I am always fascinated when I read and think about the topics of money and work. What we generally believe is: You work to earn money.
We have been taught to work for money since childhood. Our teachers at school taught us how to get good grades and get a good job. Getting a good job equals earning good money. That is what most of us believe.
People’s lives revolve around money. The poor and the middle class work their asses off every day to earn money and make a living. On the other hand, the rich are not working as much, yet they get richer every day.
After reading a few books and understanding more about money and work, I have understood that money is not something we should chase. Instead, it is the outcome of doing what we love.
A rich person is rich not because she worked her ass off for money. It is because she worked her ass off for something she loves.
The Importance of ‘Time’ in Making Money
People who work at a job are trading their time for money. A 9-5 job requires you to spend eight hours working at the job to be paid at the end of the week/month. You are giving your time and service to get paid.
Time is a valuable asset. Your success and happiness depend on how you choose to spend your time. The amount of money you make is also dependent on time. Most people hate their jobs, but they still go to work. That is because they just want the money.
It is not that you cannot make a lot of money working at a job. Some jobs pay really well. But is it right to trade your happiness for money?
What Do You Like To Do?
Working for money and not being happy is difficult. You are stuck in a helpless situation where you cannot sacrifice your job for happiness. Even if you decide to do so, you will then be out of money and have difficulty surviving in this money-driven world.
So quitting your job is not the solution for now. What should you do then? Ask yourself what do you like to do. Everybody has something they like doing. It can be a hobby, skill, or something they are naturally good at, like singing, painting, dancing, reading, writing, or talking.
What do you like doing for yourself? At a job, you do the things that your boss wants you to do. If you had the option, I am sure most would not be doing what you do at your job. So, if you didn’t need money, will you still be doing what you are doing?
So the question you should be asking is: If you didn’t have to work for a living, what would you do with your time?
I found this question in Vicki Robin’s book Your Money or Your Life. It focuses rather on how you choose to spend your time than trying to make a lot of money at a job you hate. As I said before, working has nothing to do with making money. Instead, working on what you love will determine the path to success and making money.
Use Your Time Doing What You Love
Imagine that you have achieved your financial goals in life. Suppose your goal was to earn $10 million and retire at 35. Congratulations, you have it. Now what?
You still have half your life to live. Sure you will travel and buy all the luxuries you want. But you cannot do it every day for another 35 years. So you need something to do every day, to work on, to spend your time.
Most of us believe that once we achieve our goals, we are free to do anything. It will make you happy now that you are free and successful. But why wait for later? Why not become happy now? Does happiness have to depend only on your success?
You can be super rich and still be miserable if you cannot spend your time doing the things you love. So choose to spend your time doing the things you love now. You don’t have to quit your job to do that. First, identify what you want to do and what makes you happy. Then, do it. Do it some more. Do it so much that you will make a living off of it.
Money is the Outcome
Money is the outcome of following your passion. If you have something you are really passionate about, it can make you money. You will not have to work for money again.
The problem is that most people don’t believe in themselves and their passion. They say, “Doing this is never going to make me any money.” So they quit on their passion. Then, they get a job and work for money again.
Making money out of your passion is not easy. In the beginning, you will need to work really hard. You have to be consistent. You will have no money. But once you put on the work and effort long enough, money will flow from it. And the most important part is that you will be making money and love your job at the same time.
Warren Buffett once said:
“Look for the job that you would take if you didn’t need a job.”
Working hard can make you successful, and you can earn money by working hard. But it will be less worthy if you feel miserable doing so. So don’t trade your time for money. Working for money should never be your goal.
Instead, work on what you love. Do something (other than money) that is worth working hard for. Then, money will flow. As Gary Vaynerchuck says, “Everything can be monetized.” If you are skillful and have a passion for learning and growing, money will never be a problem.
But making money alone is not enough. You have to learn how to manage it. You cannot make money and spend all of it buying worthless stuff.
So, go on. Identify what you like doing. And do it with consistency. Keep learning. Keep growing. Remember, time is the most valuable asset you have. Don’t waste it doing things you don’t like. Instead, make your time worthwhile by doing what you are passionate about. Money will show up if you do it with consistency.