Blue field like crop rows and burgundy border, saying "Don't Just Survive - Thrive
Buy Back your time book cover by Dan Martell

Buy Back Your Time

By Dan Martell

  1. Don’t hire to grow your business: hire to buy back time; grinding = hitting your pain line and then you’ll not enjoy anything
  2. Audit your time:
    • Audit – mark your day in fifteen minute increments and then make a chart that shows $ to $$$$ to show where you are your most valuable, then you know you can . . .
    • Transfer – your lower value tasks to someone else who is better and enjoys them, so that you can . . .
    • Fill – your time with things that light you up and make more money
  3. Don’t feel bad about offloading things, highly effective people spend their time reading and looking for opportunities, not doing stuff. Even famous authors outsource the writing. 95% of entrepreneur value is in the 5% of their efforts.

At this point, it’s good to ask yourself what you’d fill your time with if you weren’t doing the things that are low value to you.

Build a DRIP matrix

Doesn’t make you happyMakes you happy
Makes you moneyReplacement
Makes you money, but drains your energy
Identify these and take your time finding the right person to delegate to
Makes you money, you love it.
Spend as much time as you can here. Do what you’re best at.
Doesn’t make moneyDelegation
Makes you very little money, but drains your energy
Find these and offload to someone else fast
Makes you very little money, but you love it. You’re investing in yourself and it may pay off one day or not.

Note on investment, these are important – these things are typically it:

  • Physical activities
  • Time with others
  • Hobbies
  • Industry collaborations
  • Personal and professional

The goal is to build a game you want to play forever.

How much can you afford to spend delegating? Calculate what your company pays, then divide by 8000. (Assuming you spend 40 hours a week, if it’s 30, then it’s 1440, and 20 is 920.) There is NO task you should be performing that costs less than your buyback rate.

Performing a time + energy audit

  1. Determine buyback rate
  2. Audit every fifteen minutes of your workday for two weeks
  3. Assign dollar amounts to each task using $ to $$$$
  4. Highlight red or green. Red for things you hate, green for things you love.
    • Delete unnecessary work, just kill that
    • If you can’t, are there existing team members that would like the task you can give it to?
    • Hire, but pick lowest hanging fruit.

The Replacement Ladder

Identify – the key hire you need to make, the feeling of stress or liberty that comes with that knowledge, the responsiblities that need to be transferred to key hire.

Here’s how you prioritize hiring:

  1. Administration – If you’re stuck; Inbox, calendar, systems; admin assistant
  2. Delivery – Stalled; onboarding and support; head of delivery
  3. Marketing – Friction; campaigns + traffic; head of marketing
  4. Sales – Freedom; calls + follow up; sales rep
  5. Leadership – Flow; strategy + outcome; All levels of leadership

If you love any of this and don’t want to let it go: use the 10-80-10 rule, you do 10%, then someone else does 80%, then you finish the last 10%.

He has a great system for onboarding calendar and inbox management and he says “turn off all notifications for emails!” which, yeah, I say too.

Building Playbooks

The key to success is scaling so that there’s no uncertainty. What if you didn’t have to ever explain how to accomplish a mundane activity again? PLAYBOOK.

Start with whatever you want. Start tons, just keep filling them out and keeping them organized.

  • Video – make Loom videos to train; talk through it and explain what and why you’re doing what you’re doing
  • Course – type up the steps
  • Cadence – note how often they need to be done
  • Checklist – high level things tobe done, not tiny details, that need to be done every time; non negotiables

Delegate Playbooks – Video yourself, then give to someone to make the whole playbook off the video

The Perfect Week

  • Batch your time
    • ALL ad campaigns sent at once (no one offs)
    • Calls at the same time, same day
    • Blog? Do a bunch once a month
  • A planned life is actually a spontaneous life
  • Plan fun stuff, too.
  • Important work first

Time Hacks

  1. The magic pill: pick a threshold per job role that people can spend money on without approval to solve a problem
  2. Repeat sync meetings (1n1s)
    • Offload
    • Calendar review
    • Past meetings of import
    • Action items for me to do
    • Feedback loop on projects (what’s stuck, did we finish)
    • Issue reviews
    • Broad questions about what’s going on that we can support eachother on
  3. Define what’s “done”
    • Facts: what hard metric indicates completion
    • Feelings: what do people need to see before they “feel” good about it?
    • Functionality: if the project is finish, what can others do with it?
  4. 1-3-1 rule
    • People come to you with one specific issue
    • Three specific solutions
    • One they recommend

Test first hiring

Screen, then give them a job without giving much direction. Will they save me time or cost me time? They must be paid to do this.

Then find out what the candidate wants.

If you align, sell your company and self hard to them.

Transformational leadership

NOT: Tell, check, next
IS: Outcome, measure, coach


  • Outline one specific issue
  • Connect to a specific experience you’ve had
  • Try to get commitment to change

FEEDBACK is key, especially if frustrated.


THink about the biggest thing you want and go for it, it will inspire others. 10x your life (I hate that phrase but it’s his). You’ll get there when you:

  • Build the right team
  • Focus on ONE job (Entrepreneurs love having lots of them – guilty)
  • Empire build
  • Dream about your lifestyle. Make it everything go that direction.

Create checkpoints once you have that dream. Check in on it. List tactics. Score them for priority: Impact, confidence, ease (like fix this next)

Now organize it all, a whole year out (omg this is a lot of work, who really does this?):

  • Milestones
  • Then task to milestones
  • Then factor in maintenance for when energy dips
  • Add little things like date nights

What should be your priority

  • Health
  • Hobbies
  • Spirituality
  • Friends
  • Love ( go all in on all relationships)
  • Finances
  • Mission