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What does it look like to own your life?

What if everything you had was bought in cash? People say they don’t like living in debt, but they keep using it as a tool.

It is possible to live a life without debt. It is possible to buy the life you want in cash. But it’s not easy.

Just wanting to have no debt isn’t enough. You have to define the life you want to have and work backwards from that. Shift your focus back toward the life you’ve always wanted to have for yourself: what does that look like? What does your ideal day entail?

It’s a matter of reverse engineering the life you want and making sacrifices to get there.

I guarantee this episode will give you a ton of ideas and a ton to think about. It’s not just about how to cut expenses and save money (though there are some great tips on that), it’s about shifting your focus to the areas where you have the greatest impact.

It’s better to make $10 than to save $2. I’ll show you places where you’re missing out on the $10.

I get really practical in the episode on how to focus your time, invest your resources, and take back ownership of your life.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • Own your life, don’t owe your life.
  • It is possible to go into your adult life without having debt.
  • Get creative when you’re making a big purchase without letting debt solve your problem for you.
  • Debt allows you to live a life you can’t afford.
  • Debt is not a tool.
  • Cut out all of your wasted time and money.
  • Debt-free living is a better long-term decision, but it requires making difficult decisions.
  • Acquire assets, not liabilities.
  • The only way to know the actual value of your time is to use your time to make money.
  • Invest money in the things you shouldn’t be doing to free up your time to have maximum impact.
Show Notes
  • 02:16 Sean: I’ve talked about the no-debt mentality before, but I don’t specifically want to talk about embracing a no-debt mentality. I think it’s a good idea, but I want to focus more on why you would do that. It’s kind of like the episode we did on Supercharging Your No With a Reason for Saying Yes. Saying no is very powerful, but it’s negative in isolation. In context, it’s powerful, and the context is the important part. The context of what you can say yes to makes saying no something that isn’t just a chore, where you feel like a negative person. It’s not just about saying no to debt, but why are we saying no to debt?

We want to own our life and not owe our life.

  • 03:12 We want to build the life we want and purchase it in cash, own it outright. With this show, I want to talk about the place you want to go, envisioning that, and then dissecting the how of getting there.
  • 03:33 Ben: I like how, because we schedule ahead quite a bit now, Sean selected this topic a long time ago. Sean said something to the effect of, “Thanks, past Sean.” I like that, because this can be a controversial topic if your focus is not in the right place. As we go through this episode and shift our focus, we’ll see that this conversation is about something else entirely.
  • 04:23 Sean: Cory, what do you think about this episode? We were talking beforehand about the difference between just talking about the no-debt mentality and talking about saving, building, and buying the life you want in cash. What does that look like to you?
  • 04:49 Cory: Everyone who listens to this podcast knows Sean’s stance on debt, so I think this will be an interesting conversation about the how and the why.

The No Debt Mentality

  • 05:03 Sean: Should I talk about the no-debt mentality briefly to set the stage for anyone new? It’s not very complicated. You can pretty much figure it out from the title there, the no-debt mentality. It means that I don’t go into debt. That’s the end of it.
  • 05:51 Ben: But what if there’s something you really want and you don’t have the money for it now?
  • 05:56 Sean: I don’t go into debt.
  • 05:58 Ben: What if it’s something that you need, Sean?
  • 06:03 Sean: I don’t go into debt. A lot of people are on board with this, but they draw the line in different places. “Well, if you need something, debt’s not fun, but you need it.” Other people say, “I don’t do the debt thing either. There’s nothing besides my college loans that give me stress.” I see where they’re drawing the line. Other people say, “Of course you go into debt for a car. Of course you go into debt for a house.” I don’t want to go into debt. I don’t go into sensible debt, I don’t go into logical debt, I don’t go into debt. I want to own my life instead of owing it.
  • 07:04 That does mean making tough decisions. It means having a mattress on the floor, sitting on the ground, not having a couch, not having a car for Laci to drive… We did that for years at the beginning, but now we own everything. It’s worth it. I am not the person to help other people get out of debt, because I haven’t been in debt. I don’t even try to position myself as someone to help other people get out of debt, but I make it my mission to lead, especially younger people, by example.

It is possible to go into your adult life without having debt.

