Today’s topic: Money
“You have to work hard to earn money.”
Earning money. It has been such an exhausting part of my life.
For the majority of our teenage and adult life, we trade time for money. My parents taught me this because they both came from extremely poor backgrounds and it was all they knew. My dad worked hard his entire life – he grew up dirt poor with 12 other siblings in a tiny house in Chinatown, scraped to earn money to go to university, then moved on to running a business with his older brother. On his deathbed, my 79 year old dad was still putting in part-time hours at the business.
As a little girl, I remember seeing my dad come home, exhausted, eat dinner with us, sit and watch TV, read me a story, then go downstairs to do more work. When I think back to how my dad worked himself until he died, I realized I don’t want that for myself.
Last year in 2018, I worked hard on finding clients, putting myself out there, and really focused on earning money. I felt like I was killing myself trying to earn it, thinking that ‘hard work’ would pay off.
It didn’t. I ended up further in debt and had to rely on the goodwill of family and friends just to scrape by. I hated that feeling. And I knew this mindset of mine had to change.
It’s time to break this cycle of: time + effort = earned money. Because it’s not the way to get rich in life. And my goal right now is to not let these stories dictate my life. Read about my first story break down here.
Breaking Down the Story
Working LONG hours in exchange for MONEY.
I believed this was the only way to earn money. My parents did it, so why shouldn’t it work for me? But that’s working harder, not smarter. And what about when you put in the time and effort in a group project at work, but someone else is getting paid more than you or doesn’t pull their weight? (You take them out, that’s what….KIDDING!)
For example, let’s take a look at one of my current jobs as a travel writer for a luxury travel company:
I get paid $100 USD per itinerary. That might seem like a lot until you add in the research time + writing out at least 2500 words per itinerary. (Also, finding ten different ways to say ‘majestic mountains in the background’ is just draining, let’s be honest.)
Research time (2-3 hours) + Writing time (4-6 hours) = $100 USD
I also find I can’t do this all in one sitting. It’s exhausting staring at your screen for 10 hours researching and writing the piece. (If I’m watching Netflix for 10 hours, that’s another thing.)
Does that sound like a sustainable way to live? F*CK no. So why do I still do it? It’s providing me with some stable income while I figure things out in the meantime.
How Else Can You Earn Money?
We each have 24 hours in a day to play with and that’s not a lot of time. You sleep for 7-8 hours (or you’re supposed to), you work for about 8 hours, then you’re supposed to include eating, bathroom time, having fun with friends, cooking, cleaning, and any other activity you do on TOP of creating a balanced life? The hell.
So I went looking for another way to make money, without trading my time for it. And it came to me: Passive Income.
I’m sure you’ve come across this term before. I’ve seen it floating around since 2011 and yet I didn’t pay attention to it. It seemed like cheating in a way. And according to my old mindset or my parents, it IS cheating. But you’re not trading your time for money anymore, money is flowing into your bank account with ease.
Investments are great but they’re so volatile and unpredictable. And when you invest, it’s always best to invest for a long period of time rather than short term because of compound interest. Also, I’m not in a place to make proper investments just yet.
I’m going to run an experiment with passive income and see if it works. I’ll update you on how much I make, how long it takes, and give you a real and honest take on what it means to make passive income.
We can do better than trading our time for money. We’re meant for more in this lifetime. I’m done with this story and I’m changing the narrative.
Did you believe in this story of trading time for money? If you didn’t, what were you taught? Leave it in the comments below.
If you’d like to follow me on this journey of breaking down old stories for a new outlook on life, sign up here. On Money blog posts, I’ll show what I’m doing to make passive income on the side.