When I was growing up I can remember playing outside for hours and hours with my friends. Anything from riding bikes, playing basketball, or street football. The school year always seemed to drag on forever and summer vacations flew by like a squirrel trying to get across the highway to avoid an oncoming car.
Regardless of how we spent the time, either in school or playing, it always felt like we would always have more than enough time to do what we wanted to do and we had our entire lives in front of us.
Then something happened. I turned 30 years old. Maybe it was a little bit sooner, but at 30 years of age or around 30 years of age, I figured out that we don’t, I don’t, have some endless trove of time, our time on this earth is truly finite.
This is not a typical time management post. Nope, I can do that as well. See some of my other blogs.
No, this is a time realization post. Meaning you have to realize that everything in life revolves around time. And you are either trading time for money, trading time for nothing, or trading your life away thinking you have more time than you actually do.
I had a vision at 30 years of age. I said, I would work really hard and be able to retire at age 50. Pretty simple right. The problem though wasn’t the vision. It is a pretty solid vision. Nope, the problem was I didn’t understand the equation.
Let me get a little wonkish with you here:
Rate = Distance/Time
Distance = Rate x Time
Time = Distance/Rate
Example: If you want to run two miles in 20 minutes, find rate: 2 miles (distance) / 2o minutes (time) = .10 move the decimal two spots and you get 10 mins. Rate equals 10 mins per mile.
Example: Find distance: Car doing 50 mph for 3 hours, goes how many miles?
50 mph (rate) x 3 hours (time) = 150 miles (distance)
So lets look at my situation. I have 20 years. Age 30-50. Simple enough. So we know what the time is don’t we. So what is the rate? And what is the distance? These are the two missing variables from my situation. I didn’t have either one of these in my vision.
So around 35, I got a little bit wiser and I said. Okay, I need to have 10 paid for houses by the time I am 50. So that makes it a little easier doesn’t it? Throw dollars out of the equation and just use the amount of houses for the numbers.
We now have Time = 20 years. We have distance = 10 houses. But, I need to solve for rate. 10 houses / 20 years = Rate of .50. Which means I would have to buy a half a house a year, for 20 years. Now we all know that I can’t buy a half a house. So what if I only bought 1 house a year for 20 years. Than I would exceed my goal by a lot right? I would double my rate, which would allow me to get there sooner.
To get to 10 houses, paid for, by age 50, means I would have to add in some dollar figures. What would I spend on the house? How much would it cost me to maintain? and how much revenue can I generate by renting them out during this period? These numbers would allow me to make the target even more concrete on how I would achieve it.
Why does any of this matter? And why should it matter to you or me? Many of us are walking around with the time in our head, but we don’t have the other two pieces of the equation. We don’t know what the distance is, meaning we haven’t set a target. We don’t know where the hell we are going. And since we don’t have a target, we don’t know what rate of speed we should be going. We are aimlessly walking around thinking we are traveling well, but we really don’t have a clue.
As you wrap up 2016 and are thinking about 2017, what are your targets? If you have some targets, good for you, you are better off than most. However, the second and most important question is, “Do you know what your rate is and the amount of time it will take to get there?” Just like I pointed out before. I had a target, but it wasn’t clear, once I made it clear, I knew that I needed to buy a half a house a year (1 at least) to get where I wanted to go.
Rate and speed is one of the most important pieces of most decisions we have to make. The reason I say that is this:
If you have a good thought, or are motivated to take action. The amount of time that passes between the thought and your first step towards action will determine your success in pursuit of this new motivation or thought.
Example: Lets pretend that its Saturday (which it is as I am typing) and I have gotten up early and I decide that I am going to clean the house before we have this party to go to this afternoon and the basketball games that I want to watch start.
Instead of taking action and starting the cleaning, I decide to cook some breakfast, go for a run, and do some work that I wasn’t able to get to during the week. I had the thought at 8:00 am to clean the house, and by the time I do all of the other things I decided to do instead, it is now 12:30 and we have to be at the party at 3:00. It will take me an hour to get ready and an hour to get there. So that means, I only have 30 minutes to actually do the cleaning. Well, we all know that is not enough time to clean, so I put it off.
Sound familiar? This happens to everybody, everyday. It is that vicious cycle that we all have fallen victim to at one time or another. We plan on doing something very good for us and very rewarding. Which I think, having a clean house fits for both. Instead of doing it, we allow others things to get in the way and we never get it accomplished. Now cleaning the house isn’t going to kill us is it?
