Go into your pocket, wallet, or purse and pull out some money. How much do you have? Why do you think the objects you’re holding are worth what you think they’re worth? Do you realize that every year the value of the money in your hand changes? This is why you used to be able to buy a loaf of bread for 25 cents and now you have to pay nearly two dollars. While a dollar bill always represents one dollar, one dollar doesn’t always have the same value. This is because physical money is basically an imaginary thing.
If money is just a bunch of bullshit, then why do we have it? The answer is easy, it makes our lives simpler. Since we aren’t all living out in the woods Survivorman style, we need to buy stuff. I don’t want to raise and slaughter cattle – so I need to buy meat. I write articles about finance and manage technology projects. Usually farmers and ranchers don’t care much about my services. Without money, I’d probably just starve. With money though, I can get someone to pay me to help them do technology stuff. Then I can use the money I earned (stored value of my effort) to give to a supermarket in exchange for some food. I have something of value to the market and the farmer because I provided something of value to someone else.
We have to realize that money isn’t this special thing. It’s just something we created to make transactions simpler. Money is the stored value of your effort. If you want more money, you have to spend more effort (work more), increase the value of your effort (learn new skills), or let someone else apply effort on your behalf (invest). Each person has a value assigned to the effort they spend, depending on their profession and level of education.
In our capitalist society when we work (spend our time and effort) we are compensated (with money). The amount of compensation is dependent on the value of the effort we spend. Value is usually assigned based on scarcity of the skills you provide. If there is a need for 1000 pizza maker’s but we only have 500 – the value of a pizza maker’s time will be on the high side of the max value available for pizza makers. If there is a need for 200 teachers, but there are 2000 available the value of a teacher’s effort will be lowered toward the minimum possible teacher value. In this case a teacher can be replaced with another available teacher easily. Still though, the value of the teacher could be higher compared to the pizza maker. This is usually because the job of teaching is difficult enough that if they are only being offered value that is equal to other much simpler jobs, they won’t accept it. They will just go do those simpler jobs instead.
If you’re a hairstylist the market will only provide a certain amount of value for each hair cut. This is because there are many other people providing haircuts and driving the overall cost down. If you’re an electrician or plumber the market will provide a different value for your services compared to the hair stylist. Both professions require education, cosmetologists spend somewhere from 8 months to 2 years, and an electrician can also become certified in a similar range of time. The difference is that there are fewer electricians so the value of their effort is higher. You might pay an electrician $50 per hour, but cosmetologists often earn fewer than $15 per hour.
If you want to earn more money you have a few options:
- Spend more effort using only your current skills – If you’re currently making $15 per hour doing whatever you do and you’re working about eight hours a day, you can earn more money if you do the same sort of thing in some of your leftover hours. Work 12 hours instead of eight and your income will rise from $120 per day to $180 per day. That is basically going from $31,000 per year to $46,000.
- Learn more valuable skills – If you’re currently working as a customer service rep (CSR) and earning $12 per hour, then you can find another professional skill to earn more per hour. The value of a customer service rep is low because many people are capable of filling that role with very little training. Become an Accountant or a Project Coordinator and your salary can easily increase into the $25 per hour range. That’s a jump from $25,000 per year to around $50,000. All you need is a new skill.
- Get a side gig – you can skip getting a new profession if that is out of the question for you, but, you will need to spend your free time doing something of value. If you don’t want to do your day job for more hours you can try making stuff on Etsy, selling things on EBay, or providing services on Fiverrr. If you have friends that would support your side passion, get a Patreon account – it could help (you can see my Patreon account here!).
- Invest – This is how you combine your stored effort (money) with the active effort of someone else (work) to create more value for yourself without doing anything extra. There are many people spending effort to keep companies like Apple, Google, and Tesla going. You can share in the profits of that effort by investing in those stocks with your money. I have other articles on investing, so check those out if you want more details about the best ways to invest, or at least my preferred ways to invest.
Money is something that we create (work/invest) or destroy (spend) at will. It’s not a magic force, it’s not complicated, and it certainly isn’t hard to get. Spending it is super fun, so there is never enough of it. If you want more though, you just have to work harder or smarter and you’ll have it. Having more doesn’t exactly mean you’ll be wealthy, but, you can definitely have more fun, worry less, and be happier.
We’ll wrap up with a super simple formula for creating money:
Amount of Work * Value = Money
The amount of work is the number of actual hours you spend working or hours someone spends working on your behalf. The value is the value of each individual hour you work. Money is what you get from combining your effort (amount of work) with your value. If you want more money you can either increase the value of your effort or increase your effort. Just remember that the money you have is a representation of the stored value of the effort you’ve spent in the past.
Now get out there and create some more money!
If you want to know what to do about money and success then don’t forget to follow me @fdominek on twitter, join our mailing list for email updates about new content, or if you want to really show your support then check me out on Patreon. Sometimes I release helpful or entertaining videos; find that on youtube. When I travel or speak, the resulting tourist pictures will end up on Instagram, at least the ones I like. There might be other pictures too. Last, but not least, Facebook – check out the page and send me some follows and likes.
If you want to learn more about my life and how I found success – check out my book here: What To Do About Money and Success
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