Time or Money?

Thank you to all who read my first piece. I hope you enjoyed it.

As I implied in my last piece, my knowledge of starting a business has only been gained by starting a business.

A lot of what I say may be contrary to some business experts but I have found that there is no one-for-all method to starting a business.

Theories might be similar but, when put into practice, certain elements may differ. What works for one may not work for another. What works for me may not work for you. The key is to stay trying until you find what works for you.

I will include in these articles books I have read that have helped me – which I would recommend everybody read.

I feel reading and continuous learning is the key – not only to success but to a happy life.

The first book I read that changed my life is The 4 hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss.

The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

The 4 Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss

If you haven’t read it – read it. If you have – read it again. I have read this book 5+ times and I also have it on my iPod which I listen to regularly.

I have started or tried to start multiple businesses over the years. A beer pong company, an events management company, a drinks company, a salt selling company and an online trading company to name a few.  All resulting in failure – and I know why.

My main reason for starting each was to make money first and foremost. I didn’t particularly like any of those but the thoughts of making lots of money was an incentive to pursue success.

In June 2012 that changed. I was living in New Zealand and went to watch Ireland almost beat New Zealand in Christchurch. We were so close that day. In the airport in Christchurch waiting for my flight back to Wellington, I was in the bookstore looking for something to read. I came across The 4 hour Work Week. I looked through a few other titles before I decided on that book. I would never have believed a book could change your life but that’s what it did. It changed my life! Even the name appealed me The 4 hour Work Week. I thought, that would be nice. Before, I would have been more attracted to a title How to make €1 million, but after years of working 40/50/60 hour weeks 4 hours sounded really nice.

I did more traveling after I read the book, still thinking my old thought pattern that money = happiness. I even went to the Philippines to study financial trading to try and makes lots of money. That’s where it all changed for me.

I believed that when you had all the cars, houses, boats, planes, relationships and money – then you would be happy.

I worked in Australia after New Zealand – building houses for the miners. I was making lots of money (more than I ever made before or since) but I was working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. I had lots of money but no time to spend it. I had nice things but I still wasn’t happy. That’s when I decided to go to the Philippines for 6 months to study financial trading (I was still thinking about making lots of money). I had bought and sold stocks and shares in the past and had some success.

I downloaded online courses and 100s of books and committed to studying 10 hours a day every day for 6 months. I choose the Philippines because it was cheap and sunny (way too sunny in the summer – 40º+ and 90% humidity. I nearly melted!)

After 3 months studying – looking at numbers and a computer screen every day – I realised I didn’t like numbers/looking at a computer every day or financial trading for that matter! But I’m stubborn, so I continued – not knowing what else to do.

Fast car

One night, questioning in my mind why I needed all this money, I had a revelation.  I thought – OK, if I have all the money to buy all the cars, houses I want – then what? Well then I won’t have to spend my time working to earn money to buy them. Then what? Well then I will have all the time to do whatever I want. Then I thought, If I didn’t have to work what would I do with my time? I had no idea! I had spent all my life looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but had no idea what to do when I found it.

So I thought, OK – all money does is give us the time to do what we want to do. Then I thought, instead of focusing my time on money, focus my time on doing what I like/love to do. Then I thought – if I do what I like to do really really well, surely somebody would pay me for it.

At that point I still had no idea what that was and it would take another 8 months and another trip to the Philippines to find out/realise that music and making musical instruments was what I love to do.

That was 4 years ago. Since then I have read a lot of different books on how to be successful. One key point connects all the most successful people in the world.

They all do what they love and they love what they do!

Money was never an initial factor. Sure, they want to take care of their family, as we all do, but if you’re making lots of money working 6-7 days a week and are unhappy doing it, your family may be rich but they may be unhappy.

Do what you love

Do what you love to do

When you start doing something that you are passionate about, you will not make much money from it at the start, because you are learning. But if you love it and would do it for free, that is what you should be spending your time doing.  If you stay doing it every day and get better at it, people will pay you for it – whatever it is. Believe me.

I never remember being asked in school or otherwise: What do you like/love to do? What makes you happy? What are you good/great at?

I have realised this is the key to success. If you do what you love to do and if it makes you happy, that is what you should focus your time on because that is what you will be great at!

Believe in yourself…

About the Author

Lorcan Mitchell
Lorcan Mitchell is a young entrepreneur from Aughrim in East Galway. After qualifying as a carpenter in 2011, he left Ireland to see the world, spending time in New Zealand, Australia and the Philippines, where he studied financial trading. He returned to the Philippines at the beginning of 2014 to aid in the relief effort following Typoon Yolanda. While there, he helped to build houses and also started a music school, where he first discovered his love of making musical instruments. Almost four years later, Lorcan now runs his own musical instrument company based at home in Aughrim. The company makes and distributes Lorcan’s own invention, a portable wooden drum, eponymously named ‘The Mitchell Drum’. Lorcan will be sharing his experience of starting a new company in Galway, in the hope that others might "avoid making some of the mistakes I made building a new business from the ground up."