Time is King. The nonsense you and I grew up with telling us that Cash is King is worthless. If you don’t have time, what will a large bank account mean. Cash is only King because cash buys you time. And Time is King because time can do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, and answers to no Boss!
Once you have time, hold onto it. To hold onto time, avoid momentum. That’ll be hard. Entrepreneurs crave momentum.
Most entrepreneurs I meet can’t sit still for one minute let along one day. From personal experience I can tell you that momentum is dangerous because it’s distracting and addicting. I rolled the ball. The ball continues rolling. I get impatient. I pour money into marketing because it makes the ball looks so much shinier. I fill my calendar with so much to do. So much to accomplish. One day I wake up and realise that the ball stopped. I have run out of time.
Most of us never seem to have enough, and we’re spending a large portion of it earning money. It stands to reason that time is money, and the more time we have, the more money we can make.
But I believe we are looking at this in a wrong way.
To me, time is the real treasure. Can you create time with the startup idea you are pursuing? Or will you, like most entrepreneurs spend less and less time on what really matters and most of your time on chasing money?
What I have learned…
1. You Can’t Make More Time
You can always find a way to make more money. But there are no chances for you to create more time. You can’t add an extra hour to the day. You can’t give yourself 10 extra years on this planet by investing in the “time market”. Time is finite for us, as individuals. We don’t know how long we have to live and thrive. This is worth remembering when you are spending more time making money than you are with family and loved ones. Those times are precious, and fleeting. Money? There’s always more of that.
2. You Can Do More With a Day Off Than With a Day’s Pay
Everyone earns different amounts, but a day’s pay to a rich person or a poor person is still the same, relative to his or her situation. But with a day off work, the world is your oyster. Maybe you take that time to paint that picture you’ve always wanted to, or begin writing a new book. You can meditate, and find some of that inner peace you’ve been looking for. At the end of the day, a “thing” that costs money will never compete with spending time with a loved one, or an experience that broadens the mind, or simply makes you happy.
3. Time Creates More Memories Than Money
Think back to the best moments in your life so far. How many of them are based on money, and how many are based on time spent with family and loved ones? Very rarely do we sit back and think, Oh man, the day I got that new pair of jeans was awesome! Our most treasured memories come from time spent with the people we love, and in places we adore. Yes, it certainly does take a little money to travel. Luxurious vacations are definitely something we need money for, but we also treasure those times we walked hand-in-hand with a loved one in the park, or had a memorable holiday or a crazy fun braai with silly friends. Time gives us those memories we can look back on and laugh, or cry. And while money may help, it’s never the main focus.
4. You Need Time to Spend Money
You may have all the money in the world, but you only have a certain amount of time in which to spend it. Billionaires around the globe have enough money to last 100 lifetimes, and yet they only have a set number of years on this planet. Even then, the last 10-20 years are not exactly the best. Money can buy you a lot, but it cannot buy you more time, which is why time is the most valuable resource we all have. Whether you’re rolling in dough, or scraping together a living, time is the great equaliser. And most rich people would gladly give up a huge chunk of money for the chance to spend a few more good years with family and friends.
5. Time, Not Money, Is a Great Healer
It takes time to gain perspective. It cannot be bought. It takes time to realise your strengths and weaknesses. It takes time to figure out who you really are, and who you want to become. When you put time against money, it’s no contest. Money helps you live your life over that time, but it’s time itself that gives you the greatest benefit.