“Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.” – Archimedes
Leverage can be defined as the power to accomplish something, or a strategic advantage. We’ve heard it used in many different ways. Archimedes, assuredly, used it in a much more mechanical/mathematical sense. Financially, it’s been used as term to describe the use of funds in lending and investing. It’s been used in a social way to describe the advantage someone has over another person. But, I don’t want to talk about those usages. I have no current use for moving anything large, haven’t the funds to lend or invest in large enough amounts to warrant leverage, nor, do I have any crazy ideas of leveraging information to advantage one person over another. Instead, I want to talk about leverage in a completely different sense. Leverage as it applies to you, me, and each of us, individually.
We each have some form of leverage. For some, it’s money. For others, it’s social influence. But, wealth and society aside, we also have one other very important lever that we can use to gain ourselves some leverage. Time. It’s taken me a while to realize that. In our everyday lives, we have the advantage of determining how our time is used.
When I quit my job, I thought that I was quitting because the demands that had been put on me were more than what the job called for. I thought I was doing it because of personality conflicts and conflicts with management style. What I’ve come to realize, several months later, is that, while those other things played a part, one of the biggest reasons I quit was because I was done trading my time for money.
Despite putting in several years (7+) at the company, I had no leverage to show for it. My experience, and loyalty to the company was expected, and I got nothing in return except a small raise every year.
IN THE MOMENT
Now, I spend my time using my time to build something online, with the help of the Yakezie network, that rewards me directly for my time. I’m leveraging my time to build something that will increase in value, increase in reward, and, hopefully, increasingly help those that read it. I’ve learned to leverage my time to increase my fulfillment, and my reward potential. I’m no longer limited by the minimal rewards that the company decides I’m worth. The sky is the limit.
Despite what I’ve just made it sound like, leveraging time doesn’t have to be about reward. At least, not monetary reward. Because I’m leveraging my time for myself now, I also have the ability to do what I want with my day. Sure, most days, I’ll spend in front of my computer just like I did at my old job, but I also have the ability to take the time to drop by the school for lunch with my son if I so choose.
Since I’m not working long hours at each month end, I’m able to go trick or treating with my kids, or, go to dinner with my wife on our anniversary (yeah, we got married on a month end. Talk about terrible planning.) and have it be the right date. In many ways, I’ve traded leveraging my time for money, with leveraging my time for freedom. Sure, I still have to make money, but I have the freedom to do that in whatever ways I see fit.
Take some time today, and think about how (and what) you’re leveraging. Not only your time, but your other resources. How are you leveraging your money to become better financially? How are you leveraging your talents to improve your way of life? And, is the way that your leveraging yourself true to you? If it isn’t, it’s time to have a serious talk with yourself, overcome your fear, and find a way to leverage yourself towards a better tomorrow.
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