  • 07:50 We can challenge status quos that say, “Of course you go into debt for a car. Of course you go into debt for a house. It’s logical, because your payment on a mortgage is going to be lower than your payment for rent.” There are all of these different reasons. The logic makes sense, but as Cory was saying, the theme of this show has been to start with your values and then the logic flows from that.
  • 08:27 Ben: It’s so hard when there are so many conventions in place. A majority of people go into debt to buy a vehicle. I was talking to my neighbor the other day, and someone rear-ended his car. It still ran, but the back bumper was really messed up. They were willing to give him a cash settlement and they totaled it out. That sucks. It sucks to get rear-ended and have your car messed up, but without skipping a beat, he said, “Yeah, we went ahead and took the total and put it toward the downpayment on a new car.” The way it came out of him was so matter-of-fact. This is what you do, this is normal.
  • 09:25 Because of that, and because of the way a majority of people talk about debt, it seems normal to do these things. They don’t even question it. For the people who do question it, who say, “I want to have a house one day, and I want to have a car to get around,” it’s difficult to answer the question, “How long is it going to take me?” Because it’s such a major expense and because there are so few examples out there of people doing it differently, it’s hard to see the potential waiting period. When that’s a question mark, it could be four years, 10 years, or 50 years. Who knows? I don’t know what my circumstances are going to be, so it feels like a big risk.
  • 10:27 Sean: That is super fascinating to me. Even a 30 year loan is certain. You can count on it being there in 30 years, and you know the situation. It’s fascinating to me that it’s more comforting to go into the red, acquire a liability, have payments for an extended period of time, than to go into the unknown, even if the unknown could be a place where you aren’t tied down. I’ve never thought of it that way.
  • 11:16 Ben: This isn’t me trying to make a case for it, but I like to give a voice to the concerns people have because I want to address those. I want to get into why it’s less of a risk, or if it’s more of a risk, it’s way more worth it not to get into debt. I can’t speak 100% from experience, because I currently have a mortgage. At some point in this episode, I’d like to shift the focus. I have a mortgage, but we don’t have a car payment. We’re going to need another vehicle soon. The one that we have has issues, and every once in a while when the check engine light comes on or I hear a funny noise, I feel a little bit of anxiety.
  • 12:16 We’re saving up. I don’t know how long that’s going to take. It’s a little bit scary, because we’re a family of eight people. I remember what it feels like to be in debt, to have a car payment, and for that bill to come every single month. Having had this real experience with it now, the small anxiety that I feel is way less than it would be if I was in debt. There are other things that come with it. There’s a sense of accomplishment, proving to yourself that you have patience, and the problem-solving skills that have to come into play.

You have to get creative when you’re making a big purchase without letting debt solve your problem for you.

Don’t Make Debt an Option

  • 13:16 Sean: Debt allows you to live a life you can’t afford. It’s not even an option that I allow myself, the same way that most people don’t think of dealing drugs or selling their body to prostitution as options. There are these things that other people say, “Of course not,” to, and I’m that way with debt. “Of course not, I won’t go into debt.” It’s not even an option to me. There is no, “What if you need something? What if this happens or that happens?” In the same way, I wouldn’t go into dealing drugs.
  • 14:01 I just don’t think of it that way. “Well, what if we don’t have enough money and we need to pay the electric bill? I’ll have to start dealing drugs.” I don’t think that way. That’s how it is for me, that’s the level. I make it simply not an option. I start with my values, and one of my values is that I don’t go into debt. I don’t buy what I can’t afford. I don’t live outside my means. If a situation arises that challenges me, I see it as a challenge. I see it as something to figure out, not a reason for an exception.
  • 14:57 Ben: That goes along with what I was just saying. You’re faced with this problem or challenge, and there are a number of different ways to solve it. Some of those ways are easier than others. Some of those ways have greater long term benefits than others. Going with debt is taking the easy way. If you’re struggling with this idea, that sounds like a slight: “Oh, you’re taking the easy way by getting into a car payment or a loan.”

Debt isn’t the easy way in the long run, but it’s the easy way now.

