I am a huge fan of the show, probably because I have been an entrepreneur now for over 25 years, always generating my own income since I was 19. I like a lot of the investors, but I think the one I like the best is Robert Herjavec. Every time a new entrepreneur wannabe steps up and tells the tank how much their own time is worth, Robert get visibly annoyed and has no problem expressing his feelings about the subject. Being a life long entrepreneur, I completely understand his logic and feelings.
Many who read BiggerPockets are Real Estate Investors, or would really like to be. We all talk a lot about investing in real estate, investing money in real estate, finding other peoples money (maybe a Shark!!) to invest in real estate, investing on notes, leases, etc. What do we really invest? I think that really gets overlooked. Money is the least of what we truly invest. We invest our most valuable commodity…our time. We all have a finite amount of time on this earth, and none of us know how long we have. What we choose to do with it is totally up to us. We may choose to invest our time in many areas. In no particular order some of these areas are: Faith, Family, Friends, Health, Business, Entertainment, Adventure, Travel, Self Development, Success, Charity, Philanthropy, etc. For the purpose of this article, lets chat about investing our time in ourselves and our financial futures.
A few weeks back I was in a discussion with someone who wanted to flip his first house just like we do. As we talked, he kept going back to the value of his time. I, like Robert Herjavec, found myself getting visibly annoyed with the discussion. I finally said, “You want to place an hourly rate on your time to see of the deal makes sense? You actually want to put a line item on the projected budget sheet showing your hourly rate as a cost????? Are you freaking kidding me???????? Don’t you have any idea of how much you actually learn through the process of doing your first flip, or your second, third, etc.? Even if it costs you $10,000 because you lose money, I guarantee you, if you have what it takes to stay in the game, you will have learned enough valuable lessons from that one experience to make you a fortune down the road!” In my opinion, searching for your hourly rate is a real employee mentality and will always severely limit your success and potential.
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A Journey Into The Mind Of An Hourly Employee
People pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for college degrees and continued education. College or any continuing education are great for personal growth and development. What if these people, some who think their time is so valuable, looked into the future to predict how much time it would take them to learn a trade, and decided if the schooling was worth it or not before committing? That sounds a little absurd, doesn’t it? Here is how that would look in their brain. Hmmm, let me see … I get a job and work my first year out of school and make $50,000 (not so easy in todays economy, but let’s be optimistic). 2000 work hours, $50,000 divided by 2000 work hours is about $25/hr. Sounds decent, now let me see, I will have to go to school to learn this trade for 4 years, so about 4000 hours…so I also need to calculate my valuable time (HA!). Let’s recalculate. Now my first year out of school I make $50,000. I will have had 2000 actual work hours, but I need to calculate all of my VALUABLE UNPAID TIME IN SCHOOL (what a joke!), that was about 4000 hours additional (which by the way I plan to pay $200,000 for). So I have put in 6000 hours total (4000 schooling, 2000 actual work) and I make $50,000. Hey, that works out to only $8.33 an hour. So now I have invested $200,000 and 6000 hours to earn what?? Forget that!! I am worth way more than $8.33 an hour!! I am not even going to bother wasting my time going to school! I’m going to continue right here where I’m working. Let me get back to work! “Ma’am, would you like fries with that?” 🙂
A Journey Into The Mind Of An Entrepreneur
Now let’s look into the mind of a true entrepreneur and see how he/she thinks about their time. I am going to be a professional real estate investor and create a solid financial future for myself and my family. I will do this using the strategy of (insert your specific plan here). I plan to INVEST my time to learn all that I can, and take action for as long as necessary to make my dreams become a reality. I know I may have to INVEST COUNTLESS HOURS and lose many times on my way to learning valuable lessons. I will INVEST in many courses and mentoring from those who have gone before me to create the life I desire. I will network and get to know other entrepreneurs, many right here on BiggerPockets to sharpen my skills. I will offer them as much help as I can to learn from them. I will never quit learning and INVESTING in myself to be the best I can be in my chosen field. No matter what obstacles come my way I will find a way over, through, or around them on my way to creating the life I desire. Nothing will stop me, not even years of invested time without pay! I will stay the course until I reach my goal and beyond.
It’s Not About Where You Work Or What You Do. It’s About What You Think!
I want to clarify before we continue so I am not misunderstood. There is nothing wrong at all with working for someone else and getting an hourly wage. There are all different levels of entrepreneurs. You can work for someone your entire life and still have the entrepreneur mindset, and be taking action on a smaller level along side your job. You may have the privilege of working for an entrepreneur who allows you to be yourself and think like he/she does. You may be able to work within their dream and still reach yours, what a great place to be for a select few. Think about all of the people who were able to work with Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, etc. I think you get the point. It is NOT about where you work, or how you support yourself day to day. It is all about your mindset and where you choose to invest your time. Okay, now back to our story… 🙂
Hourly mentality differs drastically from the mentality of an entrepreneur. Hourly people look to see what their time is worth now, while entrepreneurs look to INVEST their time now to have huge returns later. Hence why the Shark Tank people are INVESTORS! They do not just invest their money, they have already invested their time and that is why they are where they are in the business world. They, like many of us here on BiggerPockets, have countless unpaid hours. But time after time, those invested hours can produce a great life for you and your family.
Look, there is nothing wrong at all with either path people choose in life, but if you choose the path of being an entrepreneur, don’t ever sit back to calculate what your time is worth in the building phase of your business. As an entrepreneur we have the privilege to work 5000 hours for nothing!! Because that time invested may very well produce a business or income for us that will allow us to work for 1 hour, and get paid for 5000 hours! That is the difference between what we think our time is worth now, and what it will be worth IF we choose to INVEST it wisely. And let’s face it, If you don’t have any money to invest…all you HAVE is time, so choose wisely.
Where is your mindset? Do you agree, disagree? Either way please let me know and why. I have a feeling we will have a lot of discussion on this one, so let’s start the fun! I look forward to all of your comments.