Time is the most precious commodity. Stop trading time for money

Updated: Jun 15, 2020

I'm writing this as we enter a new work week.

A global poll conducted by Gallupahas uncovered that out of the world’s one billion full-time workers, only 15% of people are engaged at work. That means that an astronomical 85% of people are unhappy in their jobs.

Based on that, I wonder how many of you are excited when Sunday afternoon comes around, How many of you wake up Monday morning with a spring in your step.

It is an extremely scary thought that for 85% of us, we need to work 8-9-10 hours a day, with 1 day off per week, Possibly 2 days off if we are extremely lucky, At a job that makes us miserable until we are 70 years old. Then if we are lucky and the economy has not collapsed we may have enough in our superannuation to live a very modest retirement for the minimal years we have remaining. It sounds morbid, But its the uncomfortable truth.

If you are one of the 15% of people who love your job, you are extremely lucky and I hope your realize that. For the rest of you, It could be an extremely long and arduous 70 years if you don't take control !!

The image below explains the concept of trading your time for money.

So for the majority of you, you are an employee, you have a job, you are trading your time for money, you are forever tied down to that job. If you do not work you do not get paid, and chances are your income is growing slower then the cost of living.

Now there is a difference between being self employed and a business owner. If you are self employed, you are still trading your time for money, If you don't work, your business cannot operate and you will not make any money.

A business owner, is someone who owns a system. They are not trading their time for money, they have staff, systems and operations in place which allows the business to operate while the owner is not there.

An investor is someone who makes money through investments. Quite self explanatory. You are investing in other businesses or assets without a reliance on your own time to create your wealth.

Now being a business owner or being self employed is not for everyone. I am not encouraging you all to quit your job and become business owners because the reality is only 3 out of 4 businesses fail to operate within the first 5 years.

What I am suggesting is, you must all create multiple sources of income:

  • If you have a job and have surplus income, have a think about how you can make that money work harder for you. Whether its through investing in property, shares or become a silent investor in another business, the idea is to have multiple streams of income and eventually having that income or asset base larger then your job so you can step away if you choose to. So you can take 3 months off work and still have income coming in, so you can retire at 50 instead of 70, so you can stay at home and watch your children grow up if you want to.

  • If you have a job, however do not have any surplus income, you need to increase your income or minimize your expenses. Ways you can increase your income is through a side hustle, ask for a pay rise, or learn a new skill. If this is you, please do what you have to do ASAP to create additional income so you can then create multiple income streams as per above point.

  • If you are self employed, Have a think about how you can create systems and structures to allow you to step away from your business while it still operates, Another benefit of being self employed is, You choose how much you want to get paid, Increase that income reduce your overheads then think about how you can make that money work harder for you. Having buffers in your account is a must. However just as important is not letting that money be wasteful in your account, with interest rates at record lows, cost of living and inflation is going up much faster then your money will just sitting in your account, So the reality is you are losing money as it sits there.

  • Much is the same for a business owner, The chances are, you have the income and the flexibility. Now think about how you can make that money work harder for you. 90% of the worlds millionaires have created their wealth through real estate, but what people don't know is nearly all these millionaires had businesses to give them the income to then purchase real estate. McDonald's is not in the business of selling fast food, they are in the business of real estate. Make your money work for you, don't leave it sitting in your account. Again its extremely important to have your buffers in place but after you have your buffers in place create several revenue streams.

What I personally do is, I have my businesses, I have my buffers, I choose to have 6 months buffers, however this really comes down to your risk profile. As my businesses make enough surplus I use that money for a deposit on a property which is neutrally or positively geared as I do not want to affect my lifestyle and be tied down to working for 30 years to pay off the mortgage, I chose neutrally or positively geared as it will add to my income and the tenants will pay it off, this way I am not concerned when rates eventually go up again.

I then invest 5% of my surplus income in shares. Admittedly I am no good at shares, I don't like shares, I have a subscription to The Motley Fool and they tell me what to do. If or when my shares become large enough for a deposit for a property I sell and park it in real estate, I'm not saying this is what you guys should do. I'm extremely biased towards property as it is what I know and what I am comfortable with. Others may be comfortable with putting all there surplus in shares this is completely up-to you.

The important thing is having as many different income streams as possible. Because if Covid-19 has taught us anything. Your safe secure job, Is not so safe and secure when we go through a recession and when unemployment spikes to 10%.

We all have a choice to live the life we do, At-least those of us in the first world countries have a choice and a abundance of opportunity, there has never been a better time to create several income streams, there has never been a better time to educate yourself. We have never had a better opportunity to work remotely we must use this opportunity and create the lives we want.

Imagine being able to travel Australia for 3 months in a Campervan. Imagine spending 3 months of the year in Italy or Greece over the European summer (post Covid). Imagine being able to stay at home and watch your kids grow up instead of having to rush back to work after 6 weeks.

These are all ways we can live our life if we chose to. Our day to day choices and actions will lead us to the life we want to live. What do you choose ?

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