  • 15:45 You don’t have to be creative and work hard. I’m having a hard time, because I don’t want to make it seem like I’m saying that people who go into debt are bad, lazy, or anything like that. That’s not the case. You are capable of solving the problems, doing the work, and rising to that challenge. You need to believe that and know that about yourself, so that debt isn’t this thing where you think, “This is too big for me, so I’m going to turn to this.” You have to know that about yourself. I’m telling you that that’s true, but you have to believe it for yourself.
  • 16:35 Sean: Take debt out of your tool belt. Debt is not a tool. It’s that thing where you think, “Well, if I do run into this problem, I’ve got this tool. As a last resort, I can use this tool.” Take it out of your tool belt, because it will force you to think more creatively. You can solve your problems without debt. You can go forward without acquiring more debt if you take the debt tool out of your tool belt. You will fall back on it every time when it’s there if it’s something you’re allowing yourself to see as a tool to use.
  • 17:23 Debt is allowing you to live beyond your means. You’re living beyond your means when you acquire debt. You cannot afford the life you have. Unless your debt is going to be gone tomorrow and you’re making the final payment, debt means that you can’t afford the life you’re living now. This is a problem everywhere, not just in America. People have this idea of the life they believe they deserve to live, which they convince themselves that they need, and they use debt to support that lifestyle. It’s what they believe in their mind they deserve for themselves, what they think they need to compare to their next door neighbor, or what they think their friends or their parents should see them as. They have a life they believe they need or deserve.
  • 18:31 Ben: I want people to understand what’s going on on the other side of this. Yes, you have that camp, and that’s rampant in our culture. You’ve also got this camp of people who feel desperate, who feel like they’re backed into a corner and don’t have any other options. Regardless of where somebody falls, the debt system is designed to take advantage of people who believe that. Lenders feed off of that. The reason debt exists is because people thought, at some point, “This is something I can exploit.”
  • 19:14 It’s not always malevolent in nature, but it often is. Listener, I want you to understand that that’s what’s going on. People who allow you to go into debt, who lend you money, aren’t doing it because they also want you to have those things, realize your dreams, and accomplish things. They’re doing it because they’re taking advantage of a model that exists in our culture. They’re taking advantage of desperation.

Envision the Life You Want

  • 19:55 Sean: I want to make it clear that I’m not just saying, “You should not go into debt because you shouldn’t go into debt.” Personally, I think it’s smart to avoid it and not see it as a tool from the get-go. I’m not the person to help people get out of debt, but for the person who is considering it moving forward, I encourage them to take it out of what they’re considering. The reason for that is that I want you to envision the life you want to have, the life you want to own. A lot of people don’t do this.
  • 20:34 A lot of people are living in the rat race. Everything is repeating every month. They have these recurring expenses, recurring income, recurring habits and routines, and they’re not thinking about where they’re going, where they want to go, and why they’re making the decisions they want to make. What does your ideal life look like, and what is involved with that? What are you actually doing? What do you do on a day-to-day basis when you wake up? What is your perfect day? What does that life look like? When you get a hold on that and see that debt is taking you away from that, slowing you down, and preventing you from getting to that point, it gives you some perspective as to why you might want to make certain decisions that may be uncomfortable right now but set you up for longer term success.

