Trust Me, You Have the Time
The Rolling Stones famously sang, “Time is on my side.”
“Yes, it is.”
The rich always seem to find the time. In my experience, it’s not that they have time because they have money. They have money because when they were poor they found the time to invest in themselves and their dreams.
The rich recognize that they own their time. The poor let others take their time.
In 1965, after returning to Hawaii while on leave from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, I was discussing with my rich dad about continuing my financial education. I came up with some lame excuse about being a full-time student as to why I was too busy to keep learning.
Rich dad tore into me and said:
And soon when you graduate and leave school, you’ll be working full-time. Maybe you’ll get married, buy a home, and start raising a family. If that happens, expenses will go up as well as the demands on your time. If you think you’re busy as a student, just wait till you’re working and married with kids. If you don’t make the time to learn to be a better investor now, you will be saying the same things tomorrow as you are today. You’ll still be saying, “I didn’t have time to learn more and do more research.”
When you’re juggling family, career, charities, sports, activities, and keeping up with friends and everyday life, how do you find the time to invest?
It’s Not About “Having” Time. It’s About Making Time.
The fundamental shift you need to make today if you want to accomplish your dreams of investing or starting a business is to understand that you — and no one else — has a claim on your time.
In a world filled with money, very few people achieve great wealth because of the excuse of not having time.
If there’s one thing extremely successful people seem to have, it’s lots of time. You may have asked this at one time, “How do they get so much done?” It seems like successful people have an unnatural ability to do more than the average person.
You may be tempted to think this is because of a harder work ethic, or because they put in the hours. And while that can be true for a few, the reality is that most successful people understand the value of time — and of creating time by delegating tasks that suck time up.
When people use excuses they fail to see that when they say those words, they become slaves to money — working for money, having money dictate the financial boundaries of their lives, living frugally and within their means — instead of investing a little time, following a plan, and having money work for them.
Understanding the Why
When it comes to investing before you can get to the “how am I going find the time” ask yourself why you want to invest.
Take your time with this process. Don’t rush through it. Your reason why may come to you in an instant or you may find you want to think about it over time.
- Ask yourself, “What is my true reason for wanting financial freedom? Think about:
- What you would do if you never had to work again.
- What you would do if you had all the time in the world to spend exactly as you wanted.
- How your life would be different if money were not a worry.
- Ask yourself again, “What is my deep-down core reason for wanting to be financially independent?” Look deeper. Write down everything that comes to mind
- Ask yourself again, going deeper, “What is my innermost heartfelt reason for wanting to be financially independent?” Write down everything that comes to mind.
A Waste of Money?
When I was growing up, I always admired rich people who could hire maids and butlers to do their housework for them.
My poor dad felt that at best it was a waste of money to hire people who could do the work you could do yourself. At worst, he felt that it was showing off your wealth.
My rich dad, on the other hand, had no problem hiring people to help him do menial tasks. “Your most important asset is time,” said rich dad. “The difference between a poor person and a rich person is how they use their time — and what they’re willing to pay for when it comes to time.”
Plus, he knew that by hiring people to help him cook, clean, and do chores around the house, he was helping them feed their own families.
My poor dad always did his own menial tasks and would never dream of hiring someone to do them for him. But he also complained that there was never enough time to do all the things he wanted to do. For some reason, he never saw the connection.
My rich dad, on the other hand, often paid people to do time-consuming tasks for him and seemed to have unlimited time to accomplish great things. He understood that his time was valuable and that a small investment in a house cleaner and cook allowed him to do high-value tasks with his time that only he could do.
This is, of course, the principle upon which every successful business is built: hire employees to do specialized tasks so that the business owner can focus his or her time on building and growing the business. Many rich people are rich because they understand this concept and apply it both to business and life.
Take Back Your Time
#1 Get organized
This might sound like a no-brainer, but if you’re feeling like you don’t have the time, it’s time to get organized.
To stay organized, I like to write everything down. Grab a calendar or a planner and make sure you keep track of all obligations, so you don’t neglect either of your roles. Choose a digital or physical planner; whichever you think you’ll consistently use. Keeping a log of things will keep you in control of your schedule, and hopefully eliminate any forgetfulness.
#2 Block the time off on your calendar
One simple and practical way to do this is simply to block the time off on your calendar. I know one friend who spends time on Sunday nights to block his calendar off for projects he wants to work on during the coming week. He treats those times on his calendar as sacred, often finding a place to execute on the work he planned in solitude so as not to get distracted or interrupted.
#3 Turn off your phone, television, and computer
All too often, the excuse of no time is an automatic response because we’re already feeling overwhelmed and can’t possibly imagine adding one more thing to our plate.
A lot of the time it’s not actual tasks that are weighing on me, it’s the distractions. I can easily get lost in a good podcast and lose two hours. Once you’ve blocked off the time on your calendar, it’s important to use that time wisely.
Play it smart,
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily