Myth #3 – More Time

Falling for the Cause
Myth #2 – Passive Income

More Time This is the third installment in a three part series on wealth and money. Part one was on the myth of Financial Freedom. Part two was on the myth of Passive Income. Part three is on More Time.

When I teach, I usually ask the question, “How many people are interested in starting your own company some day?” Usually 80% of the room raises their hand. I then ask the question: “Why?” Why do you want to start your own business and the three most popular answers are: 1. Financial Freedom; 2. Passive Income; 3. More Time.

When you stop to really think about each of these answers, you can see the obvious problem inherent in all of them. Most people are wanting something that doesn`t exist or that is a variation on instant gratification.

Starting a new business so that you will have more time is a little like deciding to have a baby so that you will have more time. It just doesn`t work that way. Reality sets in when you see just how much time and energy it takes to keep a baby alive and happy and fed. The difference between a business and a baby is that you can`t just quit on your baby when the going gets tough.

In fact, the baby analogy is a good one for looking at your business. Human beings have normal life cycles and so do businesses. And, at each stage of the life cycle, there are some things that are normal, some things that are abnormal and others that are life threatening. With a new born baby, it is normal for the baby to command 100% of the parent`s time and attention. The baby is very demanding and must be cared for constantly. It would be abnormal for a new born to be able to care for itself. It would be life threatening for the Mom and Dad to decide to leave the baby by itself for a few weeks.

Yet, many self professed “gurus” will advise you to do just that with your new company. What they will say is that you must have a system so that the business runs better without you than it does with you. They will say that the key to success in your new business is systems so that you can work “on” and not “in” your business. Now, think about the baby analogy and tell me if a system is meaningful or even a good idea when you bring your new baby home from the hospital. Think about whether or not your primary concern for your new child is working “on” versus “in” your baby.

I am suggesting to you that the primary responsibility of any parent is to spend 100% of their time doing whatever is necessary to keep their baby alive and happy and healthy and fed and nurtured and growing and learning and that normal parents do not abandon their child or obsess about systems.

Obviously, at some point in the development of the child, babysitters, grandparents and nannies can enter the picture and later the child can begin to become more self sustaining. But, at the beginning, neither the parent nor the entrepreneur will have more time.

Recently I was talking to a very powerful and prominent business tycoon about the struggles many entrepreneurs seem to have with the mindset it takes to be successful in business. He told me that he was recently speaking at a conference for about 500 MBA students at the local university about his success and one student asked him this question: “You have so much money ($20 Billion) and you have the ability to do whatever you want with your life, why not just quit, buy a boat and spend the rest of your life sailing around the Caribbean and enjoying your self and your wealth and your life?” My very rich friend said he told the student, “I have tried sailing and do you know how boring that can be? What could be more fun than running a Fortune 500 company?”

The reason this man has the wealth he does is because he is NOT looking for Financial Freedom, he is NOT enamored with the idea of Passive Income and he is NOT trying to figure out how to get More Time. As I said in the first installment in this series, the most successful people I know have all retired into their businesses and jobs.

I had a student last year who told me, “If I ever make $5 million, I`d call it quits.” I told her, “That`s why you will never make $5 million.”

People who are successful in life do not wake up one day and call it quits. The ones who are wanting to call it quits are the ones who will never have anything to quit in the first place.

The hardest part of achieving abundance in any aspect of your life, including money or relationships or health or spirituality, is getting your mind right going into it and doing it for the right reasons. Daydreaming about Financial Freedom, Passive Income and More Time is a fantasy and a prescription for disaster! Success does not come to those who look for the easiest way or who want to quit.

I will close this article with a quote from Douglas MacArthur, “Age wrinkles the skin. Quitting wrinkles the soul.”

Keith J. Cunningham