A Mortgage is a Liability

  • 21:42 Ben: It’s difficult. I keep going back to the mortgage thing, and I don’t want to dive into this completely. I’ve rented before, but it’s always been with the mindset that I would mortgage a home at some point. Never having experienced what that freedom would be like on a day-to-day basis, it’s difficult for me to imagine that and compare that to what I’m currently experiencing. The easiest thing for me to do is to look at the numbers. Like Sean said earlier, logically, it works out.
  • 22:28 I did some back-of-the-napkin math on the way over, and I think it works out to where you can save $1,000 a month, or maybe it was $500. Let’s say it was $200, even, because it doesn’t matter. Renting a house vs. mortgaging that house, after whatever period of time, means that you end up spending less on the mortgage, if you’re able to sell it and get a return from that. That’s true even if the house sells for less than it’s worth. I’m just focusing on the money. Let’s say you were saving $1,000 a month.
  • 23:20 The question that I started asking myself was, “What if my time was worth $100 an hour?” That’s just ten hours of work that month. Ten hours makes up the difference between renting and mortgaging something. I’m not talking about owning, I’m talking about mortgaging. What about the clarity and the freedom that I feel from not owning a home and not having to worry about when things break? I spend time on my home, when I have time. Now, stuff just stays broken, and I see it every day. I’m wrestling with this. It’s really difficult for me, because I see the numbers. What if your time is worth $1,000 an hour?
  • 24:18 That’s one hour of work. I think about these units. I think about how significant $1,000 really is. That seems like a big number, but it’s like we’ve said before—if you think a million dollars is a lot of money, you might make $100,000. If you think $100,000 is a lot of money, you might make $10,000. It makes me want to shift my thinking. This applies to other areas of my life, too. I don’t have a Virtual Assistant or anything like that right now. I don’t have a lawn guy or someone who comes and cleans my house for me, and these are things that I could pay to have somebody do. It would save me time that’s worth more than I would be spending to have those things done for me. Because I can’t imagine that freedom and I can’t believe in the value of my time, I have a hard time making that shift.
  • 25:21 Sean: Ben brought up something really good that illustrates the difference of perspective here. Typically, the people who are in debt or have a mortgage currently are more fixated on the difference in monthly payment on a mortgage vs. renting than they are on the long game. They’re living month to month. Most people work a job where they get a salary, and whatever that salary is is consumed with liabilities.

Most people acquire liabilities up to their salary, and they lock themselves into these things they have to pay.

  • 26:09 Things like credit card debt, a house payment, some kind of loan, or whatever. You lock yourself into having to make these payments, which forces you into Scarcity Mindset. The only scope you can think in is month to month. You don’t think about the fact that, when you take out a mortgage, you pay two to three times the value of the house over the life of that mortgage because of interest. You don’t think about that. You don’t think about the big picture and how much money you’re spending. If you were able to shift to renting, you have the freedom to leave at any time. You can’t do that if you have a house. You’re not guaranteed that it will sell, that you’ll make a profit, or that there won’t be a housing crash.
  • 27:13 People think that going into debt for a house is an investment. It’s not an investment. It’s a liability. A house you’re making payments on is a massive liability. In investment terms, if you talk to any investor or someone who manages portfolios, you want to have diversified investments. Yet, people put more than their full net worth into a house over the next 30 years. There’s zero diversification. They’re not liquid at all. Going into debt for a house is acquiring a liability. The house is not an asset until you own it outright. That means that you don’t have freedom.
  • 28:09 You could rent for 15 years and save up money to buy a house, at which point, you would own the house. The remaining 15 years that you would have been locked into these mortgage payments, you can continue to build your empire. You can continue to build your net worth. You could save up money and buy more houses. You’re in so much of a better place. It takes shifting your focus and your scope from only seeing month to month, comparing payments. One is freedom, where you are in the black. The other saves you $400 on this monthly payment, but you’re hundreds of thousands of dollars in the red. So many people have $99,000 in debt and $1,000 in the bank, and they think that they have $1,000. You don’t have $1,000. You have negative $98,000.

Renting Offers Freedom

  • 29:20 Ben: I think it’s a little bit too simplistic to make the argument about how it works out, even in the long term, financially. There are a lot of different models, but even with the 30 year mortgage, there’s a fixed amount over the course of the mortgage if you make the regular monthly payment that you’ll pay in interest. That may or may not end up being more or less than what you would spend on rent in that same amount of time. But, in that same amount of time, if you pay for the house and you sell it, you get that portion, the value of the house, back. That’s if you’re arguing about money.
  • 30:14 People can make arguments that it makes more sense long term to go with the money, but that’s why I like the focus to be less on the money, even what you’re saving from month to month. Again, I don’t know from experience, but I’m willing to out on a limb and say that the freedom you have when you rent, the freedom from worry about things breaking or going wrong, is enough to offset what relatively small amount of extra money you’re paying to live in that place. That’s where I think the focus should be. If you’re thinking in those terms, that $1,000 you could be saving by mortgaging something is a relatively small amount.
  • 31:11 That freedom and that way of thinking helps you to be more creative, allows you to see other options, and allows you to see something that could potentially be ten times more profitable, ten times better of an investment. I say all that to say that I don’t like the focus of the conversation being on dollars and cents and how it pans out over the short term or the long term. I like the focus being on what is going to drive your creativity and give you the most freedom. What’s going to allow you to create the most value in the world?
  • 31:50 Sean: I’m glad you said that, Ben. Let’s move on from the housing part of the discussion with that focus he’s describing, because that’s the stronger point. There are two points here and two solid cases for it, but people are in different places. Different people in different places will see one benefit over the other. It makes more logical monetary sense not to go into debt. That’s very complicated, though. Actually explaining that, showing it, and articulating it is beyond the scope of this episode. Once you’re there, you realize that you’re way more profitable and you have greater wealth.

