I like looking at photos of luxurious houses, the type I aim to live in soon. The ones Forbes writes articles about when they’re discussing the most expensive American ZIP codes, or a home some celebrity just bought/sold.
I was looking at one the other day and wondered to myself how long that house took to be built. Probably a year or so, with lots of detail and care taken to make it just right. Then I thought of the person who must live in such a place and how much actual manual labor they did to make that house a reality (the physical building of it, that is).
Not much. Probably none.
Architects. Landscapers. Brick layers. Interior designers. Inspectors. Plumbers. Electricians. All of them were needed to make the house what it is for the person living there, who did none of that work and probably has none of the skills. And their house is probably nicer, bigger and more expensive than that of any person who worked on it.
You could possibly build your own house with your own hands. It would take a lot of time and effort and you’d have to have a very skilled _______ (everything)… But by the time you’re done you’ll be so old/tired/used up you won’t even be able to enjoy it. It would be much easier to find the people who are good at certain things, love doing them, and let them work for you (in exchange for some agreed-upon payment). Then you benefit from their efforts.
That’s the only way to build a big house. And the only way anyone ever gets rich.
I love work. I’m all about getting up early, going to sleep late, hustling, putting more effort into things than the next man – it’s scientifically wired into human beings to do more and work harder (look up dopamine). But there’s only so much one person can do. The smart ones start leveraging other people, freeing themselves to still work hard, but only on what they’re good at. And no one is good at everything. With enough work you could eventually become passably useful at any skill, but we are all on the clock. You ain’t got time for that.
Think of any person you know who is rich or is publicly known to be rich: They all make money through leveraging the efforts of others.
Business owners hire employees. The employees work for their pay, the owner benefits from their work. Even if the owner goes on vacation, he comes back richer than before — because the workers keep working.
You can never become rich if you’re the only one who makes money for you. This is simply because there is only one you. You can’t do more than one job at a time. And you only have 24 hours in a day. Hire two employees to work 2 hours each, you now have 28 hours in a day.
How long would it take me to build my own luxury house? A few years of schooling, then finding the land, gathering materials, learning how to use them, start building, fix any mistakes I make (of which there will be plenty since I’m not good at any of this)… I’ll die before I finish that house. But if I hire a 100-person staff to get it done, maybe I can move in in a year.
Yes I pay them — and now I’m buying time (which I can’t get more of) with money (which I can get more of) instead of exchanging my one nonrenewable, irreplaceable resource (time) for a renewable, replaceable one (money).
This switch changes everything.
Understand that leveraging is not all about having money to begin. We can all agree that people value things other than money. People value recognition. People value friendship. People value being a part of something. Leveraging is not about having money; it’s about having a mindset of knowing you will never get that house (figuratively speaking) without the work of a team.
There are people out there who love doing what you hate doing (but must get done). Find them, put them in place and buy yourself some time.
You’re on the clock.