Why You Should Never Work for Money, and What to Do Instead

How the Rich Think About Money

The rich have a secret that they are keeping from you. If you never learn this truth, you will stay in the perpetual cycle of the poor or middle-class.

If you are to ever break the cycle, and begin to grow your wealth, not only do you have to learn the secret — but you have to change your perspective and live it every day. Here it is:

Money isn’t real.

That’s right. What we call “money” has no intrinsic value beyond the cost of the ink and the paper it’s printed on.

We have become so divorced from reality in the last 50 years or so, we are fooled into working for pieces of paper!

Instead you need to think in terms of what is real, and what is not. You can’t eat cash. You can’t live in cash. You eat food. You live in a house. Cash is nothing but a medium of exchange.

In fact, the paper stuff we carry around, or the digital amounts in our bank accounts, is not even money at all. It is currency. And the values of all the currencies across the globe are eroding now faster than ever.

So what is money?

Real money has these qualities:

  • it must be a medium of exchange
  • a unit of account
  • divisible
  • portable
  • durable
  • fungible

Money must have all these attributes plus be a store of value over time. Clearly, our currencies are not a store of value, as what we can buy tomorrow with a dollar is less than what we could have bought yesterday.

Develop a Wealth Mindset

You should never work for money, only the assets you can trade in return for that cash.

To make a generalization to illustrate my point: Poor people spend their dollars on living expenses. The middle class spend their dollars on houses, cars and boats. The rich, on the other hand, use their dollars to buy assets that return them more dollars (then those dollars buy more assets and toys etc.).

So the middle class pour currency into liabilities; things that cost you money. The wealthy keep and build their wealth by putting it into cash-flow assets (like a business, or apartments) and other investments.

With a wealth mindset, you can begin to grow your wealth (no matter how much cash you have now), and make your “money” work for you. So, trade your cash for something real (an asset, NOT a liability) before its purchasing power is inflated away.

But I earn interest on my savings account, why shouldn’t I just leave it in the bank? High-net-worth individuals and companies don’t store their worth in cash. When you run the numbers with the real rate of inflation (not the figures your government releases) you’ll find that you are being robbed, quite literally, every day.

If you get confused, just ask yourself this question: “Am I buying an asset or a liability?” If it costs you money, it’s a liability! Yep, even your house is a liability.

The Solution

You can’t keep currency (it loses purchasing power daily), as it’s not a good store of value. It is only a medium of exchange. Burn this into your brain, as it’s a major difference.

Start to make the mind shift between working for money, and working to buy real assets (because money isn’t real). This shift in perspective will totally change your attitude towards work, goal setting, and how you plan for your financial future. And don’t worry if you don’t currently make a large amount of cash, it’s the mindset and understanding that is important. If you use your dollars in they way I have described here, you’ll be able to keep what you have, and expand it’s real purchasing power into the future.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • cameron birch Apr 13, 2016 @ 15:05

    It’s a great title, it got my attention and good wholesome content but at the end of the day most of us are struggling to pay rent, food, bill’s etc so yep whether we like our jobs or not we are working for money to pay those bills and until you can position yourself to earn a salary that can rise above these basic costs investments to create assets or liabilities are just an idea, and remember that’s most of us and that is why middle and upper class have the working class by the balls

  • Mindy May 24, 2013 @ 10:58

    I don’t understand what does not cost money, what are the assets, can you be more clear? A house costs money, but the value might go up, is that not an asset?

    • Jim May 24, 2013 @ 19:54

      Hi Mindy,

      Yes a house costs money, but if it’s the house you live in, then it’s not an asset in investment terms. The reason is because we all have to live somewhere. So if we sell that particular house, we have to buy another one to live in. And if inflation has boosted the price of the house, it’s boosted the prices of all the other houses that are available to purchase.

      And in all of this, the value of your house has not increased. It might take more “currency units” to buy, but the purchasing power of that dollar has gone down. It might feel good to sell a house for many tens of thousands more than you paid for it (here in Auckland, NZ you could sell for hundreds of thousands more), but the purchasing power of the money will be about the same as the lower number when you paid for it.

      Does that make it a bit clearer? You know, it’s designed to be confusing and opaque so the public continues to be fleeced.

      • Wojtek May 13, 2014 @ 9:26

        Hi Mindy,

        Your financial planner, real estate agent, and accountant all call your house an asset. But in reality, an asset is only something that puts money in your bank account. If you have a house that you rent out to tenants, then it’s an asset! (assuming there is something left from the collected rent after paying the mortgage and other fees associated with your repayments) If you have a house, paid for or not, that you live in, then it can’t be an asset. (Instead of putting money in your bank account, it takes money out of your bank account). This is doubly true if you don’t own your home yet. Then it’s the bank’s asset, and it is working for them, but it’s not earning you anything. The simple definition of an asset is something that puts money in your bank account. This is accomplished through four different categories, one of which is real estate. When I say real estate, I don’t mean your personal residence, which is a liability. What I mean is investment real estate, which is a great investment because it puts money in your pocket each month in the form of rent. There are three other primary assets: business, paper, and commodities. If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner, your business is an asset. Paper assets are stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and so on. Finally, commodities include gold, and other resources like oil and gas, and so on.

        Only recently a lot of people in Ireland and all around the world got a fast, ugly financial education when the real estate market turned around. They realized very quickly that their homes were not assets!

