The answer to this question makes or breaks someone. I have seen people completely screw up their lives, becoming twisted, gnarled, and nasty because their motives were wrong. They hurt other people and themselves. They lose their spouse or their kids. They go bankrupt, or become greedy and stingy and live isolated because they never cared for people. When they're in their grave one day, what will really matter at that point?
I’m not trying to be super philosophical. But I believe this is important.
What you want for the future drives what you do today.
There are many entrepreneurs, trainers, and coaches who talk about the importance of making money. I am 100% for making money and lots of it: I think that is good, and there's nothing immoral about it. We were made to go out, build, create, and make things better. Just like I want to have good health, I want to have wealth. The notion that desiring money is greedy or corrupted is an upside down concept.
But the difference for me is that money is not the end goal. Many entrepreneurs would disagree with this.
Money is a tool and a means to something greater. In fact, money is only a concept. It’s not even real. It’s an idea that has value because millions of humans agree on it. If you went to a store with $1,000 and wanted to buy something, but the store decided that $1,000 meant nothing to them, you would not be able to buy it. A transaction takes place only because they agree with you.
When we remember that, money almost seems silly! So treat money like a tool and it will work well for you. If money is the master and the end goal, it can screw up people’s lives. I’ve seen people become very bitter and unhappy, resorting to cheating and lying, because money is their end-all and they would do whatever it takes to get more. People become stepping stones to what they want. That doesn't work, and it's jacked up. However, if you bring something of true value to people, and they pay you money for it, you deserve that money, because you offered something that increased and benefitted their life.
Money has to be a servant. It is a tool. But what is the tool for? What is the greater end?
For me, it is time. I truly believe time is my greatest asset. I speak a lot on how time and knowledge are your two greatest assets, but if they were in a race for the most important, time wins.
When I have time, I can gain more knowledge. If I sit down to read a book, I have time. If I don’t have time to read a book, I don’t get that knowledge. Time is precious and important.
When I first started doing short-term rentals, I would work with a landlord and agree to sublease the property I was leasing from them. I didn’t have the money to buy the property, so I would rent it, then turn around and rent it to people who would stay one or two nights. You can charge a lot more per night if they are only staying there a few days.
That makes very good money. You can easily profit $2,000+ a month off that. But the biggest challenge is you have to go in, clean it up, and prepare it for the next guest.
When we got up to six different properties, I didn’t have any more time in the day. My life was cleaning and preparing, cleaning and preparing. So I decided to hire someone to clean. When we had three properties, I hired someone to come clean and prepare the properties for me. It cost me $1,000 a month.
That seems like a huge loss in profit at first. But if you break it down, it’s a $333 cost per property, and if each one was already making $2,000 a month, you’re still making a good profit. And even better, you got back your most important thing: time.
Time is more important than money because I can use time to create more money.
If someone is consumed with making money, they won’t think strategically any more. They won't be able to give up $1,000 a month, because they’re thinking “I need more cash.” If they would hire a cleaner to take care of cleaning and preparing their properties, yes, they would lose $1,000 a month: but now they have all that extra time in the day! They can go get another property, or build up an Amazon store, or become a massage therapist if they wanted to.