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As an early-stage start-up, there is no shortage of things to think about and to plan for – and all usually feel like a priority at the same time. Effective time management is probably not top of mind because it is something that is often taken for granted, especially when there is so much else to focus on in creating and growing a business. In this episode of Spend Your Time Right, Molly Dobson, General Manager UK & Ireland at Amazon Business, talks to investor, entrepreneur, and former founding editor of Wired UK, David Rowan, about just how crucial strong time management really is for business founders and business leaders alike.
One of the most important things to prove to an investor as an early stage start-up is that you can manage your time with enough focus to be able to get your business off the ground and moving where you want it to go. According to Rowan, successful founders have an ability to remain focused in reality, are aware of their obstacles, and have a plan in mind to overcome them. He shares his advice on how to be efficient and go after success with a strong recommendation to, “Build an ecosystem of people who know more than you. Build a network of formal advisors and coaches and people on the board you can go to,” he says. Allocating time to talk to people you can learn from is very important in his opinion. “The beautiful thing about the start-up ecosystem is that people are really motivated to be helpful to each other.”
And that ability to remain focused and avoid distraction underpins everything else according to Rowan. Whether the founder of small businesses or a decision-maker in a large organisation, his top tip for effective time management is to be honest with yourself – identify your weakness, plug the gap and run with it. He calls time a data point - “It’s the people who know how to read the data to minimise things failing,” he says, “if you organise time to focus, you’re more likely to win.”