“Economics is recognizing itself as information science, now that money itself is completing a developmental arc from matter to bits, stored in computer memory and magnetic strips, world finance coursing through the global nervous system. Even when money seemed to be material treasure, heavy in pockets and ships’ holds and bank vaults, it always was information. Coins and notes, shekels and cowries were all just short-lived technologies for tokenizing information about who owns what.”
James Gleick The Information
A better ways to grow wealth is to abandon the concept of your value being tied to money. Wealth comes from your knowledge and prospective and your ability to operate within an economic information system. Abandon money not for altruistic purposes but because doing so should free you to grow your capacity to grow your value. It goes along with the old obnoxious saying “don’t do it for the money“. Delayed gratification is key. Do it for the money but do it for the big money down the road. When you sell out make it count.
We understand this principle intuitively put rarely do we apply this to our day to day lives. An example it would be if the CEO of Apple Tim Cook came to you an said I can’t pay but for the next year or so I would like you to come work with me. I would venture to say that most people would take the job whether or not they could afford to take a year off from being paid. The reason we take it is that we can see the economic value in the experience and prospective gained from working with the CEO of Apple. What you might be missing is that there are little opportunities like this around us all of the time.
A internship should be viewed more as an opportunity to learn rather than a foot in the door. Don’t envy those in a position above learn from them even when you don’t think there is anything to learn.
Approach payment for your labor with a healthily skepticism. Carl Marx said that “religion is the opiate of the masses “ but the reality is that money is a far superior opiate. Accepting payment is an agreement that you will go no further in the network structure. As you climb the ranks of an organizations those at the top pay you little each rung of the ladder not to keep you moving but to make you content and to slow your accent.
Think of every time you get paid as a little form of selling out. It cheapens what your are in the eyes of your employers and ties an almost arbitrary number to your value. It is a distraction from your true goal. The more you are paid the more you are resented. There was a David Bowie concert where at half time the concert was stopped for a beer commercial top play on the big screen. On the surface it seems harmless enough but it cheapened the event to such a degree that Bowie himself recalled it as more reputation damaging than the Nazi salute photo.
A paycheck is a best a necessary evil and must be viewed as such. If you have a proper perspective of this you will be able to grow your personal value well beyond the monetary constraints of your wage. Freedom from a wage is true freedom to earn to your potential. Try it as an experiment not taking a wage will allow you to operate in circles of people and information you would have never thought possible previously.