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Which Do You Value More: Money or Time?

March 9, 2011 by Carol Tice |

Which Do You Value More: Money or Time?Entrepreneurs can seem to be all about the money. But a new study says small business owners may be craving something else more: free time.

As business owners struggle to keep their companies afloat in the down economy, more of them are burning out, according to office-printer company Brother International’s second annual Brother Small Business Survey of more than 500 business owners.

In the study, 30 percent of owners said they’d rather have more time available to them than more cash. Actually, I’m surprised the figure isn’t even higher.

Time management was a top concern, with nearly 80 percent vowing to use their time more efficiently this year.

It all gives me flashbacks to when ‘work-life balance‘ was the buzz phrase, and companies attracted top talent by fostering a culture where people were rewarded for working smart and clocking a 35 hour week.

Those were the days, huh?

Now, it seems like every business owner I know is working insane, dot-com-era hours — especially people with Web-based businesses. They’re on their email or on Twitter nearly round the clock.

I often have the disturbing experience of emailing a small-business client based in a time zone three hours ahead of me at 10 or 11 pm my time — and receiving an immediate response. Many owners never seem to sleep.

No surprise, then, that the study also found that entrepreneurs are stressed out. More than half of respondents said their stress level is either higher than usual or “their highest ever.”

One of the things we’re ripping our hair out over? Tech problems. The majority of owners — 77 percent — said they’ve taken a productivity hit in the last year due to malfunctioning office technology.

There’s only so long you can overwork before productivity goes down and the business actually starts to suffer. You start to lose the thrill of doing your own thing, which drew you into being a business owner in the first place. It just becomes an exhausting grind.

The current pace seems unsustainable and a flat-out risk to owners’ health in many cases. The question is, will entrepreneurs go for free time versus a chance to chase more business? Will work-life balance return? I certainly hope so.

Right now, would you rather have more money or time? Leave a comment and let us know.

Cambridge and Karachi: Connections of the spirit – The Express Tribune

Published: June 2, 2011

British filmmaker challenges stereotypes, creates a mutual exchange with works.

The cover of British artist and filmmaker Caroline Jaine’s book of 60 photographs juxtaposing Karachi and Cambridge. PHOTO: COURTESY CAROLINE JAINE British filmmaker challenges stereotypes, creates a mutual exchange with works.
KARACHI: Karachi and Cambridge are poles apart on many different levels and yet the British artist and filmmaker Caroline Jaine manages to find palpable connections between these two cities – one, a British university town of up to 120,000, and the other a sprawling megalopolis that is home to over 18 million Pakistanis. The contrasts are compelling: Cambridge with its serenity and its elitism and Karachi an economic powerhouse grappling with terrorist atrocities and lawlessness.

In a collaborative body of work known as “The Cambridge Karachi Portrait”, Jaine has prepared eight short story-telling films covering both cities. Four of these films focus on the Karachi participants. The work encompasses a 23-minute film, a book of 60 photographs with the two cities in juxtaposition; and a five-minute film “portrait”.

Though Jaine is no stranger to Pakistan and has served as head of communications for the country at the UK Foreign Office, she had never met any of the subjects of her film before. She rarely chooses people for her films. Instead, “they choose me,” she said in an interview with The Express Tribune via email. “The process began with an appeal on Twitter and via business networks for Cambridge-based businesses who would like to get involved.” Jaine also made use of the networks of Pakistani friends she already had. Once she had made the four Cambridge films, she began to explore their “matches” in Karachi.

Beyond extremism and violence

Another Face, a 23-minute film about Karachi, is Jaine’s attempt to show people in Britain a different side to Pakistan and its largest city – one that is not hopelessly mired in extremism or violence. “The perception of Pakistan is at its worst among the British Pakistanis – so I am hoping that some of them will get to see the film and look at my photographs and understand the many layers there are to any city or country,” she said. Jaine does not believe this is an overly optimistic view. “It’s not about rose-coloured spectacles, it’s about picking apart that very two-dimensional face of Pakistan we usually see.” Jaine said that her film will be screened in both Cambridge and London this summer. She is also seeking funding and a venue to bring the film to share in Karachi.

Diversity not hard to find

Jaine confessed she wasn’t expecting to find the kind of diversity she witnessed in Karachi. “Diversity is something I was specifically looking for … When people heard about my quest many pointed me in the direction of Karachiwala author Rumana Husain and I was delighted to meet her. And she took me to the Saddar area,” Jaine recalled.

She was bowled over by the sight of, “Hindu women road sweepers in their colourful saris, a transvestite, a Goan Catholic family, an old Pashto man with a white beard, a woman with cancer who had haunting good looks.” “The Catholic Church was incredible – and I thought to myself, ‘I would only have got to hear about this place if it had been blown up’ – which is a shame.”

Huge potential in education, tourism

Asked whether Karachi could become a little like Cambridge, Jaine said that the education and tourism sectors had huge potential in the city but clearly needed much more investment. “Cambridge University is hugely wealthy – and I know this is old money, but education in Karachi could be developed in partnership with businesses and using a commercial model. It really could become an education centre for the whole region,” she explained. Both the youth of Karachi and the University of Karachi are impressive.  “I used to live in Sri Lanka – an island no stranger to suicide bombings at the time, yet with a thriving tourism industry. Karachi could certainly benefit from an increase in visitors.”

What Cambridge can learn from Karachi

Jaine discovered “some smart business people” operating in the challenging environment of Karachi. By comparison, some of the businesses she met on The Mill Road in Cambridge felt in decline, and there “was a sense of recession and hopelessness”. But in Karachi she says, “the spirit was of resilience and thinking a way out of a problem”.

One of the Cambridge participants, Marie, drew inspiration from Faraz, a young, successful Karachi businessman with a social mandate. Following his lead, Marie says she wants to set up a social enterprise. Such exchanges are useful no doubt, because Jaine reckons that it’s important in the British-Pakistan relationship that Britain is not seen to patronise Pakistan by always assuming the role of teacher or adviser. Her own work is about a mutual exchange, a dialogue of equals.