Have you heard the phrase “trading time for money?” If not, it means getting paid either an hourly wage or salary. You are paid to be at a certain place and to do certain tasks. It’s great to start with, but after awhile, you’re left wondering if there’s more money that can be made in a shorter amount of time.
Trust me, it’s an amazing feeling when you make a quick profit instead of having to slave for several hours for the same amount of cash. As an example, I just resold I lawnmower the other day that I bought for $30 for $120. I spent 20 minutes finding the lawnmower at a garage sale, taking pictures, listing it, and messaging the buyer and made $90. Cool, right? Not many jobs pay that well, so it’s a great feeling finding deals like that and creating value (the end buyer still got a decent discount when comparing that to new prices).
Working harder is not always working smarter
I want to share an interesting story with you to help you grow your mindset and think of how you can trade value for money instead of just time. A coworker from a previous job was talking to me about having worked from 4am – 7pm for 2 weeks in a row in order to finish some reports and presentations for a Board Meeting. I’ve heard all kinds of stats saying that most people are only productive a fraction of the time at work, so I wonder how much of that time was truly work… stats aside, if what he said is true, this means he would have spent 15 hours a day at the office, when he gets paid to be there for 9 (assuming he uses 1-hour for a lunch break).
Let’s do some math!
Excluding lunch, let’s say he worked 6 hours more per day for 2 work weeks. 6 hours x 10 days = 60 hours.
Let’s assume his hourly wage is $35. Not bad, right? That comes out to around $70K a year, assuming he gets 2 weeks of paid vacation. A nice, cushy job. It will allow you to pay your car note, a mortgage, and get groceries. Maybe take a nice vacation or two a year. Unless you live in New York. You might be able to afford a closet for $70K a year in New York (sorry, fellas).
During normal work hours, he’ll earn $2800, excluding taxes and any deductions from his paycheck after 2 weeks, or 80 hours, of work.
By working an extra 60 hours in those two weeks, he effectively lowered his hourly salary from $35/hour to a measly $20/hour. “Congrats, ya played yourself!”
Of course, when he told me, I replied “oh wow, sounds busy!” as he probably felt proud or something. In my head, I thought “Why the hell would you ever do that?” and tried my best to not look like Storm from X-Men by rolling my eyes too hard.
What can you accomplish with 60 extra hours of time?
What could he have done with those 60 hours working towards something else? He could have built an asset or added a passive income stream. Perhaps taken classes to get a real estate license. Or even have done something fun like gone fishing.
Here’s a few things I’d rather do than work 60 hours “for free”:
- File an LLC for a business idea
- Start conversations with potential business partners
- Self-publish a book to sell on Amazon
- Write blog posts embedded with affiliate links to earn commission as traffic grows
- Create an online course with videos, captions, the whole nine yards
Instead, he put in overtime for basically a pat on the back. Maybe he’ll get lucky and get a 5% raise next year for his efforts. Am I the only person who thinks this is madness?!
If his salary was $70,000 a year and he got a 5% raise, he’d get an extra $3,500 the following year, or $73,500. Whoopdie-doo!
Next time your boss asks if you can stay late, really think about it. If it’s a serious matter and you’re not asked to stay late very often, perhaps once or twice is fine. If it’s a constant request, tell your manager politely that you’d rather eat burning coal. Yes, get fired or laid off, just get out of there! Or if that’s too extreme, at least negotiate a raise.
The best part about spending time on other things such as a side-hustle is that you don’t have to cram 60 hours of work into 2 weeks. You can start with just 30 minutes or an hour a day. Imagine how far you’ll be in just 2 months of time. What can you do differently with time you’re spending on wasteful activities? Figure out how you can add VALUE in exchange for money, and your “hourly wage” will increase astronomically.
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