“People who are cocky and arrogant say, “I know that” and move along.
People who are confident and positive ask themselves, “How good am I at that?” and seek to improve”
Jeffrey Gitomer

I got asked this question by one of my business coaching clients the other day and felt that it was a good one to include here:

Q: I’ve heard in a previous interview where you mention that billing ‘by the hour’ is irrelevant when it comes to training people. I just can’t get my head around this — how do you charge people and why isn’t time still a factor? Do you call the workouts “mini-sessions” or something?

A: When you want to travel cross country in the USA — you can choose a flight, or you can choose a bus right?

The bus takes way longer than a flight — but costs less. It’s not about the length of time — it’s about the destination — the result — and how it is delivered. In this case — it’s the REVERSE of billing by time — as the shortest time costs the most money.

A haircut? The barber or hairdresser completes the task and is paid by the task – not by how long it takes. A doctor? Does he or she charge you more if they talk to you for longer? Experts don’t get paid by the hour – they get paid by the result.

Back to training – where did an hour of training come from anyway? Is there a science journal out there that I don’t know about that showed an hour of training to be more effective than 50 minutes?

An hour is just a measure of time. What you are really doing within that hour is X number of sets of Y number of reps right? Let’s say you do 8 exercises, 3 sets of 10 reps each for 24 total sets and 240 total reps.

Then someone else hires you — and when designing their program you come up with 7 exercises, and 3 sets of 8 reps each. 21 total sets and 168 total reps.

Does the second client get a discount because they did “less”? Of course not. You are using a tool to deliver the result. If you design a perfect program that can be done in 45 minutes — do you add another 33% more work to fill in the time (and thereby move away from your perfect program)?

You need to change your mindset.

Jim Rohn has a statement that says

“You don’t get paid for the hour — you get paid for the value you bring to that hour”

I’d even go beyond that.

The lowest paid people in the world think that they get paid for the hour of work. That’s why they stay low paid. The guy who works at the grocery store thinks he’s getting paid for the hours he stands there. And until he changes that paradigm he’ll always be a low paid ‘by the hour’ worker.

More successful people think like Jim Rohn and they think they get paid for the value that they create within that time frame.

The most successful people understand that the time spent is irrelevant, it’s ONLY the value. So they no longer think in terms of time — and if they do — it’s in reverse — that getting the job done faster is worth more.

If I can deliver the perfect training program to get your result in 30 mins, and another coach needs an hour — am I not worth more? I can deliver the result in half the time that they can – I should be worth at least twice as much.

In training (and in most things – including business) the result is the ONLY thing that matters — designing programs or charging ‘by the hour’ is not thinking about value first. I actually pride myself on making the workouts no longer than they need to be. In my opinion doing one extra set is far worse than not doing enough.

So what do I call a 45 min training session?

Same as what I call a 35 min training session. A training session.

Write workouts that work and deliver results. Don’t write workouts to fill in a slot of time.