Many small business owners start their own companies because they want freedom. They want freedom from a boss or corporation, freedom from salary limitations and freedom to realize their personal potential. And many of them (you?) succeed at all of these. But many business owners didn’t articulate or question the goal clearly enough up front. For many people, their small business profits buy security, travel, the perfect house or car, college educations, clothes, retirement. But a significant number are disillusioned when they find that they exchanged money for time. And one is much easier to get back.

In the classic Your Money or Your Life, this question is thoroughly explored. The author develops a plan to buy you more time through extreme simplicity and savings until your interest income out grows your expenses. Though it may be too frugal for some, I encourage everyone to read it (and make sure your kids read it!). It is important is that you at least ask yourself the basic questions in the book and arm yourself with answers that are fully explored.

One of the best tools in the book is how to calculate your real wage (you can do this as a small business owner). This is particularly important when looking at the second income earner and childcare expenses to decide if it is worth it on strictly a financial level.

Another key feature of the book is the powerful realization that every single purchase you make is burning up some of your life: your are literally trading your life (time) for money and things. Really considering this helps you make conscious decisions that lead to a more purposeful life.

Spend some time on the Your Money or Your Life website and start with the summary here. Ask yourself some of the life-altering questions in the book including

What kind of freedom do you REALLY want?

Would you rather have more time or more money (and what steps can take you closer to your right answer)?


by Steven Schlagel