People like to say things like “money isn’t everything” and “money can’t buy happiness” and “money is the root of all evil.”
That may well be. But to them I say, “money makes the world go round.”
Let me step back for a moment.
My goal in life is not to be a rich snob sitting on a yacht with a butler and brag about my ability to drop “hundos” whenever given the chance.
I love my family. I prefer a day spent with them playing outside over a day spent doing anything else.
But money influences the amount of time I spend with my family immensely. On one extreme, if I had unlimited money, I could spend all my time with family. On the other extreme, if I had very little money, I couldn’t spend hardly any time with my family.
Money influences the simple things in life too. Health, for example. Having money issues can stress a lot of people out. The amount of money you have determines the amount of healthcare you can afford (in the United States, at least).
Most people spend a majority of their time every day working to make money. The people that don’t usually have money from some other source. Maybe they inherited money, were gifted money, won the lottery, worked their butts off for years and sold a company, etc.
But everybody needs money. Money makes the world go round. It’s like the gas tank in your car. When it’s on full, you’re fine. You can go anywhere you want.
But when it’s on empty, you’re screwed. You’re not going anywhere until you get more gas.
Time is a fascinating thing. It’s the one thing you have an absolute finite amount of and you can never have more of.
You can always make more money, buy more land, grow more vegetables, buy more servers, write more words, play more shows, drive more miles.
But you can never have more time.
As a result, you have to carefully dole out your limited time to the various activities, people, and situations that wish to occupy it. It’s a matter of priority, really.
At the moment, I’m struggling to find regular time every day/week to exercise. I know it makes me feel good, and I know it will help me stay healthier, but it hasn’t gained enough priority to knock out other occupiers of my time, like spending time with my wife and son, or working on my startup. I’m working on moving it up the priority list while (hopefully) not letting anything else suffer.
I used to have two big goals I was working toward: time freedom and financial freedom.
Time freedom is the ability to not have to abide by a set schedule of weekdays/weekends. Go on vacation whenever you want, go to the park with your kid whenever you want, etc.
Financial freedom is the ability to never have to worry about money (and therefore working for money) ever again.
My big goal now is financial freedom, because I realized time freedom automatically comes with financial freedom. For most of us, a lot of our limited time is dedicated to working to make money somehow. Remove the need to work to make money, and all of a sudden you have a lot more free time.
While I can never have more time, this will at least maximize my use of the time I do have available.
Sixteen months ago, I received my first paycheck from Entrepreneurs Unpluggd, the company I co-founded with my business partner Stella Fayman at the beginning of 2011. I can’t believe that was 16 months ago. That paycheck is a part of my everyday life now.
The conversation you have at dinner with your wife and kid. The fixing of the drainpipe hanging from the gutter outside your house that has been spilling water all over your back walk during every rainstorm this year. The beautiful spring days you spend outside enjoying every moment of. The barbeque you had all your friends over for.
That paycheck now helps support all of that.
There’s something about a paycheck from your business affecting your everyday life that’s so awesome and yet so scary at the same time. It’s money that I worked to earn building something entirely from scratch. That’s awesome. But it helps pay my mortgage and support my family, so I can’t let it just disappear. That can be scary.
How did your first paycheck from your business affect you?