Just recently I received news that some of my friends were being let go by their company simply because the business could not support the cost of doing some of its projects anymore. Nothing personal, it’s simply a fact of doing business that sometimes people have to be let go.
While reflecting about the unfortunate turn of events, I remembered a similar experience that happened sometime in 2008 and early 2009 in the middle of the financial crisis, back when I was still working in Malaysia. To tell you the truth it is not the most encouraging sight in the world, getting to work everyday, always wondering if today your boss will ask you to come to his office to talk to you because it’s now your last day at work. No, I didn’t get fired. I was prepared to receive another blessing.
Looking back, I felt very lucky to have been open to other opportunities, even when at that time, I didn’t seem to have a need for one. I was comfortable with the life that I had. Event then, I simply stayed open for more. Now, I have more options.
Before I say anything else, I want to make things very clear. I have nothing against employment. And I will always be forever grateful to all my previous employers. They taught me important lessons in life, working with other people in my 9 long years of IT career that proved very valuable in building my own businesses.
In the process, I discovered 3 hidden treasures that my job was costing me without me realizing it at that time.
Financial and time freedom. The freedom to enjoy the fruits of your labor. One thing I realized after a few years working is that even when you have the financial capability to buy the things you want, if you don’t have the time to enjoy it, it really doesn’t make any sense. If I tell you I would give you 1 million peso as a reward for working 24 hours a day for 1 month straight, would you take it? Maybe. Perhaps some would try. But most would consider it ridiculous. Who would want to risk their life for something like that? Educated as we are, you would think we would see the insanity of sacrificing our health, rendering lots and lots of time working for money only to use the same money paying for our hospital bills after your body collapses in exhaustion.
Freedom to fire your boss any time you want. One of the things I realized early on is how big a bully big companies can be. When your boss says come to work on a weekend, you have no choice but go. When your company says render more hours so we can tell we are cheaper than other companies, then you have no choice but to work more hours. When they say you have to work even while on vacation or an important family event, then you have no other choice but to do so. Why? Because you have no other choice. You simply can’t say no. Otherwise, what will you feed your family with? How will you pay for your house’s mortgage? How will you pay for your mounting debts? How will you pay for your kids schooling? There’s too much at stake to be even thinking of saying no. It’s perfectly understandable. I’ve been there and I know how it is to be afraid. I know how it feels like thinking you’ve been “bullied” into doing what you don’t want to do simply because they know you don’t have any other choice. That’s one of the reasons I remained open for other opportunities, I simply wanted to have the option to say NO.
You get paid for your time. Yes, some people get paid more than others. Doctors get paid a lot more than a simple minimum wage earner. But the reality is, both of their incomes are tied to the number of hours they can render. To increase their income then, they would either need to increase their hourly rate or render more hours. Increasing your hourly rate is sensible but you would have to invest time & money to upgrade your skills. If you’re a doctor, perhaps you would have to undergo a sub-specialization, or if you’re an IT professional take a certification for a specific skill. Both requires time and money to do. You can render more hours by doing over time at work, but the reality is you can only go so far. We only have 24 hours in a day. You can’t go beyond that. Simply said, if your time is limited, so will your income be.
When my grandfather died, I remembered reading a passage from the bible noting that a man only lives up to 70 or 80. When he goes beyond that, it is already a great blessing from the Lord. We sleep for 8 hours. We go to work 8 hours, or 10 hours considering all the commuting and other stuffs. That leaves us 6 hours per day to do the things we want to do. Perhaps you spend 2 hours watching TV, another 2 hours surfing the internet or reading your friends’ updates on Facebook or Twitter, and 2 more hours for playing with your kids or reading the newspaper. The sad reality is that when you have a job, you will have less time spent working on your business and investments.
In life there are two basic assets that you have, your time and money. Most people only know of money as asset. Time is an asset just like the saying “Time is Gold.” When you think about it, time is actually better than money. Because you can get back the money, but not time. In fact, you cannot even save time, you can only spend it. So spend it wisely if you want to become rich.
The more time you have to spend in your job worrying about other people’s businesses, the less time you have to mind your own. Unfortunately, the odds are against you when you’re only building other people’s businesses. At some point, you have to build something that you can own. Not to become a boss, but to become an owner. Otherwise, you’d end up locked up with a job on your own company, instead of building a system where you can leverage other people’s time, money and effort to multiply your results.
Why do you think Henry Sy can make millions more than an average person even when both have the same 24 hours in a day? It’s simply because Henry Sy is leveraging the time of thousands of his employees to build his business empire. Yes, he has the money to spend to pay for those employees now. But a long time ago, when he was starting he didn’t have the money, all he had was time on his hands and his ability to take advantage of whatever opportunities available to him.
When opportunities come and you don’t grab it, it might not come back anymore. It’s not something you can just buy in a grocery store. If you’re spending your time thinking too long, the opportunity may have already passed. Successful people have the habit of deciding fast and changing their decision slowly, if at all. Unsuccessful people take too long to decide, but once they get a decision they change it too quickly. Ironic, but it’s true.
These are just 3 things that I discovered in my journey so far — FREEDOM, TIME and OPPORTUNITIES. There are more things that you can think of I’m sure, but these are the things that have really created a HUGE impact on how I live my life. There’s more to life than money, business and investing. There’s time with your family. There’s leaving a legacy to those people you care most. There’s living a great life to glorify the one who made you, your God. I wish that in your journey of discovering the true treasures and riches outside of your job, you will find it in your heart the courage to stay true to what you believe in and improve the lives of many people in the process.
Lastly, I want to leave you with this quote on a picture of me and my wife living the life of our dreams, simply because we stayed open. Hold on to the promise of HOPE. God bless you.
P.S. Are you tired and frustrated with your job or your boss? Feeling underpaid? Scared of getting fired? Are you looking for other options? Here’s your chance. CLICK HERE to email me and find out how.
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