Debt free living is a better long-term decision, but it requires making difficult decisions.

  • 32:44 It’s more complicated. There are two points, but Ben’s point is the better one to focus on for the scope of this episode, and I agree with him. I would like to talk about practical stuff.

Frugality

  • 33:05 Cory: Cory and I were talking about budget stuff recently, cutting out expenses and things. Do you want to share anything about that talk that we had, Cory? Did you get anything out of it, or was there anything I said that would be good to bring into this particular episode?
  • 33:28 Cory: We really broke down all of my financial situation. We looked at things and I said, “Do I really need this? Do I need that?” I don’t remember any specific thing that Sean said, because it was all to my own situation. Just look at your monthly statement and realize what you don’t need, different monthly payments that are sucking from you.
  • 34:03 Sean: In Cory’s case, he wasn’t really aware of where his money was going. Breaking that down gave him some clarity, so he could see that he was eating out a lot, had movie theater tickets, Apple Music, Netflix, phone, internet, etc. We realized that if he’s only watching Netflix at home and he’s not home that much, and the only thing he uses the internet for is Netflix while he’s home because he also has internet on his phone, we could take out the internet connection and Netflix. If he wanted to reward himself with a movie or two that month, he could buy those movies for less than his subscription and he would have more time to invest in things that would bring him a greater return.
  • 35:01 I tend not to focus on saving money. I focus on making money, but I think it’s still a balance. Limit your lifestyle. Steve in the chat was saying, “Is frugality a prerequisite for a debt-free lifestyle?” What do you think about that, Ben?
  • 35:25 Ben: I think the better word is “flexibility.” It’s okay to want things. Frugality is not a value, it’s an exercise. If you’re frugal right now, it doesn’t mean that you’re a frugal person and that you don’t like to spend good money on quality things for yourself. It means that right now you recognize that you’re not in a place to do that.

Frugality is a strategic approach to being patient and waiting until you get to a place where you can spend extravagantly.

When to Delegate

  • 36:10 Sean: I was watching Gary’s Daily Vee, and he said, “I’ve never done laundry a single time in my life. I know I’m going to get a lot of hate for this, but I only focus on the things that I’m good at, where I can have the greatest impact. Everything else I delegate to someone else. Everything else, I’m outsourcing.” That’s what I try and do—understand the value of my time and the value I can create with that time. Anything else that I’m doing, that would create less value, I outsource to someone. If I wasn’t married, I would have someone get groceries, plan meals, deliver meals, and take care of all of the things that I’m not super good at so I can be in the places where I can create maximum value.
  • 37:15 That’s not to say that my wife has to do those things. I always tell her, “At any point, we can outsource any of this stuff. If you don’t want to do it, we can outsource it.” I always want us to be applying ourselves to where we can create the most value. Before you understand and quantify the value or revenue you can generate with your time, that’s a very difficult thing to do.
  • 38:13 I think people that are growing a business, especially, see their first hire as the most difficult. You’re trying to justify hiring someone, and you’re thinking, “I need enough work for them. I need to have enough things for them to do. I need enough work for them to do so I can make enough money to pay them.” This is where I was and what happened with my first business. This was why I stagnated so hard. It was a chicken and the egg problem. I thought, “If I hire the guy, I’m not going to have enough work. If I get the work, we’re going to be so overloaded and not have anyone to do it that’s trained and qualified.” I was so scared that I allowed the business to stagnate.
  • 39:09 I ended up having to sell it. I think people see their personal lives personally. They’re thinking, “I can’t afford to delegate until I can be sure that having someone else do this thing generates enough revenue to justify hiring them in the first place.” It needs to start with taking a step back and saying, “What can I do with my time and what are the real results of that?” Then, you work really hard at that, as much as you can. Cut out all of the things. Cut things out to give yourself time. Are you spending time watching Netflix? Are you spending time going out with friends? Are you spending time going out to eat, playing games, reading books, or whatever your escape is? Audit yourself.