  • Garza Brothers May 23, 2013 @ 15:29

    So true, money isn’t real. And mindset is key! Great content, thanks for sharing!

    • Jim May 24, 2013 @ 19:44

      You’re very welcome.

  • Michael Russell Mar 8, 2013 @ 1:06

    I think you copied that first part right out of the Zeitgeist Movement Videos. But your point is clear. The issue is not what to invest yourself, your money, or your time into, the issue is that people can not even support their basic needs, much less self actualize their potential, and invest into “assets” that produce ‘return on investment’. Those who control our resources and markets have taken steps to cheat the game, to make the laws unfair, and rob us all of our potentials. The injustice is so complet that billions live on trash, and we destroy our planet in a needless struggle for survival. The time is coming when we will pull down the towers of Babble once again, and return the balance, or all will end in doom.


    • Jim Mar 8, 2013 @ 22:04

      Michael, thanks for your comment.

      I haven’t seen Zeitgeist yet, but it seems like I probably don’t need to.

      I can see what you mean about how the game is rigged, but I take a proactive approach. I can help more people that way.

      But the part about the ‘towers of Babble,’ (sic) I think you’ve been playing too much Black Ops 2.

  • ruchi Jul 7, 2012 @ 8:41

    Hi Jim,

    Just started following you on twitter (tarotwithruchi)
    Read your recent interview with Mark Harrison — brilliant, not because of what he said. I was amazed at the quality of questions, which of course showed your understanding of life!

    Would love to catch up with you..if you happen to be in New Delhi soon. Where are you based.

    God Bless!

    • Jim Jul 9, 2012 @ 16:00

      Hi Ruchi,

      Thank you, I appreciate your feedback. I live in New Zealand, but hope to one day visit India. 🙂

  • Prasanna Mar 1, 2012 @ 16:35

    Very thought provoking, thanks!

    I am in my middle age and still worry about my and my families financial future. I have heard wise folks say – Don’t work for money but make money work for you. You nailed it in your post.

    • Jim Mar 1, 2012 @ 22:47

      Thanks Prasanna, I appreciate your kind words 🙂

  • Rob Feb 7, 2012 @ 5:36

    Surely doesn’t this mean buying shares is better than cash or can you elaborate more on which assets are good assets

    • Jim Feb 7, 2012 @ 14:06

      Hi Rob, no I wouldn’t recommend anyone buy shares in the stock market at this point (unless they really know what they are doing!!). The stock market is measured in “points,” which is really US$, and even though collectively the markets have been going up in points, they have been going DOWN, when measured against real things (such as commodities or gold, for example).

      I would highly recommend watching this film on what has been happening economically, and possible solutions for us as individuals. It’s free and very enlightening:

      Debt Collapse – Mike Maloney

      Let me know what you think.

      • rob Feb 8, 2012 @ 4:49

        Having watched it I guess Mike Maloney is a history loving salesman that wants us to buy gold when the price is falling and sell it when the price goes up again. Who’s to say that the economists will dismiss the real value of commodities and develop a new monetary value system that far out ways any intrinsic value of say Gold? Dont you think that the goverments of the world would buy up all the gold and silver from the masses before they allow it to reach the $2o million an oz mark?

      • rob Feb 8, 2012 @ 5:00

        Having looked into this further, gold has shot up over the past 30 years and we are now starting to see it fall in price since Aug 2011. The trend he states is that it will continue to fall until it bottoms out, why should I buy Gold. He bought at rock bottom price and probably sold it all last year. That’s when he wrote a book because he ran out of money

        • Jim Feb 8, 2012 @ 8:28

          Hi Rob, the point is not to blindly buy a particular asset someone tries to sell you, but rather to look at the underlying fundamentals of an asset class. you could, for example buy oil if you were uncomfortable with gold, but oil doesn’t have all the criteria for money outlined in the article.

          Best thing to do is research! Don’t let the central banks of the world continue to debase the purchasing power of your hard work.

          Also, keep in mind that I am not qualified to give any kind of financial advice, or am in no way a financial planner (I don’t even play one on TV).

  • Shilpan Feb 5, 2012 @ 13:47


    This is one of the best articles I’ve read recently on personal finance. It’s because you’ve articulated the point very well. Year ago, my father told me that whenever you spend money, ask yourself, “Is this action going to work for you or against you?”. He clearly meant to invest money rather than to spend. And it has worked very well for me in the States.

    Thanks for writing and sharing this article.


    • Jim Feb 5, 2012 @ 19:57

      Much appreciated Shilpan. Wise advice from your father.

      I’ve only recently been able to make this mind-shift and am already reaping the benefits. The more of us who know, the more empowered we become. Spread the word.

  • Mark Harrison Feb 4, 2012 @ 13:59

    Great perspective – I couldn’t agree more. Very helpful to remember!

    • Jim Feb 5, 2012 @ 20:00

      Thanks Mark 🙂

  • Debbie @ Happy Maker Feb 4, 2012 @ 9:16

    Hi Jim,

    Love the way you explain money and you are right. We have to to look at using it as an assent not a liability. So many use it the wrong way and look at it the wrong way.
    Real wealthy is in memories with others.
    Blessing to you,

    • Jim Feb 4, 2012 @ 23:09

      Yes, the relationships we forge and the times we experience with loved ones are certainly what I value most 🙂