We were all lied to.
Growing up, we were sold the dream of following the traditional career path of working 50-hour weeks to receive our stable paycheck.
Get in the office early, stay late, and even come in on weekends — then maybe, just maybe we’ll get a raise one day.
Hopefully, if we worked “long” enough, we’ll save enough money to retire at the age of 65.
Who the hell invented that?
Since when was there a rule that we have to trade our time for money?
It’s one of the biggest misconceptions in our society. Time is our most important commodity, and all the money in the world cannot replace time.
Your income is limited
When you’re trading time for money, your income will always be limited.
The first reason is — there’s only 24 hours in a day.
Most of us need 8 hours to sleep, 2 hours to commute to and from work, 2 to 4 hours to cook, eat, wash up, relax, and spend time with friends/family.
That leaves us with 10 to 12 hours to trade our time in for income. That’s it.
No matter how much your time is worth to your organization: $ 20, $ 30, $ 50, there will always be a limit. Your time.
Here’s another question.
How many of us can simply ask for more because we want to? Not many.
We have to wait years before asking for a promotion to increase our income, and there’s a fair chance that we may not get that promotion.
The second reason is — the more more we make, the more we’ll lose.
Employee tax is the most heavily taxed income there is, and the more income we earn, the more tax we’ll face. Which means, when someone goes from making $ 60,000 to $ 100,000 due to a promotion, they’re not actually making $ 40,000 more.
Your impact is limited
When we’re continuously trading time for money throughout our lives, our time is limited to pursue the things we’re passionate about.
This could be a hobby you love, giving back to the community, or building something that could have a real impact in the world.
Simply put, with limited time comes limited impact.
The question is, how do we stop trading time for money?
Note: There are other methods that will give you passive income, but this is one clear, sustainable pathway to help you make the transition.
7 Steps to Stop Trading Time for Money
1. Change Your Mindset
The first thing we must do is change our beliefs. When we rid our mindset of believing that in order to make money, we have to trade it for time — our mind opens up to the possibilities.
There’s no rule for everyone that in order to make X dollars, we have to work X hours. Get that out of your head. In this situation, it’s more important to spend time “un-learning” the old than “learning” the new.
Think about trading value for money, not time.
Think about what value you can create for other people, and how you can deliver that value.
What assets, skills, knowledge, connections, or ideas do you have that people value?
Recognize your strengths and competency, then go all-in.
2. Build your expertise and authority
Now that we understand the strengths and value we can bring to others, we need to build expertise around it. Developing expertise translates into larger value creation for yourself and others, because we can now solve problems that very few people can solve.
However, being recognized as an expert takes time and work, which is why building authority is just as important.
Building authority around your expertise is what will help people discover your expertise in the first place. You could be the best in the world at something, but if no one has heard about you, then it doesn’t matter.
Authority has many factors to it, but the most effective are testimonials, press & media, influencer association, and case studies. Give people the confidence to realize that you know what you’re talking about.
Developing expertise & authority will immediately increase the value of your time, and will allow opportunities to come to you.
3. 10x the Value of Your Time
Not all of us can leap into entrepreneurship in the blink of an eye.
This is why if you’re freelancing or providing professional services for your time — 10x the value of your time.
Instead of working with 10 clients that are going to pay you $ 2/month, find 2 clients that will pay you $ 20/month — then drop the rest. This is easier said than done of course, but the logic here is to be focused on the few that deliver the most results.
Now, you’re working fewer hours for the same, if not more income.
Which gives you more time to…
4. Focus on creating a product
In order to stop trading time for money, we need to create an offer that we can sell and deliver without us having to be there.
A powerful way to do this is to create an online product — ebook, training program, membership program, software apps, etc. You could also sell physical products online, but you’ll have to find someone who can manufacture and deliver the product to your customers (through dropshippping).
The reason why creating an online product is powerful is because you can create it once, then focus the rest of your time on selling it. Yes, you’ll have to improve and optimize the product, but it’ll be on your own time.
This means you could be on vacation, spending time with friends, or sleeping, and have the ability for customers to purchase your offerings.
5. Automate everything
Figure out a way to automate and systemize everything you can in your business. From how you acquire customers, how you deliver your products, how you drive traffic — everything you can.
Whether it’s your content calendar, automated email series, webinars, social media posts, facebook ads, etc.
The more you can systemize, the more time you’ll have to focus on the business, not in the business. Your time should be spent on long-term strategy, building relationships, and growing the business — the drivers that will make your business thrive.
Now we can’t automate and systemize everything in the business.
So what do we do?
6. Hire Someone
Eventually, it just makes sense to hire someone to help you in certain areas of the business.
How do we know which areas? Create your 3 Lists to Freedom.
This list designed by Chris Ducker, will change the way you look at your time.
Here’s how it works.
Create 3 columns with the titles:
1. HATE doing
2. SHOULDN’T do
3. CAN’T do
Hire an employee (assistant, intern, etc.) and get them to start doing the tasks you HATE doing first.
Getting someone to do what you hate doing will not only help you appreciate the value of outsourcing tasks, but it will maximize the strengths you already have, rather than focusing on your weaknesses.
7. Build your next offering
You’ve built authority, your product, and figured out a way to automate and hire someone to grow your business.
Often, it’s not enough to have one offering out there in the market. The biggest businesses expand into different products/services they offer, or they find a way to upsell their current customers.
Is there a product idea that your customers have been nagging you about? Or a set of features that you can add to provide a premium pricing package?
Understand what your current customers are looking for and figure out a way to deliver it using the systems and resources you already have in place.
The final step is to reward ourselves.
What’s the point of having more time, if we’re not able to enjoy it?
Spend time with your loved ones, learn something new, or travel the world.
We must be able to visualize and reward the results we have achieved in order to associate the notion of having more time as a positive result.
Take the time to recharge, reconnect, and do more of what you love.
Time is only worth having, if you spend its worth.
“At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent.”
— Barbara Bush