Cut out all of your wasted time and money.

Give that time back to yourself to hyper-focus on the most profitable thing you can do, save up that money, and then hire.

  • 40:21 You have to hire someone without any idea as to whether they will be immediately profitable or not. Give yourself a runway for hiring that person. Maybe it’s three months, maybe it’s six months, or maybe you’re really timid and you need 12 months. Build up a runway for yourself first, and then hire where you need to free yourself up. Anywhere you’re doing things that you shouldn’t be doing, that you enjoy doing but you shouldn’t be doing, that you’re not good at, that is not the place where you create the maximum amount of value, that is where you delegate. That’s where you hire. That’s how my most recent hire of Kyle Adams to do Featured Images has made sense.
  • 41:02 Paying thousands of dollars a month to get pretty images, if you think of it that way, doesn’t make sense. You’re thinking of it as an expense, as something you cannot afford, but you have to focus on what you need to be doing. What I need to be doing, as much as I like designing and I am an artist, is not designing featured images. For various longer reasons than we can go into in this episode, I believe in Featured Images and I believe in differentiating our show and the other shows on the network from other shows. I believe in the concept enough to say, “This is required, but it’s not something I should be doing.”
  • 41:45 It’s a shift between, “I can’t afford to do that,” and taking a step back and saying, “What am I most effective at? Where do I create the most value?” Audit your time. Audit your money going out. Ruthlessly audit. Take that freed-up time from your auditing session, allocate it towards doing something that will create great results, saving the money, building a runway, and then delegating like a madman.

The Value of Your Time

  • 42:17 Ben: There’s this thing that Rachel and I, as we’ve gone over budget stuff, have said, and I think I got it from one of Robert Kiyosaki’s books, and it’s the difference between saying, “We can’t afford that,” and asking the question, “How can we afford that?” “I can’t afford that,” is a problem. If it’s something like me hiring a lawn guy, I would look at our current budget and and I’d say, “I can’t really afford that.” I know how much my time is worth, but I don’t have the work to back that up. I can’t say that I can depend on that so I can go ahead and make that leap.
  • 43:08 I get myself into a much more creative space when I ask, “How can I afford that?” Then you start thinking critically about what you could cut out to make some time. Maybe, when I have a client, and I’m working with them on a project, my time is worth $150 an hour. That’s the minimum at which I’m compensated, but the time it will take for me to get that client makes my time worth a little bit less. Maybe it’s worth $50 an hour. For every hour of client time, I’ve got to make three hour’s worth of money.
  • 43:50 Sean: Ben, what you’re saying is accurate, but I want to make it more practical for people. You want to think in terms of value of your time, but you have to be completely real about the actual value of your time, not the theoretical value.

The only way to know the actual value of your time is to use your time to make money.

