Leverage: Working Towards Freedom From Day One
Archimedes, the famous Greek mathematician, purportedly said Give me a place to stand, and I'll move the whole world with a lever At this point in the history of the world, we're all of course pretty familiar with the concept of the lever, which is a simple mechanical device that allows a smaller amount of force to move a greater mass than it ought to be able to move, because it multiplies its power by using a pivot point. We use levers every day: the brakes on your car, a pair of pliers, a knife or screw driver to remove a lid, etc. We understand the mechanical advantage which allows us to work less and gain the same results – and we love this concept so much that we do in instinctively often. But did you know that levers are applicable to facets of our lives beyond the merely mechanical? Well we can – although you probably don't. But if you did, you might not have to ever work again. Curious?
1) Leverage and Time
Time leverage is something that we experience every day, but often we're on the end of the stick which is helping someone else leverage their time. We call it work. See, when you're waiting tables, or writing code, or selling cars for a dealer, or teaching your section of 4th graders math, you're sharing the load with others in order to get a large task accomplished. You're filling a position which, were it left to one person to do, would be nearly impossible.
Most often we try to make use of time leverage by multi-tasking, but as is often said: nobody can do two jobs at the same time well. Case in point: Texting while driving. We try to multi-task, and we do neither job perfectly well – it takes 10 times longer to text for most people, but significantly worse than that is the impairment to your driving ability while taking 4 minutes to text back. (Lesson: Don't text and drive. Ever.)
There are ways, however, to make use of time leverage and free up your own time. Some cost money (paying someone to do something for you), or require skill (starting a business and then hiring others to do certain tasks, which is really just a more complex version of paying someone to do something for you, above). But these are how the majority of people leverage their time, and then step away from a 40 hour work week.
Of course, it's possible to get away from the I'm paying you scenario when you have a team working together, be it playing a sport or performing in an orchestra. In these scenarios, people come together because they want to, because there is some intrinsic value in the action itself.
2) Leverage and Money
Many people attempt to leverage their money to win back for them some of their time spent working, either by allowing them to cut back on their work presently, or else by allowing them to retire at the end of their working days. Some invest in interest bearing accounts, 401Ks, mutual funds, etc., hoping that these will slowly grow their money without them having to do anything. And in principle this works well. Consider a low-returning compound interest on $1,000,000 dollars which is startlingly a small amount of money in today's economy. Yet, if you could get just 5% interest on that $1 million, you could probably live pretty happy just on the interest, which would be about $50,000/year (and of course, each year you didn't touch it, that extra $50,000 would also be drawing interest, compounding your earnings significantly). But of course, getting to a million dollars in the first place is the hard part, right? Heck, Steve Martin built an entire joke around the concept of earning a million dollars tax-free. Step one? Get a million dollars. Yet do not despair. There are other ways of attaining similar sums of money (though taxable).
Leveraged Time and Money
I'm often astounded that most people simply assume that there is a direct correlation between time worked and money earned. You work X hours, you get paid Y dollars, and that's as far as it goes. This is an employee mentality – and that's fine insofar as it goes, because we need employees in this world But did you know that you can leverage your time and your money now to ensure that you don't have to work in the future? If you really believed this were true, what would stop you?
There is a unique business model which can help you leverage your money and time in building a business structure of like-minded individuals. And there are lots of pseudo-versions of this which are merely pyramid schemes. Discerning the difference is important, but if you succeed, you may never have to work any particular job that you don't want to – and that's power. NOTE: I didn't say you'd never work again (in fact, to me that seems horrible; to work is part of the whole human dignity package. BUT, you can start working on the things that interest you, rather than collating TPS reports.and that's a big deal.