That Thing Called Leverage

Do more with less. Earn more with less. Enjoy life more with less.

These things basically summarize how I personally define the word “leverage”. Further, T. Harv Eker says that “If you are not using leverage, you are working too hard and earning too little”.

How do we able to do more with less? Well, maybe most of us have experienced in one way or another how the turn of technology advancements have helped us accomplished our household chores, office works, business transactions and even down to personal errands. That automatic washing machine that you have in your house, it leverages the one doing the laundry. From a total washing time taking almost half of the day, it is now reduced to one hour or so, giving way to other things on one’s household checklist to be done in one full day. The copy (CTRL + C) and paste (CTRL + V) commands make writing and documenting way easier than typing and doing erasures in a typewriter. These two keyboard shortcut keys leverage professionals and much more the students in their English and Literature subjects. Can’t find time to pay your utility bills because of the fact that waiting in lines for undetermined hours is a total waste of time? Phone banking apps help you leverage your time and energy in doing so. Don’t have the luxury of time to visit your childhood best friend from your hometown because the 12-hour travel on a weekend is just plain impractical and energy depleting? Facetime, Skype or Facebook Video Call will help you leverage even your friendship and other life’s most important relationships. These are some of the things on how we are able to do more while consuming less time and spending less energy. We leverage our time and energy.

 

How do we able to earn more with less? SM, the Philippines’ leading supermarket chain patronized by almost million Filipinos and founded by the now famous Chinese businessman Henry Sy, is a perfect example of how leverage works to earn more with less. Say for instance that SM has 40, 000 employees (we know it could be more), all working for 8 hours in a day. That gives Henry Sy 320, 000 man-hours in a day. In simple sense, he is like multiplying his skills through the time rendered by his employees. A man-hour has an equivalent peso value in the case of SM as a profit-oriented company. Say that the minimum NET peso value of an hour work is P10, multiply that to the 320, 000 man-hours. That produces 3.2 million pesos profit to Henry Sy and that happens only in a matter of one working day. Again, that is 3.2 million pesos NET in one day. Of course that is Henry Sy who started his business long before EDSA babies like me were born.

 

Now, how can we multiply ourselves to produce 320, 000 man-hours or even more in a span of day? Way too close to impossible. Because if we are to calculate our individual working hours and value in peso (this value is totally mutually exclusive to our self-value from our Creator), that is 8hrs/day multiply by 5days multiply by 4weeks multiply by 12months giving us 1, 920 man-hours in a year that we are working. And if we continue to work until our retirement, we multiply that one year man-hours to 60years, giving us a total of 115, 200 man-hours. Say that our minimum NET peso value for an hour worth of work is P100. In 60 years that we will be working as a full-time employee, we can have a minimum NET peso value of 11.5 million pesos. And again, that is if we continue to work until retirement at 60! Our NET peso value at 60 will just take a matter of 4 working days for Henry Sy (i.e. 11.5M / 3.2M = 3.60 days). No wonder SM branches are sprouting through the country like coconut trees. They keep planting and planting for years and through leverage from the employees they hire to grow their businesses, they reap a bountiful harvest.

 

So how does a regular working full-time employee get to earn more with less of his time and energy when he is not like Henry Sy, yet? The key is to leverage our skills, time and energy while our youthful years are on our side. And to do that, one must keep on developing his skills by learning new things and mastering those he’s already good at. Stock investing, for example, is one new skill I learned late in 2015 that made me earn more than just placing my extra pesos in the bank as deposits. Signing up with an already established distribution business in 2012 and working it out for quite some years have helped me leverage my income. These two are few of the many leverage possibilities on how a regular working full-time Filipino employee like you and me can get to earn more. (More details on these two leverage options in my succeeding articles).

 

And lastly, how do we able to enjoy life more with less? My answer is on the first two points of this writing. By doing more with less and earning more with less, we get to enjoy life more. But of course, almost everything is easier said than done, especially if we’re living in a third world developing country like ours. And I believe there’s truth in our tourism’s tagline “It’s more fun in the Philippines”, if we just learn to leverage and make the most out of our lives.

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