How much time do you really have?

We are all given 86,400 seconds amount of time each day.  So how is it that the guy who was not as smart as you seems to be ahead of you in life?  Why is it that most of the stories of the “successful people” all start the same way, “….wasn’t the smartest or endowed with any special skills – just relentless work ethic.”  I can hear you say to yourself, “Arthur, I have a strong work ethic as well, but I am nowhere near where I want to be.”  I’ve learned when wealthy people discuss work ethic, what they really mean is that they treat their most valuable asset, time, differently than most people.  It is that little, unspoken, aspect of work ethic that sets wealthy people apart from masses.

Wealthy people and the masses treat time differently. Wealthy people understand that time is more valuable than dollars.  You can replace dollars, but you can’t replace time.  You can earn more money, but you can’t earn more time. You can work 2-3 jobs and make more money, but you give up time to do so.  Unbeknownst to them, the masses trade time for money. Wealthy people trade other people’s time and money for more time – and in so doing, create more money.

The key difference in how the wealthy and the masses treat time is less obvious: Wealthy people buy time where the masses sell it.

Wealthy people buy time (ROAD strategy)

  • Replicate: They replicate themselves by teaching their subordinates how to do their job so they can leverage other people’s time (Remember OPT from my book “Don’t eat from the F.I.G. tree”?)
  • Outsource: They outsource specific jobs that can be done quicker and cheaper through smaller firms
  • Automate: They automate systems to reduce costs and increase efficiencies.  By doing so, their employees can focus on making the company better versus wasting time on routine tasks
  • Duplicate: They duplicate their ideologies into their leadership team so that everyone has the same vision and can leverage the various skills to achieve the singular objective

The masses sell their time

  • They sell their expertise at wholesale prices to companies who turn around and sell those same skills at retail prices
  • They sell their time by watching more TV than reading. This increases the profits of the TV producers while simultaneously reducing the profit potential that individual could have created for themselves
  • They spend more of their time focusing on ways to entertain themselves versus determining how they can leverage their skills to solve real problems; problems that would gladly pay them tremendous financial rewards

Now, I am not saying that you cannot take a break to enjoy life.  In fact, I encourage you to do so.  My best ideas always come when I am sitting at the airport or on the plane day dreaming.  However, if you find yourself spending more time doing things that don’t add any value to you or to your life than you do building your skills, wealth, family, etc., you cannot blame anyone else but yourself for your predicament.  Sure there will be unforeseen emergencies, setbacks, and various other unpredictable situations that arise that will hinder you.  I am not talking about those moments.  I’m talking about those moments when you have spent 2 hours (throughout the day) on Facebook and twitter.

Take some of that time and devote it to a new idea. Take some of that time to work on something that will add value to your life and others. I promise you, walking in your purpose is way more fulfilling than watching American Idol (isn’t that show due to be canceled soon…perhaps just my wishful thinking.

Unsure how to incorporate this blog into your life?  Consider doing 2-3 of the following:

  1. Wake up in the morning and before you do any (after prayer of course), take out a pen and paper and write down everything you need to accomplish; separating the tasks into three column: (1) critical, (2) important, (3) like to do. Complete each task in that order. Use the prior days’ task sheet to help you complete the next day.
  2. Boycott Facebook 3 days a week. Whenever you have the urge to go on Facebook, pull out you pen and paper (or electronic device) and write down 1-2 problems that you identify in your community/world.  Find a way to solve that problem.
  3. Identify 2 people per week that is doing what you dream about doing.  Take 1-2 of them out to lunch per month and ask them how they did it
  4. Read a biography or business book or magazine once a month – at least 10 minutes per day. Economist, Fortune, and/or Bloomberg Businessweek are great periodicals.
  5.  Watch no more than 30 minutes of TV per day during the week.  Instead, at least 10 minutes working on business ideas and afterwards time with family.
  6. When driving in your car, put on educational CD’s in your car that teaches you something in your specific area of expertise
  7. Buy a journal and write down how you are feeling regarding your personal, business, spiritual life.  Include your goals.  Track how you are doing.  Are you getting closer? If not, why?
  8. Create a personal “10 measures for success” document.  This gives you a clear picture of what success looks like to you and immediately lets you know once you’ve hit it (without a clear vision, you will perish). I will share mine today as well in a separate blog post.
  9. Create a daily affirmation document and read it aloud every day during your prayer and meditation session in the morning. I will post mine in a separate blog right after this as an example.
  10. Run/walk every day for 20 minutes BUT do not listen to music.  Listen only to your thoughts. Learn how to control your thought life – it is the beginning to everything.
  11. Take the 52 week money challenge.  See the blog after this one.
  12. Analyze your spending habits.  Decrease your spending on non-essential items. Don’t pretend everything is essential! Lol

Doing just a few of these consistently will change your life.  The key is to be consistent.  It will not do you any good to start today and quit 2 days from now.  However, if you do fall off, don’t make a big fuss, just start again. Treat each day as a new opportunity to create a better you.

Start by protecting your most precious item of wealth – your time.