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It’s the mythical goal of all Americans, it seems. To be a “millionaire.” But what EXACTLY is a millionaire? Is it someone who’s liabilities deducted from their assets equals $1,000,000? Yeah, I guess that’s one definition. How about a doctor who makes $1,000,000 a year in salary and bonuses? Is she a millionaire? Is she the same KIND of millionaire that the former example represents?

I say no.

Let’s look at the results of being a millionaire and then I think we’ll have our answer about the definition. WHY do we all want to be a millionaire?

I can hear the “non-materialistic” people in the crowd braying from the background saying they’ve never wanted to be a millionaire and it’s shallow to have those thoughts. Well, even if you don’t have the overt desire to be one, you’d be lying to yourself if you said you’d pass up the opportunity if it was dropped in your lap. So pipe down and listen up. Geesh!

We want freedom of our time. That’s what money SHOULD represent to just about anyone. Think about it. The less money we have, the less time we have to do the things that make us happy. One follows the other. Life is a struggle between both. But being “rich” in money doesn’t mean you’re rich in time. Take the doctor in the above example. I’ll bet she’s working a LOT of hours to make that money. Just ask her kids.

But the first example is someone who MAY not be spending their time working. Instead, their money is working in their stead.

So, that’s my definition of being a millionaire. Having a million dollars working for you and not YOU working for the million dollars.

Okay, we understand that. Now let’s move on in our lesson.

Which scenario would you rather find yourself in;

1) You own your own business and it brings in $400,000 a year but your operating expenses are $350,000 a year. Which only gives you $50K a year in income.

or

2) You’re earning $60,000 a year working at a 9 to 5 job?

Your answer to that question may be very revealing in the type of person you are and whether you’re suited to be self-employed.

If you are bringing in $400,000 but have high expenses, you have LOTS of options to increase your income and reduce your expenses. It’s a matter of working towards certain goals to increase your net.

On the other hand, your chances of surpassing the $60K salary at the 9 to 5 job are negligible at worst and incremental at best.

But the far more important thing to look at is which scenario will allow you to get to the point where your money is working for you instead of you working for your money?

If you have a job, your boss is the middle man. He coalesces your talents, efforts and creativity (TEC) and sells them to the highest bidder then pays you what he/she feels is just enough to keep you around so he can continue to sell your TEC (that’s called maximizing profits.) There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s a place in this world for employers and employees. Both are admirable and worthy. But if you’re an employee, don’t fool yourself into thinking you are being compensated for your TEC. You’re not. You’re getting $X per hour, regardless whether you just painted the mona lisa or finger painted the latest project. (Unless you are on straight commission and even then, if your boss or company you work for is getting a piece of your action, you’re STILL not being paid directly for ALL your TEC’s value.)

If there’s a choice, and you feel you’re up to the challenge, why not be the middleman instead of the employee? Instead of trading your time for money, trade your TALENTS, EFFORTS AND CREATIVITY for money, directly. Your TEC is far more valuable than your time. But more importantly your TEC can be projected outward from us, and set apart from time, if we’re the one’s controlling the show. At some point, you can duplicate your TEC by hiring others. If you have 5 people all doing the same thing you have been doing and you’ve taught them to do well, you essentially remove yourself from the “time for money” scenario and put someone else in it. When you have complete ownership of your TEC, you are setting yourself up to grow beyond the bounds of the time clock into the realm of duplication of efforts by hiring.

After you’ve duplicated successfully, you can step even further away from the time clock by hiring people with their own TEC to add to the operations. You then become the broker of their TEC. At that point, you’re so far away from the “time-for-money” dance, you can’t even see the dance floor anymore.

In summary:

1) Sell your TEC direct to the public;
2) Duplicate your TEC by hiring people receptive to learning it;
3) Become a broker for someone else’s TEC;
4) Duplicate their TEC…
Repeat over and over as needed.

There are only three positions in life you can occupy to make money. They are:

1) Sell your own TEC, direct to the public;
2) Sell your TEC through a broker;
3) Become a broker of other people’s TEC.

You can do #1 and #3 at the same time or independent of one another. But if you fall into #2, you’re stuck and can’t do anything else because your time is someone else’s.

Now, you can be in #2 because, well, perhaps your TEC isn’t something of value on its own. It has to be pooled with other people’s TEC to have value and can ONLY be brokered. It just can’t be sold directly at a good enough price to live on. This is something you must work hard to correct. Get more education, read on your own, volunteer to do tasks for people from whom you want to learn. You MUST be doing something EVERY DAY OF YOUR LIFE that grows your TEC to the point that it doesn’t need to be brokered anymore and can be sold to the public directly. Even if you don’t choose to sell it directly, TEC that has value enough to be sold directly will at least increase your hourly wage if it’s being brokered.

So let me reiterate. I don’t think it’s unworthy to have other people broker your TEC (being an employee, in other words.) Some people just don’t like to work on the selling of their TEC which you must do if you own your own business. That’s fine. But the key to becoming a millionaire is selling your TEC directly to the public and duplicating it OR brokering other people’s TEC. You WILL NOT BECOME RICH if you are choosing to have others broker your TEC.

Sure, you can save and invest and when you’re 65 be able to retire comfortably. But that pales in comparison to being able to take 30 days to Europe when you’re relatively young or being able to be at ALL your kid’s functions because you aren’t tied to a time clock like employees are. Again, being rich is about being able to control your time instead of someone else controlling it.

So, next time you want to spend time with your family and you can’t because of work… ask yourself if you have what it takes to sell your own TEC.

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3 Comments

  1. Dan:

    Great site. I have a couple of comments on this piece and on the site in general:

    (a) Some people’s TEC are hard to sell. I am a teacher, and sure I’d love to start a business, but what can I do with my ability to teach 2 + 2?

    (b) Your site talks about looking for ideas. You are blessed with a creative mind, but not all of us are that creative. Sure, we can see ideas in the newspaper afterwards and say, why didn’t I think of that? But to come up with the ideas in the first place is hard, and I don’t know if it’s something you can develop. If you have a way to increase creativity and originality, please share it.

    Keep up the great site! It’s a fun and enjoyable read.

  2. Dan:

    I wrote the previous comment. I’m sorry that I didn’t use my name. I noticed your post of responding to posts with names only after I left it.

  3. Hi Barry,

    Good questions. First, you’re right… not everyone’s particular TEC is suited for selling directly. However, it usually goes hand in hand. If your TEC is such that CAN be sold directly, you’re more likely to be the type of person suited to be on your own. I guess a better way of saying it is if you have a passion to teach children, then you’re most likely not going to have a desire to “have a business of your own” because that’s just not “you.”

    With that said, if you’re NOT teaching because you love to teach, but just because that’s where you found yourself and it pays the bills, you need to look at what it is you WANT to do, assess your TEC in that area, build it up if necessary by interning, volunteering, taking classes, reading on your onw… etc. Then move towards selling it directly to the public and transition away from the safe paycheck.

    Your second thought about how not everyone can come up with ideas. I tend to think not everyone WANTS to come up with ideas. If you want to, and you apply yourself daily to thinking in a different way like I’ve stated on my blog over and over, you’ll come up with things.

    It takes practice just like anything else. Here’s a project for you… next time you come across or even glance at something that interests you in the slightest bit, don’t just admire it and wonder how you can own it, or wear it, or do whatever it is you do with it. Think about how you can make money with it. I don’t care what it is. ALWAYS think in terms of what you can do differently or from a different angle that will allow you to make money with a particular concept, product, service, thing.

    If all else fails, read dansherman.com and perhaps you’ll get something you can use. 🙂

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