$1000 Rechargeable Cordless Razor. How Much Are You Worth?

November 27, 2006 · Posted in economics 

If I told you I bought a $1000 rechargeable cordless razor you would probably say I was nuts. There was a time when I would have said so as well. And no, I never paid $1000 for a razor. But I did discover just how valuable such small items can be.
When I was a consultant in Silicon Valley during the 1990’s I had 3 contracts at a time. In the morning I would drive into San Francisco from Sunnyvale where I lived. I would work for my financial clients until 5 pm, then I continued my clockwise trip around the bay to Oakland where I had a second contract designing and developing the virtual reality engine used in many video games including Top Gun and Falcon 4.0. I would work there until 10 pm or 11 pm then finish my circle of the bay by driving back home to Sunnyvale. On the weekends I wouldn’t have to drive because I worked out of my house on smaller projects.

As you can imagine I did a whole lot of driving. A little over and hour and half each day. The work plus driving schedule didn’t leave me much time for anything else. Why was I working so much? Because I was 26 years old and making over $250,000 a year. That wasn’t stock options that was cash in my hand.

One day while getting ready in the morning I thought about my hourly rate and what the 10 minutes a day I spent shaving was worth. At my average hourly rate I was spending $12 each morning to shave. WOW. I would never pay someone $12 to shave my face. A little multiplication and I discovered I was wasting $262 every month just on shaving. I immediately went out and bought a rechargeable cordless electric razor. The razor cost $79, an amount that I previously had thought was extravagant. So instead of wasting time in the bathroom I would shave while I was driving and that razor paid for itself in the first week. So now I consider that I paid $79 for a $1000 rechargeable cordless razor.

After that I looked at my whole life and found many ways to put my time to the best use. Now what ever I do I’m calculating “is this something that I would be better off paying to have done?” And the more times I find that is true the more pleased I am at my success. It means my value is increasing. How Much Are You Worth?

Action Items:

  • Figure out what your time is worth
  • Find repetitive tasks that could be shortened or eliminated
  • Determine if its cheaper for someone else to do the task
  • Remember time to do things you enjoy, life is just as valuable as work.