But what if we don’t act quickly on cutting some unnecessary spending in our budget, what if we don’t start on that assignment for work, what if the doctor tells us that if we don’t change our diet that we are going to be in trouble with our health, etc. You can input your own scenario here if you wish. If our rate of speed to action on any of these are too slow, they could have some very negative consequences.
This is what happens every day for most people though. They don’t act quick enough. When too much distance gets between a decision and the first step towards taking action on that decision, your chances of doing something around that decision goes down significantly.
My favorite speakers and authors of all time Jim Rohn calls it “The Law of Diminishing Intent”; the longer you delay something, the less probability you have of actually doing it.
Rate and speed are very important pieces of the equation and we also know that having the right target, or in the equation Rate (x) Time = distance. Which means you must know your distance (target) to know how fast and how much time it will take to get there.
So what about time. In this blog we started off by talking about time and how we all think we have more of it, especially when we are young, than we actually do.
I read somewhere that the late great Steve Jobs believed that he was going to die young. He didnt know when, obviously, none of us do, but he felt like whatever it was that he was going to accomplish, that he needed to do it quickly because he felt like he only had so much time.
Now whether or not he felt like he was really going to die early, or he felt like an avaerage lifetime wasn’t long enough. Either way, he believed that time is our most precious commodity and that we must use it wisely and only do things we are passionate and excited about.
In our previous discussion around my vision to have purchased 10 houses between the ages 30-5o, and have them paid for. One of the realizations I had recently, thankfully, is that I don’t want to wait that long. I don’t want to wait until I am 50 years of age. I want it sooner. I want these houses now. I want the money theses house bring now. I want to be free now.
What if I don’t make it to 50. I hate to be morbid, but that can happen. I changed my target to 40. How can I get to 10 houses paid for by age 40? That is the new goal. That is the one I am working towards.
Time is the unknown and I can’t control time. I can control what I do with my time, but I don’t know how much of it I have and I can’t stop it or slow it down. I can only work within the 24 hours a day that I have until I can no longer do it.
I go into each day knowing that I have the time, the key question I ask myself is “What am I doing with that time?” I want to increase my rate and speed on everything I am doing. I can control my rate. I can control the speed of which I pursue everything.
Remember the equation above, to get to the target sooner, I must increase my rate, which in turn decreases the amount of time I have to invest in it.
Watch: 1,000,000 million dollars (target) So what is time and rate.
4 years (time) X 250,000 (Rate) = 1,000,000
3 years (time) X 333,000 (Rate) = 1,000,000
When I increase my rate, I decrease my time to get to my target. That is the goal. And that should be your goal.
My mission in 2017 is to speed everything up. It is going to be a challenge in some cases, because I can’t do everything. It will require me to spend money, it will require me to make sacrifices, it will require me to rely on others, and it will require me to give up somethings for the sake of other things. And all of this is okay. I have finally figured it out that if I want to truly speed things up, it is going to require a different approach.
One of my mentors said it this way. The rich buy time and the poor spend time. What they meant by this is: Rich people have the money to hire others to do things that they dont want to do and get others to expand their influence by paying someone to go out and do more of what it is they are attempting to do.
Example: If I am a plumber. And a really good plumber and I work on my own. I can only service and do so much plumbing. Plus I have to do marketing, Have to manage my books and accounting, I have to do business development, I have to do ordering of materials and supplies, etc. You get the point.
If I am desirous to grow my business, there is no way I can do it when I have to do all of these things. I have to hire others to help me do it. This allows me to buy some of my time back and it also allows me to focus on the things I am really good at. It would also allow me to get really good at the things I need to get really good at, which is finding more customers.
In order to speed things up, I have to find and seek out ways to increase everything. I have to increase my spending to get others working on things, I have to increase the rate of my thought leadership posts, I have to get more quantity of everything out quicker than I have ever done before.
I started this post talking about a more simple time in my life. It was such a simple time because that is all I knew at the time. All I knew was riding bikes and having fun.
However, I now know that my potential us unlimited, my options on this earth are unlimited, the amount of houses I can own, the amount of money I can earn, the amount of influence I can have, all are unlimited. The only thing that is limited is my time, but it is only limited in what I can do within my time. The amount of time I can buy, the speed I can create by getting others involved, and the target I will hit are all up in the air and I can get them all, when I understand the equation of distance=rate X time.
I will close the gap on the amount of time something takes by increasing the rate at which I do it, and I will always know what the target is, you should do the same.
To your success and your future