Don’t have enough time? Take a minute.

We started Hatch with a bold mission to help people take control of their financial futures. We knew investing held the key. With a historical average return of 10% and the magic of compounding returns, investors have a good chance of doubling their money every seven years.

The share markets perfectly demonstrate the immense returns possible when you let your money work for you rather than just working for your money. So we were somewhat baffled when our research unearthed the biggest barrier to getting started: time.

Time is never the barrier

We know you’re probably reading this newsie between meetings, after putting the kids to bed, or at 6.30am before heading to the gym (fun fact: most of you consume this newsletter before 8.00am!). You are time-poor; it’s a real problem.

But it wasn’t the actual problem.

How do we know? Because in the hour it took for people to sit down and be interviewed by us, they could have started investing. Heck, they could have started investing in the 15 minutes it took to coordinate our calendars for the interview!

Everyone who claimed they had no time to start investing ultimately proved they did have the time.

So what was the problem? Well, it’s hiding in plain sight

Modern life is complex and hard, so our poor brains resort to shortcuts. That’s why we have so many biases, often respond to ‘how are you’ with ‘fine’, and can miss spotting a gorilla during a basketball game.

Another shortcut? Saying we don’t ‘have enough time’ when what we really mean is ‘it seems too hard’.

We all have the 5 minutes required to deposit $50 into an investing account, but that doesn’t make it any easier. In order to take that one simple action, many of us would have to overcome deeply held money myths, commit to being beginners, and overcome our fear of failure

Our brains keep us willfully ignorant of the real reasons we avoid new challenges. They are designed to protect us, not help us grow. When something feels big, complex, scary, and uncomfortable, our brains step in to save us from the pain. It’s easier to claim we lack time and return to scrolling Instagram.

That’s why sometimes, we need to outsmart ourselves to make progress.

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The first step is the hardest

We’d love to live in a world where every woman had an investment portfolio, but the pervasiveness of ‘time’ as an excuse goes far beyond that. Take Powrsuit for example. In the months following our launch, we’ve been asking one simple question: what’s stopping you from joining? You won’t be surprised to learn the top answer: time.

This has come via 15-minute phone calls, beautifully crafted emails, conversations over wine, and LinkedIn messages. Yes, you get it. All things that take the same amount of time – or even longer – than simply attending a mini-masterclass.

Last week, a Powrsuiter achieved a $44,000 pay increase—a success she attributes partly to her membership. Multiply that by 378, and you have hundreds of Powrsuiters making tangible, step-by-step progress toward their career goals. Over the coming years, this will lead to substantial, measurable improvements in their quality of life.

Like the share markets, investing in leadership development offers such a high return on investment that participating is a no-brainer. Yet, our brains still need convincing to turn knowledge into action. Each of our members has faced the challenge of asking for professional development budget, turning up alone to their first event and networking with strangers. None of these take all that much time, but that doesn’t make them easy. 

Once members overcome these initial hurdles, time becomes less of an issue. In our latest masterclass, participants showed up 10 minutes early, 15 minutes late, or just for the final 5 minutes. They’ve quickly adapted to making Powrsuit fit their schedules, rather than the other way around.

Take the time

We’re not here to lecture you into investing in yourself – we know that doesn’t work. Instead, we’re asking you to challenge the default settings in your brain. Not all the time—who has the energy for that? But sometimes.

The next time you’re presented with a strategic yes, don’t let your brain sabotage you! If you catch yourself starting to say, ‘I don’t have enough time,’ stop immediately. We’re challenging ourselves to do the same (especially when it comes to exercise). 

Instead, get curious about your real, underlying barriers. Ask yourself, ‘Is it really that hard to overcome them?’

30 second action

The next time you are about to say ‘I don’t have time’, stop. Instead, think about the specific reasons why you’re hesitant to take the first step..

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