How to buy or sell time?

Updated: Dec 29, 2019



Rich people buy time, poor people sell time - Dan Lok

Pardon me for not posting on the blog over the past week. I was on a holiday at Krabi with my girlfriend. It was truly a fabulous place that I highly recommend for your next travelling destination especially with your significant other. I enjoyed the beauty of the various islands and beaches; dived in the turquoise sea; absorbed vitamin D from the warm sunshine; stayed in scenic resorts; indulged in mouth-watering Thai food and was pampered with daily massages. I presume the above is what some people perceived to be your "retirement life", all of which at the fraction of the price in Singapore. Shiok!


Well...,this is still not a valid excuse to skip blogging and I am guilty of that.


However, I admit that recently I have to start valuing my time more than before as there are more priorities that I need to balance in life. Family, relationship, career, trading, investment, e-commerce, toastmasters, personal development, attending finance seminars, helping family's business, sticking to gym/ martial art regime, reading etc. Coming my way are a few more commitments such as studying for SCEM and CFte certifications. (Oh dear What have I got myself into???) As such, I am making my blog entries more concise and less formal so that I do not spend too much time trying to write the perfect article while ensuring the content is delivered effectively.


Back to the topic!


After my trip in Krabi, I was reminded again that money is really a powerful tool that drives people to work. I felt sad that money can sometimes control our natural desires and steer us away from our passions and goals in life.

For instance, when I was patronising the massage parlours at Krabi, I can't help but wonder whether all the masseurs really love their jobs to give massage on people's feet or are they just there trying to earn a living? Could they have bigger dreams in life that they will like to pursue, but because of how the economy works, they must succumb to selling their time for money?

There definitely isn't anything wrong with pursuing a humble life for a living. But it is definitely somewhat disappointing if you are sacrificing your passion for a simple life and remaining status quo for fear of change and the commitment of hard work.


To be frank, what I observe in Krabi is also reflected here in Singapore where people work long hours in their jobs and collect their monthly pay check. We are effectively selling our time for money and that is the poor man's concept. Rich people buy time, poor people sell time. (When I say poor or rich, I don't only mean wealth.)


When the poor man works for living, he effectively only has one source of income. He believes that by working hard at the job, he will one day rise the ranks and earn a bigger pay check. He does not understand the idea of asset and liabilities. He believes that buying a bigger home is an asset and commit to a monthly mortgage repayment that lasts 30 years. He works hard at his job and got his raise. He is happy that his higher income allows him to pay off his monthly mortgage. Seeing that life is good, he found no need to take any action and he indulges in entertainment after work. One day he was retrenched, and he had to find another job to sell his time for money to pay off his housing mortgage.


On the other hand, the rich man started off working for a living too. But at the same time, he invests in himself by reading and attending courses after work. He understands the difference between assets and liabilities as well as the power of time. He chose to buy a small home so that he can save up for another small property in which he aims to rent out in the future. At the same time, he learnt to invest smartly so that he can receive dividends from his investments. He started to build his income-producing businesses/ assets (e.g. affiliate marketing on YouTube, e-commerce, website for renting of camera equipment, vending machine etc) which will automatically generate money for him.

Even though the journey was tough and initially he only makes a small amount of money from his side hustles, he understands that through time, the small thing will compound to something much larger. One day, he was retrenched. His 2nd property, albeit small, was producing enough income to cover his expenses. He has taken personal development courses which equipped him with high income skills that are easily transferable in the market. His other income-producing assets are just printing money for him as he sleeps. In fact, he was secretly happy that he got retrenched as he no longer has to sell time for a living. He had bought time long ago and now he has the time to explore his desires.

So, do you want to be rich man or the poor man?

I have attached a video below that relates to my blog post. This is one of my favourite You-Tuber that taught me plenty of useful life advice. I hope you find some learning points to aid you in life. Cheers!


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