Leverage Your Time

This post is part of the topic Finding Time and Increasing Productivity for Women’s Money Week.

All my life I have traded my time for money and there was always either too little time or too little money, sometimes even too little of both.

Trading time for money, one for one, will not get you the good life. Even if you make a relatively good salary, trading your time for money won’t make you rich, in and of itself.

Back then, I always thought the best way to get ahead was to apply myself, work harder to get promoted or work longer hours for more pay. I was wrong.

Don’t misunderstand, a solid, steady and reliable income is vital to a secure financial life. It just won’t make you a gazillionaire. As long as you have to spend time to get the money you are limited in the amount of money you will be able to earn.

An alternative to trading your time for money.

The alternative, obviously, is finding a way to earn money over and over again from one time period. You need to leverage your time. By this I mean that you should find ways to multiply the power of your time, you need to find a lever that will allow your time to produce more.

How to leverage your time while working for someone else.

If you are work for someone else as an individual contributor, you work on one task at a time. If you work for someone else as a manager, theoretically your time is leveraged as you are helping complete multiple tasks at once. I say theoretically because if you aren’t an effective manager, you may be slowing down the individual contributors instead of multiplying their efforts.

If you work for someone else on commission, and find a way to increase the number of sales you do in a specific timeframe, you are leveraging your time.

If you work as a multi-level marketing sales person, and are successful enough to recruit others to sell under your tier, you are leveraging your time (as you not only get your own commission but a portion of theirs as well).

If you are going to work for someone else, at least consider a career that will let you generate residual income. A couple of these are insurance sales reps, who may receive income from a single policy they sell for up to 10 years; and financial brokers, who can receive years of 12B1 income from a mutual fund they sell to you.

Investments are another way to leverage your time.

By saving today from your wages you can accumulate enough over time to invest in real estate or the stock market or in some other business that will generate income for you over and over again.

Putting money into dividend producing investments lets you earn the money once from your job, then generate recurring (albeit sometimes small) returns for as long as you are invested.

Producing rental income from real estate you own may allow you to earn recurring income from the rents, or at least capital appreciation from the property.

The best way to leverage your time.

But, I think the best way to leverage your time is with your own product.

What do you do when your flight or train is delayed? If you are like most of us, you fume a bit, you might try to get a little work done on your computer, you might take a nap or read. JK Rowlings didn’t do any of those things. In our article Wealth Lifestyles – the Richest Author in the World we noted that:

 “she got the idea for the Harry Potter book series during a 4 hour delay on a train ride from Manchester to London in 1990. She didn’t have a working pen with her and didn’t want to ask for one, so she just sat and thought about the story lines.”

Wouldn’t we love to have a billion dollar idea like that during a period we would otherwise just be wasting?

Do ordinary women really leverage their time?

Although the above is an extreme case, there are many women who successfully start their own business and grow it beyond just a lifestyle concern.

There are many female authors, musicians and photographers who produce something once and sell it over and over again.

Some of you are no doubt among those who leverage their time.

Jackie Beck, creator of Money Crush and the Debt Myth and one of the co-founders of Women’s Money Week, builds and sells apps for iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

Crystal Stemberger, from Budgeting in the Fun Stuff blog, like many bloggers, wrote an ebook. Hers is “How I Make Money Blogging”.

I’ve learned to try to leverage my time late in life. I hope you do better than I and start now!

How do you leverage your time?