By Sophia Lee
Everyone is familiar with the 9-5 model. You clock in at nine, scrape your way through the work day until the clock hits five, then head home knowing exactly what you pocketed for the day. However, the economy and working climate is changing. Our hours don’t have to be the trade-off to bring home the bag. As such, the term “trading time for money” has gained traction, popularizing the idea of leaving your typical office nine-to-five for a different career that is less based on hourly pay.
However, the truth of the matter is, everyone trades time for money. No matter what, you will put in some kind of work at some point in order to generate profit. A popular way people “stop trading time for money” is by starting small businesses selling things like digital or print-on-demand products. However, even though that is a form of passive income and you are not putting time in at the office, time is put into creating designs, setting up the online store, learning about the industry, and more. And time is finite. There are only 24 hours in a day and you can’t work any more than the given time in a day. The term doesn’t literally mean to stop trading your work hours for a paycheck, but to change how much time you spend for the amount of money you gain.
There is no set time to stop trading time for money. It varies on each person’s goals and financial situation. But here are some instances where you may want to consider how you can maximize your income and utilize your time efficiently.
1. When you’re burnt out: If your corporate job is leaving you burnt out, maybe it is time to switch careers or pick up a side hustle to give yourself some more fulfillment while helping bring in some more income. The Law of Diminishing Return states that as you reach maximum efficiency, the amount of return decreases. You may have hit your maximum return out of your current job and need to look for the things you need elsewhere.
2. When you are not taking advantage of every opportunity to turn a profit. Time is finite therefore you can only work so many hours in a day. Your hourly rate or income needs to be increased in order to get more out of your time. Are there jobs or tasks you’re taking on without being compensated for? Is someone else in the office generating the same output for a higher paycheck?
3. When you paycheck doesn’t match your value The goal is to help increase the ratio of your income to the hours you work. Take some time to reflect on yourself. What makes you you? What makes you unique, what skills do you have that are marketable? Is your work of high quality and worth more than you are being paid for? Try to be realistic about where you’re at and see if you can bridge the gap between your income and what your services and time are actually worth.
Again, there is no right time to stop your nine-to-five and switch up what you’ve been doing. You have to decide if it is viable for your lifestyle. As the saying goes, the hardest part is always getting started. Change is scary, but take each step slowly. Jumping in can also be risky, so find a balance of pushing forward but not being too hasty. No one is going to advocate for you, so if you are interested in maximizing your efficiency, consider the above steps. You can try talking to human resources to see if your paycheck reflects the work you are completing. Thinking about that side hustle? Take a few online courses and watch some YouTube videos to start learning how to build a successful business. You can make a business of yourself. Teach online courses or provide consultations to others.
The day-to-day grind is difficult but it is possible to get more out of your time. Remember, everyone trades time for money, but there are people who are able to maximize how much return they get from each hour. The cornerstone of this is to know your worth, so don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself! Your skills and your time are of high value so stand tall and best of luck on your professional journey.
At MDMC Entertainment. we are lovers of all things pop culture, marketing and bringing them together to create a buzz that all clients desire and deserve!