Readers! Hello there. It’s been a while, and I apologize. For about a month I was sucked into the depths of inpatient psychiatry at UCLA. Now I’m free(er) and doing Consult Psychiatry, also at UCLA.
Anyway, onto the post. I want to take a little time to talk with you about my philosophy of valuing time over money.
I’m not just talking about valuing experiences over making money, though. (I also think valuing experiences is important – it’s just not the topic of this post). I’m talking about valuing your time and investing it in ventures that could be lucrative in the future rather than selling out for a small amount of money right now.
I first learned about this concept in Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. Now while I think this book is extremely repetitive and written at a 3rd grade reading level, it still makes some valuable points. One is that when Kiyosaki was young, his “Rich Dad” taught him that he shouldn’t get caught in the cycle of working more and doing less valuable work for increasing pay. He paid him 5 cents/hour (or something like that) so he’d separate the concepts of work and money. The idea is that valuable work now (no matter how little you’re getting paid) leads to more money in the long run. The whole concept of entrepreneurship is build on effort now for payback later.
Here’s my own example. In July the ACGME (the governing body that determines residency work hour restrictions) came out with some new rules. Second year residents (i.e. me) could no longer work more than twenty-four hours, and interns could work no longer than sixteen.
Needless to say our call schedule had to be completely changed, leading to some confusion when it came to scheduling calls. A couple of times a shift was left open without anyone put in the slot until administration noticed at the last minute. Because they were nice and didn’t want to screw someone over by giving them call at the last minute, they offered these shifts up to whoever would take them – for $500-750 each.
It was “first come, first served,” and people were falling over each other to get these shifts and make a little extra money.
But not me.
Why not? Well, first of all, I hate call more than anything else in life so I’m more likely to pay someone to take my call than I am to get paid to take extra call. Second, I did the calculation, and it just wasn’t that much money when you broke it down to an hourly rate. For one of the calls it broke down to $35/hour, and for the other, $50/hour in “educational funds” (to be spent on stuff related to work, like books or a computer). To me, this just didn’t seem like a good deal. I felt my time was more valuable than the money they were offering.
Instead, I took those days and made no money but did something more valuable. I worked on my blog. I wrote a few thousand words for the relationship guide I’m working on. I read a book or two about web programming.
Because I do this type of work for no money, opportunities to make money come up. I just got hired to rebuild a website for a guy who works with my boyfriend. I’ll make $1800 for it over the next couple of weeks. Oh, and he also has FOUR other websites he wants me to rebuild after that. Assuming each will net me around the same, I could make ~$9000. That sure beats taking an extra crappy call for $500.
What do you think? How do you value your time versus money?
Photo by aresauburn