Your Most Valuable Asset
A new day
Time. Every morning we wake up, and the clock is ticking. Another day has begun (or is it just slowly ending?) For most of us, we choose to be startled awake by an alarm clock at a specified time carefully chosen by us the night before. Secretly (or not), we hate the damn thing. It "alarms" us, warning us of another day at the office or the plant or on the road or a fast food joint or worse.
And although we hate it, we opt to spend 8-10 hours of our day, five days a week (sometimes more), at our jobs. We will continue to do this into our old age, finally retiring at or around age 65 (I'll keep to the standard retirement age for the sake of this hub, but we all know what really happens). In the end, we'll work about 90,000 hours.
Now we finally get our time back. But we'll be old. So what's the point? We'll be older, we'll have less time left, and we'll be on a fixed income that does nothing to afford us all of life's wonderful adventures. What a great way to spend our time. Work your whole life for someone else, struggle to get by, then finally retire on even less money. Funny thing is, when we've reached the end of our lives, when we're on our deathbeds, I doubt any of us will be thinking "Gee, I wish I would have spent more time at work, I really miss that place!"
It's insane the things we invest our time in. You can replace a dollar, but you cannot replace yesterday.
The Cash Flow Quadrant
What is your time really worth?
If you've ever read Robert Kiyosaki's "Cash Flow Quadrant," (and you should) you know that most of us (95% of the population) are on the left side of the quadrant, trading time for money (but only 5% of it). Meanwhile the other 5% of the population are kicking back- think of those people you see at the golf course on a Tuesday afternoon- but still somehow manage to make enough money (the other 95% of it) to live in that great big house on the hill. So what's the deal? How come they are able to leverage their time?
Before he retired, Bill Gates was making ridiculous money. It was something crazy, like $8,000 every step he took. Mr. Gates is no better than you or I, and in fact he has the same 24 hours we all do, so why is it this college dropout gets paid so much for his time?
As of right now, my employer tells me how much my time is worth. They tell me when I can take my break, my lunch, and when I can go home. And no matter how much education I get - a masters degree, a PhD, whatever - their is a cap to how much they are willing to pay me. So how can I determine how much I want my time to be worth? I can't. Not working for someone else.
In the U.S., 6 out of every 7 millionaire's is from a foreign country. You know why? Because they aren't taught to come over here and get a job. They come over here with the intention of owning their own business. And they are succeeding.
In his book, "The Next Millionaires", Paul Zane Pilzer, a very accredited source (he served on two presidential campaigns as economic something-or-other, and predicted the boom in the housing markets in the 90's), predicts that over the next ten years (the book was written in 2006), their will be 10 million more millionaires. He even tells what industries and sources these millions will be made in. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not all about the money. I couldn't care less about the money. I don't even want the money. I want the things money provides. I want the lifestyle that money provides. I want my time back.
Now it's entirely up to you what you choose to do with this information. I can't tell you how much your time is worth. I can't make you read the books. Just remember that yesterday is gone forever, and that your time is your greatest asset. I'm sure there are other things you'd rather be doing with it, and other people you'd rather be spending it with.