More Money or More Time?

by Jul 7, 2014Productivity

What's more important to you? More money to buy what you want or more time to spend playing?

Do you think you can't have both?

I made great money in the research industry. I had good benefits. I traveled all over the world. Sometimes even to cool places – Tokyo! Sao Paulo! Buenos Aires!

I stayed in the industry as long as I did for one reason….golden handcuffs.

The money was good so instead of focusing on what I didn't like about my job, I focused on what I did like. I loved training people and I loved what I was able to do with my paycheck. Had I not worked in that field, I wouldn't have been able to race like I did. Triathlon and adventure racing are not cheap sports. There are a lot of gear, entry fees and transportation costs involved. Ironman Wisconsin and Florida cost me about $3000 and the price has gone up since then.

At one point I think my husband and I had nine bikes between us. Now we each have two. I retired from triathlon when I switched to adventure racing and then retired from adventure racing and focused solely on mountain biking and trail running in the last two years. Less gear, less money and less time commitment. As for what's next on the horizon? Not sure yet. It's a transition year.

I was able to pay cash for a car and have no debt but my house. I paid for up to ten surgeries a year to the Fistula Foundation, paid for vet care for sheltered cats and donated to the Wounded Warriors Project.

Making money is not a bad thing.

At that point in my life, making money was important because it allowed me to pay for the things I wanted to play with. I could pay to play and it was fun. It allowed me to get ahead in saving for retirement, live in a nice house and help my husband with his own business.

When I started my business I knew it would be a sacrifice but I was ready. I make less money than I did then (at least for now). If I wanted to do the sports I used to I wouldn't be able to financially, but for now, that's okay. I don't get to travel as much, which I enjoy doing, and I work as many hours as I did before, sometimes more, but I love what I'm doing and will completely geek out on anything productivity-related.

I interviewed a client once and they were embarrassed to tell me why they wanted coaching. It finally came out that they wanted to make more money in the same amount of time. Who wouldn't? They expected me to think they were shallow because their answer wasn't ‘spend more time with my family'. The desire to make more money isn't shallow at all. I want to make more money too.

Being healthy will save you money in medical bills. Eat kale now or take a drug later.

Being healthy will save you aches and pains. Feel good now or sit on your butt when you're retired because you're too sick to travel.

Being productive will make you money. Spend your time on the $100 tasks instead of wasting it on the $10 tasks.

Being productive will save you time. Stop letting other people control your calendar and take back your day.

Whether you tell me you want to make more money so you can pay to play or get more time so you are able to have fun with your family, coaching is individual and there won't be a judgement from me.

What do you value more at this time in your life? Do you want to make more money in the same amount of time or work less and spend more time playing?

Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects