Unless you just enjoy doing hours of labor for the heck of it, most people would choose the latter. Yet, many people will usually end up doing the former because… well, that’s all they’ve been taught.
Back in school, our teachers and parents taught us that, in order to make lots of money, all you had to do was get a job and work a lot of hours. The more hours you worked, the more money you would make. And so, most of us grow up doing the same thing our parents did – go out, get a job, work long hours – in hopes of earning more money… despite the evidence in front of our faces that working these long hours didn’t always equate with having a higher income. (And even if it did, bills would usually end up taking most of that, so we ended up breaking even, IF we were lucky).
Part of the reason people aren’t willing to change this habit is because they don’t want to feel lazy. For example, let’s say they have a goal of making $100,000 in a year. That number can sound daunting, but most people can figure out an equation in their head of how many hours of labor at x-job they would need to do in order to make that amount. And they’re willing to do what it takes to get those kinds of hours because it will make them feel like they’re earning that money in a fair and balanced way.
On the other hand, when these people hear about others who make the same amount of money, in either (a) less amount of time or (b) while working a significantly reduced amount of hours, they get mad and/or jealous. “It’s not fair,” these people might say, “I worked my butt off all year, and this guy made the same amount working 10 times less hours than I did! He must be doing something unethical or immoral!”
Oh, if only they would change their thinking and open their eyes!
Tim Ferriss, author of the classic book “The 4-Hour Work Week” and other books in his 4-hour series of books (the newest one being “The 4-Hour Chef,” which comes out today), discusses this conundrum on a regular basis. In short, he helps people to see how they can shorten the amount of hours they personally spend on doing something – while earning a high income – with a few simple changes in thought and pattern of thinking about what “work” should mean.
For example: people think one needs to work hard to earn money; in actuality, a person should work smarter to find ways to cut down the amount of time it takes to do something.
When I’m not blogging on here or creating music, I’m a video editor. One of the clients I work for has me film and edit the comedy routines of stand-up comedians in his club on Fridays and Saturdays, then put together a mini-reel of the night’s acts.
When I started the job, I would make a completely new video each and every time I worked there, and it was taking up 5 hours of my time to make each one. Then, one day it hit me: there were elements of each video that stayed the same – video intro, the way the comics’ names flashed on screen, the website name on the corner of the video, and the outro.
I realized that if I just created a template that kept these elements already rendered in, all I would have to do is fill in the parts where each comedian’s segment would go, and BOOM! The videos could be completed in less than an hour! I get paid the same amount of money (all they care about is the end result, not how many hours I work), and it takes less time!
Another example: I have a gig over at www.Fiverr.com where, for $5, I will make a video wishing a Happy Birthday to the loved one of your choice. My first plan was to, once again, record a new greeting for each person that placed an order.
Above: My Mario Video e-Card! You can order it
However, my brain couldn’t rationalize spending all that time dressing up in a Mario costume, saying the lines people sent in for me to say, then sitting down and editing it, each and every time, for just $5. It would end up taking hours out of my day for what would end up being a simple 1-minute “Happy Birthday” video.
But then, it hit me: I could create just ONE video that would be so entertaining that LOTS of people would want to order it, and all I’d have to do is type in the birthday person’s name and record ONE line of new dialog each time saying “Oh boy, it’s (person’s) birthday – wah-hoo!”
So that’s what I did: I created a generic script that would fit all birthday scenarios, then used my green screen to film myself running through a mock-up level of Super Mario Bros. that ended with me showing up at the birthday castle. After I walked in the castle, fireworks would show up displaying the person’s name, followed by another screen with a personal message to the birthday person supplied by the person who ordered it.
The video itself, from concept to editing, took about 12 hours. However, once the video was done, that was IT. I could finish any new videos in less than 10 minutes because, aside from plugging in the person’s name, the video wouldn’t have to be re-created for each order.
In both these instances, I’ve been able to cut back the time it takes me to make money from these ventures, all because I figured out how to work smarter, not harder. There’s so many other things you could be doing besides work, so it makes sense to find ways to complete your responsibilities AND make decent money, in ways that will give you more time to do the things you REALLY want to do!
Ah, learning to earn more money working less time… now THAT’S something to be thankful for!
– Aaron P. Taylor
Get my NEW book, “Be Thankful: 1001 Things to Be Thankful For, Volume 1” Today! Click HERE for details!