Undeniably, the most valuable asset anyone has is time. Your time is when you’re spending your energy and focusing your mind where you want it to be. The more you give away your time, the lesser it becomes. So, when you want to add financial value to your life, think about ways that can add “time value” in your life. The more we think about our time as money, the less we will spend it on low-value tasks. The value of money may rise and fall, but the value of time will consistently increase over time.
How time = money earned.
The way you make money, or the way you achieve wealth is not by working harder or by getting more clever. It is by managing the time you have better. When Einstein was a young man, he worked hard and managed to make a lot of money. But only after he recognized that time was more important than money, did he figure out how to make the most of it. It was time, not money, that got Einstein into the top rank scientists and inventors. Time, not money, is what gives you the leverage you need to get what you want. Time gives you the power to control your future. Time is the ultimate leverage.
Time is more valuable than ever.
Why? Because time is money. How?
Firstly, Money is as hard to make as time. “Money is energy,” wrote David Graeber in his fascinating book Debt: The First 5,000 Years. “The reason why energy is worth anything is that it takes time to create, and that time costs. The more you spend, the more energy you get back, measured in units of time.”
Secondly, time is a money substitute. In modern society, money—or rather, credit—is time deferred. You borrow money to buy something today that you will owe back tomorrow. You buy today’s money with tomorrow’s money.
Third, the paradoxical part: Money is money because it is time. The money supply is backed by the future. Money is backed by promises to pay today. The more money there is, the more there will be, and the more promises to pay, in the future.
Finally, the easy part again: Money is time deferred until tomorrow, but time deferred is money today. Time is the raw material that money is made from. You may have some today, but you won’t have any tomorrow. The longer you defer buying something, the more money it costs.
Put more time and care into your craft
If you want more money, there are two things you can do. You can increase your income, or you can increase your value. Here’s the basic strategy: Find a way to increase your value. Value is what you get when you combine your time and your skill to make money. You have to do something better than anyone else, all of the time. Most great artists are perfectionists. They love what they do, and they spend their lives trying to make their work better and better. Great entrepreneurs are more like great artists than most of us. They spend their lives building wealth. But a great entrepreneur has to do more than making his work better. He has to do something better than anyone else, and it has to be something no one else can do. Great entrepreneurs create new markets, solve new problems, or improve on existing things. But they created new markets or improved on existing ones only after they had spent their lives perfecting their art. To create new markets or improve on existing ones, they have to master an art: marketing, salesmanship, product development, and so on. A poet who simply writes poems for a living will never make enough money.
Spend time with the right people
The best way to make money is to spend a great deal of time with the right people who acquire money for themselves. People talk about passion. Passion is a good and powerful thing, but passion is a lot harder to find than money. Passion means wanting to do something for its own sake. Money, by contrast, is an external reward, a reward for doing something else. If you want to make money, spend a great deal of time hanging out with people who make money. You have to get to know them and find out what it takes to make as much money as they do. And you need to get to know them well enough to notice when something was money well spent and when it wasn’t. You do this by talking to them. But not just to them alone, talk to everyone. You will learn a lot, and you start noticing how money works. But money is more than just money. It is power, and power means relationships.
If you want to make money, you have to focus on time. You have to spend the hours you have doing something that will increase your value. The value comes from what you can do with time. If you spend your time doing something that increases your value, that does it for you.
So, if you want to make money, you have to focus on time.