Investments are all about risk, right? When investing money, you hear all about diversifying your portfolio, or carefully splitting up your investments between bets with higher and lower risk. A savings account, for instance, would be low risk, a certificate of deposit or mutual fund might be medium risk, the stock market might be higher risk, and dumping your savings into a roulette game would be very risky. As careful as you are to invest your money, you should also try to diversify the time that you’re spending!
Time, like money, is valuable because you only have so much of it. Certain uses of your time are low-risk; for example, a simple hourly job at a large company with no room for promotion. Do your job consistently well, and it probably isn’t going anywhere. Earning wages in general is a low to medium risk, and although job security isn’t as strong today as it once was, chances are that when you have a job and do it well, you can continue to earn those wages.
Medium risk uses of your time might be to start a home business that you work on nights and weekends. It might be taking weekend freelance gigs, consulting work, or agreeing to perform work for a deferred payment. It could be putting in extra hours at the office in hopes of a promotion. These types of things aren’t guaranteed, but they can generate some good return for you.
For the serious risk-takers, you could start a full-fledged business, travel the world looking to make valuable connections, or join a weekend networking group. The more risk you take by spending time without earning wages, the larger the possible payoff.
Your time is valuable! To put it to the best use, divide it among a few different types of activities. Use wages to cover your living expenses, use side jobs to supplement your savings, and use higher risk investments to grow.