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Professor Pott: ‘Time is the Most Valuable Asset’

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Since the dawn of human civilization, ‘time’ has been the most valuable resource. Time is limited and can’t be stored or transferred. Naturally, investing the available time into yourself and your development is the best thing you can do.

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Oliver Pott is a professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Paderborn. Recently, he published a book entitled “Get out of your hourly wages.” The book talks about the downfall of traditional established work models and how we can all better invest our time and become successful and financially independent. I reached out to Prof. Pott to grab his take on what we need to improve and how things have changed today. Here's what he had to say.

“Invest your time wisely. Don’t quit your job. Instead, use your free time to build a side business. All you have to do is invest one hour a day. Investing one hour a day into your financial freedom has a way better payoff than investing an hour of your limited time into watching a movie or TV series.”

More Opportunities Than Ever Before

The value of time is especially apparent today. We are living in a very fast-paced world, a world that doesn’t exist locally anymore. In January 2021, more than 4.6 billion active internet users worldwide, equating to over 59 percent of the global population.

Societies and businesses mainly existed and evolved locally before, which has massively shifted recently. Nowadays, trends are global, and so is business. Of course, this interconnectedness has also facilitated many technological advancements in recent decades.

More competition in the past means more opportunities and possibilities than ever before. For example, in 2017, nearly 40 percent of French entrepreneurs started their businesses because they could not find an appropriate job. Now, at first, this might paint a bleak picture of the French economy.

However, 40 percent of French entrepreneurs wouldn’t have started their own business. Otherwise, this is a positive result. There are many opportunities to take advantage of and many possible ways to become successful on your own, and you have to be motivated to pursue one of them.

According to Prof. Pott, “You need to think about what legacy you want to leave behind, what you want to accomplish.” After you come up with an answer to that, you need to “invest your valuable time in your self-employed job and work on your own business.”

Another aspect to keep in mind is the feeling of fulfillment that comes with working for your own goals. In the words of Prof. Pott, “Earning the first money with your own business is an incredible feeling and will make you feel way more accomplished than earning a wage as an employee.”

The Number Of Startups Is Increasing

Many people have already realized that their best shot is to work for themselves in the recent past. One metric that shows this is the startup rate, and the startup rate represents the percentage of the 18 to the 64-year old population currently actively involved in setting up a business.

In 2020, the startup rate in the United States was 10.7 percent, and in the United Kingdom, the startup rate was around 5.2 percent. Further, as of February 2021, there were more than 25,000 fintech startups alone globally.

These numbers clearly show that people want to work for their benefit, on their terms. And, according to Prof.Pott, this trend shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, “If you aren’t working for your own goals, you are automatically working for the goals of someone else.”

Prof. Pott also has a word of advice for entrepreneurs. “If you are self-employed, you shouldn’t get paid hourly, and you should be doing value-based work instead of time-based work. Self-employed workers that do time-based work are choosing the worst of both worlds.”

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