which I had experienced in my twenties led to the culmination of this 4-parts series of articles.  I am still trying to figure this out as well and I invite you to join me in my journey by sharing your experiences in the comments below. 

Sometimes, you may also have to sacrifice the speed of getting things done or put your business at risk of information theft and cyber attacks because of your “cheapness” as the decision maker.

The ability to delegate the tasks to another person, entity or machine would depend on the financial resources that your company has. Else, the onus would lie on the entrepreneur to learn the necessary skills to get things done or acquire the resources for the organisation. 

Therefore, if you, who also aspire to be an entrepreneur, can figure out the optimal time allocation ratio of learning to taking actions of different tasks in your business, you will make more cost effective decisions to achieve your business goals.  A possible avenue to figure this out is to tap into other entrepreneurs’ experiences by lurking on YouTube, joining entrepreneurs’ network, and creating your own entrepreneurs’ mastermind.

I would attempt to contribute to this knowledge pool by sharing my own experiences of learning different skillsets. 

How much time should we devote to learning before taking action? 

There are many ways to learn a new skill. We can read about it, watch YouTube videos or learn from someone who knows about the subject. 

In my limited experience (as a 32-year-old adult), how much time to spend learning the theoretical knowledge before trying your hands on the skill would depend on, but not limited to, these 3 factors:

  1. the type of skill that you are learning, 
  2. your preferred mode of learning, and 
  3. the resources and opportunities available to you.

In the next 3 weeks, I will be elaborating on each factor based on my personal experiences. You can click on the links to the respective article above. I invite you to share with me your experiences in the comments section below. 

Learn from the Giants in the Business World

Of course, I would totally agree with you for scoffing and putting me off as an inexperienced silly girl who has barely any results to win your trust. You are right. 

Nevertheless, before you go, check out this video below if you are also pondering over this question and have not watched it yet. I guess the probability that you are currently more financially successful than Warren Buffett or Bill Gates is reasonably low. 

What Bill Gates learnt from Warren Buffett about time management

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