We are a podcast about money, but even we believe there is something more valuable than money, and that thing is knowledge. Knowledge is power: why knowledge is more valuable than money.
The most valuable thing in the world is knowledge. Everything else in our lives, money, health, things, love, they can all come and go. They can all be taken away from us. The one thing that no one can ever take from you once you have acquired it is knowledge.
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The $900,000 Smartphone
We talked about the impact of automation on transportation in our The Future of Work episode. Car ownership has slowly but steadily been declining in the US. Automation is going to accelerate that rapidly.
It’s estimated that soon using car services like Uber and Lyft will be five to ten times cheaper than owning a car. When you don’t own a car, you don’t have a car payment, and you don’t have to pay for things like car insurance, maintenance, gas, parking, and speeding tickets. Eventually, even the world’s poorest people will have robot chauffers.
Despite the advent of avocado toast and kombucha, the cost of food has fallen thirteen-fold over the past one hundred years, a trend that will continue. A big part of food cost is the cost to transport it. When transportation is made cheaper through automation, it will further drive down food costs.
You don’t have to spend four or more years and tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to receive an education. You can learn practically anything for free or for minimal cost.
Skillshare offers 19,000 online classes in subjects like business, photography, and branding. Treehouse will teach you to code. Khan Academy offers classes in math, economics, computer programming and animation and dozens of other subjects.
What does this mean? All of these things are part of what makes up the cost of living. When these things are so cheap they are virtually free, the cost to meet basic needs is negligible. So if you don’t need money, what do you need? Knowledge.
There Are Plenty of Jobs
Currently, there are nearly 6 million job openings in the US and 6.6 million unemployed people. The problem is most of these available jobs are beyond the qualifications of those currently unemployed – especially the high paying jobs.
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The 5-Hour Rule
Gaining knowledge is the best use of your time and its return will many-fold outpace any financial investments you can make. The busiest, most successful people in the world find at least an hour to learn every day. So can you!
I use this statistic a lot because I just find it astounding. Astounding and gross. Americans watch five hours of television a day. For what? What does that do for anyone? Are you learning anything, is that improving your life or your relationships? Is it making you richer, smarter, healthier, funnier?
No! Watching five hours of television a day does none of those things. It makes you dull, fat, lonely and stupid. Turn that fucking television OFF!
Watching too much TV can triple our hunger for more possessions while reducing our personal contentment by about 5% for every hour a day we watch.Tweet This
Boom! There is the empty space you need to feed your brain, your heart, and your wallet.
Andrew is a perfect example of what happens when you create empty space. He wasn’t watching five hours of television a day, but he was spending a lot of times playing video games. He lost a bet with Laura and had to give them up for one month.
He used that time, that empty space, to create Simple Wealth which is another of his successful experiments.
Make a Plan
Be deliberate about your learning, make a plan. If you wanted to build wealth you would have a plan for that right? You would break that goal down into manageable steps. Learning is the same. You should have goals for what you want to learn and break those goals down into smaller steps.
The core of the 5-hour rule is that you dedicate one hour a day during the work week (one hour per day five days a week) to reading knowledge focused material. All reading is not created equal. This hour should be dedicated to reading non-fiction on a subject that will improve the skills you use to make money or to teach you skills that will improve your life.
You need to spend time thinking about what you are learning. One of the best ways to do this is to walk. Even better if you can get someone to walk with you and discuss what you’re learning. There is something about movement that frees your mind.
Walking can help untangle problems and generate new ideas. Some therapists conduct their sessions while walking with clients for this very reason.
Learning doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor, just you sitting around with your nose in a book. Part of being successful is surrounding yourself with like-minded people so make sure you do that as part of your 5-hour rule strategy.
Find a Meetup for the subject you’re interested in, join a Mastermind group, take classes, attend lectures and related networking events.
Run small experiments based on what you have learned and are learning. LMM started out as an experiment, and it has become a successful one. But Andrew tried and failed at several other projects before hitting on a winner.
Those failures don’t matter. Even if something you try turns out to be a complete disaster, you undoubtedly will learn something in the process even if that something is what not to do.
Your Passion Finds You
I hate cliches like “do what you love” or “find your passion.” So much so that I wrote an article on the subject. Phrases like that set people up for failure because what you might feel passionate about is not necessarily what you’re good at no matter how much you love it.
Your passion, something you can be successful at might not be something you even really considered. That’s what happened to me.
I never had any ambition to be a writer, it never even occurred to me. I just sort of fell ass-backward into it. About five years ago I decided I needed to be better at managing my money. I like podcasts so went looking for one that would teach me how to do that.
I found LMM, and when Andrew invited listeners to email any questions they had, I did that. It started a conversation, he thought I had a good voice, a few days later we met in a bar in downtown Manhattan, and the rest is history. I make a full time living writing now.
Your passion is doing something that gives you some autonomy, that has a positive impact on other people, that you develop competence at, and gives you some fulfillment.
Those are really not big asks. There are a million things you could do that would tick all of those boxes. And that is what it means to have a passion. It’s not always something glamorous or exciting or super lucrative. Your passion could be accounting, teaching, cooking, or working with animals.
Listen, Money Matters. Money matters because it gives us choice, but it’s not the only thing worth having and it’s not the most valuable thing to have either. You can lose your money, all of it, and all of the stuff it bought you in an instant and through no fault of your own. But the knowledge you have earned is something that no one and nothing can ever take from you.
Learning should be similar to exercise, you should do some every day and for the same reason, it’s good for you, it improves your life. Create that space, those five hours a week to learn because knowledge is power.