Thinking Differently In The Information Age: Time Is Not Money

By Michael Thompson

Mindset is everything when it comes to being a successful entrepreneur. It starts with understanding that we do not live in the same world in which our parents grew up; therefore, we need to change the way we approach work and money.

How we understand money makes a huge difference in terms of how money affects our lives. If we try to emulate the success of our parents by doing what they did, we are less likely to succeed because the world of money has changed.

It is very important for Millennials to understand that we no longer live in the Industrial Age of our parents' time; we have transitioned into the Information Age. To be successful, we must employ an Information Age mindset.

In today’s world, information about money is more important than actually having money. In the Industrial Age, savers prospered. Today, savers get separated from their worth through taxes, debt and inflation, which is why having knowledge on how to handle money is more important than actually having it.

This is why entrepreneurship makes so much sense; those who find success in the Information Age will be those who use information to control the flow of money, not those who trade their time for it.

Members of Gen-Y who are willing to take the plunge into enlightened entrepreneurship are going to reap the rewards, and those who refuse to change the way they think about money are going to perpetually struggle.

We only get one chance to live, and we owe it to ourselves to try to figure out how to manipulate that chance for the best outcome: a great life. We should not spend our lives doing what we have to do; we should spend it doing what we want to do because our reality is up to us to create.

Those people who spend their whole lives working jobs do so in the simple pursuit of money. They believe that the harder and longer they work, the more money they will make.

While this might be true, it is not a recipe for true fulfillment. We need to keep time and money separate; in the Information Age they do not need to be linked in the way that most people think they do. We do not need to trade time for money, that is outdated, Industrial Age thinking.

We need to decide for ourselves what is more important: time or money? Most people will say that time is money, but those are the people who sell their time, and those are the people who do not have the freedom in this economy to chart their own path because they are so busy trying to earn more and more.

The key to having a great life is to be able to live for each day, and as members of Gen-Y, we have the ability to make this happen since the Information Age provides tremendous opportunity for all of us to experience this fulfillment. We just need to be willing to see it, and take the necessary action.

The successful entrepreneurs of Gen-Y realize that it is not money we need to be after; it is the knowledge of what to do with that money we should seek.

Those who will get left behind in the Information Age are those who believe that working for someone else is the smart path; whereas, the enlightened will know that having others work for you is actually smarter.

Successful entrepreneurs know that it is not what they do with our money that matters; what matters is what they do with our time. This is why we cannot think of financial matters in linear time frames.

For example, to assume that you will work for 30 years, and then retire comfortably is an approach to life that is linear, and rests on a connection between time and money that we are trying to avoid.

We do not want to put off "living" until we retire; the new economy offers young entrepreneurs so many opportunities to not have to do that, but we just need to see them and act on them.

Of course, we all want money; I would rather have $100 in my pocket than $5, but the straight pursuit of more money does not bring us fulfillment; it just controls us in ways that prevent us from becoming fulfilled.

Often, people work harder and longer to earn more and more dollars so they can live in nicer homes, drive nicer cars and go on nicer vacations. The bottom line, though, is that they are spending their lives working for things that actually do not have much meaning.

The person who is fulfilled is the young entrepreneur who used his or her knowledge to start an Internet company. He or she nurtured it for a while, and now it makes him or her enough cash flow off of which to live.

This entrepreneur spends a few hours a week overseeing the business, and the rest of the time doing what really fulfills him or her. This person might not have a huge bank account, but lives the life a lawyer or banker with a million dollars can only dream of.

This young entrepreneur seized the opportunity that exists for an enlightened person in the Information Age. It is having control of one’s time, not money, that creates happiness, and that is why entrepreneurship is such an appealing option for Gen-Y.

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