On Working Smarter and Making Money Work For You

Updated: November 28, 2020

I’ve given a lot of advice about business, investments, and personal finance here. And throughout, I’ve always mentioned the importance of hard work to achieve one’s goals.

For me, there is no substitute for good old-fashioned “labor” and if you want to make your dreams a reality, then you need to put in the time and the effort.

However, there are two pieces of advice about money and wealth, that many financial experts often give. Sadly, most people tend to misunderstand these “tips”, which causes them to eventually fall short of their goals.

But I’m hoping to change that today.

Work smarter, not harder.

This is very good advice if you ask me, because “being smart” about work is simply leveraging your knowledge and resources to accomplish things faster and more efficiently.

But many people miss out on the operative word of the first phrase. Remember that “work smarter” still has the word, WORK in it.

This means working smarter is not about being lazy. It’s not just about delegating tasks, automating processes, or getting help and letting others do all the work.

For me, working smarter means working hard first, then finding ways to make things more efficient for everyone. After which, you then use the acquired free time to work (again) on new tasks.

Don’t work for money, let money for work you.

Again, this is very good advice – that many often misunderstand.

If I were to improve this, I’d rephrase it to say, “Work hard for the money, then find ways to make the money you earned work for you.

Do you see the difference? Too many times, I’ve seen people chase passive income as if it’s the Holy Grail of wealth – it is NOT.

Passive income is just a “tool” that you use to achieve the ultimate goal – financial freedom. And just like any tool, you need to learn how to properly use it.

If you want passive income… if you want to learn how to make money work for you, then you need to understand three things:

Passive income takes time to build, which means you have to be patient.
They say real estate is a good source of passive income – but you have to understand that finding a buyer or a lessee to your property can take a while; not to mention the amount of time you have to spend looking for a good property to flip or buy.

Building passive income is not a race, it is a sprint marathon you need to prepare for.

Pure passive income is often too small for you to live by alone.
A time deposit account is an excellent source of pure passive income – but if you plan to live on 5% annual interest, then you would have to save up to 20 times that amount. This means you need P4.8 million in the bank to get roughly P20,000 monthly.

Now, how easy is it to save P4.8 million? Almost impossible if you’re lazy.

The best sources of passive income are those which came from hard work.
Royalty income is passive income that you earn from your intellectual property or copyright, it is payment for the right to use something you created.

But if you want to receive royalties, then you have to work hard in coming up with a profitable invention, or writing that best-selling novel, or building that successful franchise business – and these things don’t happen overnight.

Work hard, then work smart and make your money work for you. Rinse and repeat until you become rich.

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6 comments

  1. Many people still don’t understand the difference between working hard and working smart – this has caused many people working hard with the rest of their lives. Sad 🙁

  2. An old farmer friend of mine from back in the US once said as he held out his hands : “you make a living with these.”then, as he pointed to his head he said: “you make money with this.” I took that in and lived by it as one of my rules of life. I may have been doing a brutally difficult or dangerous job because I enjoyed it but as the cash piled up, I also learned how to make that money work for me. For example, I sell option contracts as part of my investing program. When the contract expires, we get to keep the time value or premium. Rinse and repeat over and over again. You are earning 24/7 as the value of the contracts ticks away. Personally, I am not a big fan of rental property but for rental property owners, payday comes on a regular basis. There are so many opportunities, find your niche and do what is comfortable for you.

  3. I will take the liberty to update my above post with how we applied this excellent advice over the past year. I think all will agree that most countries of the world faced some rough times (COVID-19 pandemic) after the first of the year 2020. Like other families, we had several business ventures shut down because of the covid. My wife was blessed to have her academic writing work coming in far longer than normal but even that came to an end. Here is how we harnessed the free time that we considered a gift:

    In addition to academic writing, my Beautiful Bride enjoyed short stints as a teacher and practiced nursing briefly. She saw a need for quality homeschooling materials that could be used for supplemental tutoring. She developed a platform and regularry adds new materials that may be purchased one by one or in bulk and there is a product key that gives the buyer access for the term to lectures stored on a server.

    Orders keep coming in and she continues to add new tutorial packages and lectures. We converted one bedroom to a classroom stocked with a wide assortment books, maps, charts, globes, microscopes etc.etc. We did not aim for a deluxe 5 star classroom that only the very rich could emulate. My wife wanted something that everyday folks could set up at home. All videos are produced in the classroom and my Bride does the editing.

    Interestingly, one of Maria’s sources for office supplies, paper, laminating material etc made her an offer to buy her complete system and copyrights. This happened within a few months of starting as they like the concept. My wife would have received a very good sum of money and a small royalty in perpetuity. She declined the offer because the original discussion included computer equipment and free sets of learning materials provided to an orphanage we support. The final offer was a very limited amount of computer equipment and only one lot of materials. No ongoing support for the orphanage.

    My Bride’s vision is to supply the orphanage with brand new age appropriate materials as new children arrive. It would be wonderful if no child became homeless and in need but the reality of this world is bad things do happen. The charitable giving is and always will be part of the business. Giving will continue no matter what!

    Now, my wife has had many requests to do tutoring one on one and small groups face to face in our home classroom. This could be additional income but we already know with space at a premium, we will have to look for an empty home to rent long term within our subdivision or go outside on the national highways to find a unit to rent. Never say never, this may happen but really is not a goal at this time.

    Why I am super pleased: My Beautiful Bride and I have talk at length about the need to create solid passive income streams. This newly created business can very well become a passive income for my wife in the future. When all of the video series are finished and the companion materials created, there will be no more need to stay active in the business. Our own children will have finished school. At this point, a person (perhaps our son or daughter wanting part time work???) could be hired. They will print out and laminate orders, affix a shipping label to the package and supply the product key that gives the buyer access to the online lectures for the term. BANG, a passive income stream from work done today!!!

    Once again, thank you Fitz for the motivation.

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