  • 44:14 That’s why that first step is auditing. What are you doing? This is about saving, building, and buying the life you want in cash. It’s not easy. None of this is easy. You’re going to have to work out of your situation. You’re going to have to get traction to get out of it. The first step is auditing—what am I doing that is a waste of time? What am I doing that is a waste of money so I can buy time? Either one. Say you’re wasting $100 a month, and maybe it’s one thing, two things, or five things, but you’ve audited yourself and you’ve said, “All of these things are wastes. I’m eating out too much. I could buy $20 worth of groceries instead of $150 worth of eating out.”
  • 44:58 You consolidate and you save $100 a month. Turn that $100 into time. What are you doing that you shouldn’t be doing? Delegate that thing. Now you have time. Now, take that time, and if you don’t have money in the first place, find the things that are taking time. Either go from money to time, or start with time. Maybe your time is going to Netflix. Cut out Netflix, and you save money and time. Take the time and actually do something with that time that makes money, not in theory, in your head, or with the hopeful-value button. With this time I spend playing video games, I’m actually going to go sell stuff on Craigslist. I’m actually going to go mow lawns, go on a sales call, or whatever it is. Do that thing and repeat that.
  • 45:49 Ben: It’s approaching it from the opposite direction. Really, that makes sense, because you can’t deal in theoretical numbers. You can’t say, “Well, my time is usually worth this much, so if I don’t spend that time mowing the lawn, I should be able to produce this much money with that time.” Go at it from looking at what you’re currently spending money and time on and what you can cut out. Then, you’re dealing with real assets. The time you have and the money you spend on other things is an asset. If I can cut out $10 a month of Netflix and $20 a month of some other subscription, that’s $30 a month that I’ve opened up.
  • 46:39 Sean: And, probably, 12 hours of time, if you’re actually using what you pay for. If you’re not, it’s super easy. Save the money. This is not theoretical. If I say, “Cory, you don’t have to work for the next hour. I’m going to absolve you of your responsibilities,” the amount of money you can make in 60 minutes is the value of your time. It gets a little more complicated when you’re investing in long-term things, but I want to illustrate the point that it’s about actual value. I can say that my time is worth $1,000 an hour because I have people who will pay me right now to get on a call with them for that amount.
  • 47:28 I have systems that I can go in and audit and build out in auto-responders. I just did this in December. I spent 90 minutes on setting up an auto-responder, which has increased our monthly recurring revenue by $7,000. That is actualized value. That’s what I mean. If I say, “After you listen to this podcast, take the next 60 minutes and go make money,” the amount of money you make is the value of your time. The point isn’t, “What is the value of your time?” Take your time, make money, save it so you have a runway, and then:

Invest money in the things you shouldn’t be doing to free up your time so that you have maximum impact.

  • 48:15 Repeat that over and over, and you’ll get to a point where you’re doing the thing where you have maximum impact, where you generate the greatest revenue, with either a team, contractors, or people you delegate to around you, supporting you. Continue on that path, and you will be able to save, build, and buy the life you want in cash. I hope that was practical for people.
  • 48:53 Ben: It’s not easy. There are a lot of people who, if you go this direction, will think you’re weird, crazy, or maybe they’ll be concerned for you. It’s simpler than we like it to be. It’s hard, it’s not easy, but it’s simpler. We complicate the issue. Debt complicates the issue. If you make it really simple, that may not be easy, but there’s a lot more freedom in that.
  • 50:00 Sean: Cory, any thoughts at this point? I’ll bring you back in. Any new insights? Anything that was reinforced for you, anything that stands out?
  • 50:10 Cory: The thing that stands out to me the most is thinking about the value of my time and how much I can actually make. It’s not just a theoretical number. How much money could you make in an hour? If you had a whole day, you say, “I could make so much money if I had more time,” but that makes you think. I wonder what I could actually accomplish with added up little bits of time. I don’t usually notice the little bits of time, but you could add them up and build on long term things that will create money.
  • 51:14 Ben: I wonder how many people will try to set aside an hour of their time to see how much money they could actually make with that hour, just as a test. I also wonder if the parameters for that include getting to the end of that hour and seeing what you’ve actually made or including whatever is going to come in from the time you spent.
  • 51:44 Sean: Consulting or client work has immediate pay back. You get paid right away. Whereas, if you’re investing in your products, your business, or future things, it’s going to come back later. Either one works. The more obvious one is where you get paid immediately. You mow a lawn, you get a $20 bill.

Think Creatively

  • 54:45 Ben: If you’ve never asked yourself the question, “Is there another way to get into a home besides getting into debt? Is there another way to get the vehicle I want besides going into debt?” That’s the purpose of this episode—it’s to empower you to be the one who gets to make that decision, instead of, by default, allowing society to make that decision for you.
  • 55:17 Sean: I think our listeners are the type of people that understand where we’re coming from and that we have their best interest in mind. I’m not trying to be controversial for the sake of being controversial. If you still have debt and you want to use debt as a tool, I’m not saying that you can’t be a listener. That’s fine. You and I can have differing opinions. Maybe I give you an idea. Maybe this show creates a space for you to think about your situation, because you’re just going on auto pilot.
  • 55:51 The payments that go out every month, they just go out, and you take it as a given. You don’t even think about it. Hopefully, this gives you a moment to stop and think about it. Maybe, the next decision you make is a more creative one. Maybe the next one you make takes into account a factor that you haven’t thought of in years or ever before. That’s my hope for the show.