The Tragedy of Trading Time For Money

In our twenties, we don’t tend to worry so much about trading our time for money, as we feel it’s a somewhat unlimited commodity but in truth, life is short and unpredictable and the time we have on earth is so precious, indeed, it’s our most valuable commodity yet we give it away, at times, as if it’s worthless.

The challenge with making more money, is that the conventional way is to trade a unit of time for a unit of money, and as we get older (i.e. more experienced) the amount we are able to charge for our money usually increases.  Yet, this is not based on something as linear as age or experience – it’s based on the value you can create a third party, that is willing to pay you in accordance to the value of that unit of time.

The inherent problem, however, is that no matter much you charge for a unit of your time – from the shop assistant being paid very little to the brain surgeon being paid highly, there’s a limit to how many hours there are in each day or week, meaning there’s an inherent cap to your earning potential.

That’s the ultimate problem when it comes to trading your time for money; there’s only so many hours upon which you can trade – and even the brain surgeon has a limit to how much he or she can charge for each unit of their time.

In the alternative, when you shift your mindset to that of the investor or entrepreneur, you activate the concept of leverage – meaning, you start to leverage assets and systems in order to generate revenue that isn’t contingent on the linear path of trading time for money.

We all know how that if we had invested in bitcoin, a few years ago, using a site such as that we would now be sitting on a small fortune, yet it’s not just investing in stocks, trades, and currencies that can generate passive income for us… there are a whole heap of opportunities to create an income that doesn’t depend on you trading your time for money, you just need to find them, and the only way to do that is to shift your mindset from the linear focus of trading time for money as an employee (or even self employed business owner).

See, school doesn’t teach us to be wealthy, it teaches quite the opposite – to be a cog in the wheel and “get by” as a worker rather than to make it in life as an entrepreneur.  

The book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki highlights some of the key differences between how the wealthy utilise their time and resources compared to those that are stuck on the treadmill known as the “rat race” where they are trapped trading their time for money.

The wealthy, on the other hand understand the need to take a longer term view and engage the principle of delayed gratification, in that they would prefer to invest in systems and strategies that are like fruit trees, eventually generating fruit in perpetuity, rather than the immediate term benefit of instant reward.

In summary, whilst trading time for money is not a “tragedy” per se, it is limited in terms of its ability to generate a good lifestyle whereas entrepreneurship and investing pave the way to a different financial destination.

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