It’s true. Time is by far your most valuable commodity. You have only so much, and once that time is gone it can never be regained. In fact, you never really know just how much time you have, making it that much more precious.
So, knowing that our time is so valuable, why on earth do so many people settle for so little compensation for their time? I mean, seriously, minimum wage is $7.25, which means that if you worked full-time from the age of 15 to the age of 65, earning minimum wage, you would have made $754,000 in your working lifetime (in 2010 dollars). Even a salaried employee working from 25-55, making the US median of $45,000/yr would bring in only twice that in 2010 dollars. Is that what the best days, hours and years of your life are worth?
Most people who know me know that I am a financially driven person, though not for the reasons some might think. Though I like (and hope to own) nice things, it isn’t the things of this world that drive my desire for wealth. I see wealth as nothing but a facilitator, something to provide me with the freedom to spend my time with my family, doing the things that I really want to do in life.
In truth, my desires could be summed up in two goals: One, to pass this test, for life is a test and mortality is but a blip on the radar of Eternity. And two, to provide well for and to spend as much time as possible with my wife and family while I’m here.
That’s it. To me, nothing else really matters, and those two things drive every decision I make or even contemplate making. So how does one achieve such goals? The reality is that wealth facilitates both, and the only sure way to achieve wealth is to properly value your time and make decisions accordingly.
For me, personally, I have only one financial metric: Income per Hour Worked.
That, in a nutshell, is how you value your time. Personally, I currently value my time at $100 per hour worked, and I’ve been making right about that for the last year or so. That is, however, only a stepping stone to where I want to be.
My real financial goal could be broken down into two parts: A, to make $2,500 per hour worked while I’m working (4 hours per week, max), and B, to sell an idea or my stake in a business for no less than $7,000,000. Impossible? Not at all, actually.
The vast majority of people in the world would view those numbers as impossible to achieve, but not only is it not impossible, it’s actually on the low-end of what IS possible. For example, some actors easily make $30,000 or more per hour worked, and someone like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet could make 100 times that with ease.
Valuing your time like that allows you to focus your time on only the most important things, and helps you to delegate or outsource tasks that aren’t worth your time. Learning to let go of minutiae will free up time and alleviate stress like you wouldn’t believe! Moving on…
From what I’ve learned, it takes four things to achieve that kind of success: patience, perseverance, drive and vision. The most successful people in all of history have possessed those qualities. You could sum it up as follows:
You see what’s possible, you are motivated to achieve it, you don’t care how long it takes to do so, and you’ll keep working towards your goal no matter what gets in your way. Some people are born with those traits, but most need to develop them.
So stop undervaluing yourself and your time and your life. You have but one life to live, a finite amount of time, and since you never really know how long that is, you should make the best of every moment.
Money in and of itself will never make you happy, but the time and freedom it brings can allow you to do and experience things that WILL make you truly happy, in this life and the next.
Tempus Fugit, Carpe Diem (time flees, seize the day) 🙂