The average American works 40 hours a week. But there’s 168 hours in a week – so where does the rest of the time go? In this Billboard Mastery podcast we’re going to discuss how you can get into the billboard business with a very small time commitment: if you work smart. You can build an impressive side hustle with time your formerly wasted. So invest some time listening to this podcast, and then invest some real time in achieving your goals.
Episode 26: Is There A Better Use of Your Time? Transcript
They say that time is money, but for many people, time isn't about money. Many people don't use their time effectively to really hit their goals. This is Frank Rolfe for the Billboard Mastery podcast. We're gonna talk about time and how maybe you should add some time to invest in billboards. Let's first analyze time for most Americans. If you hold a job, and you work eight hours a day, you work 40 hours a week. And 40 hours a week is only 24% of your total time. Seven days a week at 24 hours a day is 168 hours. So that's 20 hours we all have every week. And when you say, "Well, I'm totally booked up, because I am working, my job, you're only working a quarter of that amount. But then of course, you have to sleep, right? So there's another eight hours a day. And unlike work, which is Monday through Friday, that also includes weekends. It's a total of 56 hours, which is again 33% of that 168 hours we all have in every week. So what it means is about 57% of your time is spent at work or at sleep. But what about the other half? What are you doing with the other half to hit your goals? What are you doing with the other half to get where you wanna be? Well, perhaps you should allocate some amount, not all of it, just a portion of it, to try to build that additional stream of income. So you can still watch football on TV, you can still go for a walk, still go to the movies.
But how about devoting just some portion of that massive amount of actual extra time that we all have every week? So how would you do that, how would you go ahead and now take and put billboards into that allocation of time? Well, the first thing you'd wanna do is you wanna define your billboard territory. And as we all know, billboards are all about highways and surface streets, it's all about driving. So for most people, a territory might be a four hour radius from your house. So take a map where you live, and draw a circle four hours of drive time from your house. That's effectively for most people your territory. Take that circle and break that into quadrants, so that you now have four pieces of that circle. And then pick the quadrant in that drive that you believe has the most promise. Now, it doesn't matter where you live in America, if you draw that circle, some parts of that circle have a lot more opportunity than others. What would make some more opportunistic than others with billboards? Well, the existence of businesses, right? Businesses advertise. And they advertise to people, so bigger populations does matter too. So basically it'll be the portion of the circle, that quadrant that has the most cities and towns and people and businesses. And the way America grows, it doesn't grow at a uniform basis, it doesn't go in all directions at the same speed.
Every part of America, regardless of where you live, if you look at a map, you're gonna see there's a whole lot more going on in one sector over another. So to prioritize your time, you're gonna wanna focus on that piece of the quadrant that's got the most going on. So once you've figured out that quadrant of that four-hour circle, then you wanna highlight, isolate the highways and the major roads in that quadrant. It's easy to find them, look at the map, you can't not see the road system. And now that you see the road system, research, "What's the traffic count on those roads?" For billboards to work, traditionally, you have to have traffic counts of roughly at least a few thousand cars per day or more. Your average Interstate Highway is doing 40,000-50,000 cars a day. So since we're all about advertising, and advertising means reaching people, clearly you wanna reach where you could hit the most people. So figure out what are the most heavily traveled roads. Now, work backwards. Now that we know the heavily traveled roads in that quadrant, what cities do those roads go through? Again, you can get this easily in mere moments of research online. You can see exactly what cities and towns these roads cross through.
Next up to bat, we have to get the sign laws for those cities, it's not hard. Most of them can be found, again, right online. Those that aren't, you can typically just call the city, and they can mail you a copy. Some can just even tell you right over the phone. Now, we know the laws of the cities where those heavily traveled roads go through, and we still have one missing piece, and that is the law of where the roads go, that don't go through a city. You can get that from the State Department of Transportation in whatever states your circle falls in. And that then fills in the hole. Because as you see every inch of that highway, every inch of that state road is either in the city zoned property or is in unzoned property. Unzoned property falls on your state ordinance, zoned property in the city falls under the city's ordinance, so now basically you know the whole rules of engagement, you know what is allowed, where... So you can get in your car and you can start driving out to those markets, and you can start looking for legal locations based on those sign ordinances. Once you have a mastery of the State Ordinance, that covers most of your map, and then once you know those city laws, well, that covers the rest.
But while you're out looking, it's not all about building billboards, billboards have been around for a long time, at least a century. Over those decades, sometimes people abandoned the billboards that they built. It could be any number of factors for that, it could be that they died, it could be that they reached a disagreement with the property owner and couldn't work with him anymore. It might be that the road just didn't have much traffic back then, but now it's packed, when you go through that territory and you're out looking for new locations, look for symbols and signs of older signs in misuse. Signs that are not currently occupied, signs that are apparently be in structural distress. These may also be opportunities, they come in all shapes and sizes, from telephone pole signs, the old original, to seal monopoles. And if you're going through any kind of urban setting, don't miss out on edge sheets, the small 5 x 10 foot signs that are typically on surface streets. You can also buy those relatively inexpensively, the bottom line is, there's so much opportunity out there in America for billboards. America is all about space, we are a giant nation, spatially. Each one of our states is about the size of a country in Europe, and we've got the largest road system in the world.
So all the opportunity is there before you, it's huge, it's like a giant buffet of opportunity, if you only get out there and start trying to grasp it. And again, you've got the time, don't let anyone ever say to themselves, well, that all sounds good, I should probably do that, but I just don't have the time. You have the time. All of us have the time. Nobody is so overworked that they don't have a little bit of time to go out in a new direction. Don't forget that America is very unstable right now, there has never been a time in history that I've ever seen the country in more anarchy than it is at the moment. Everyone's day job is at stake, traditional investments don't pay anything, so there's never been a moment that should be more compelling to go out there and look for something completely different, something that gives you that extra edge of financial independence, and it then begs the question, is there any better use for your time? I think the answer is no.
I think you have a much better chance at succeeding in billboards than most anything else you can do. So a few people might say, well, but I'd rather go ahead and sell Mary Kay cosmetics or some other form of MLM. Well, I think not, if you look at the actual stats from people who do those things, typically most don't do that well, however, billboards is something completely different. Most people don't even know about it. So as a result, there's so much more opportunity based on supply and demand, so the key to it all is let's all make better use of our time, let's all set aside time to actually get new places we wanna go, particularly financial independence in a time of instability. This is Frank Rolfe for the Billboard Mastery podcast. Hope you enjoyed this and talk to you again soon.