We all start with the opportunity of time. Some of us have advantages or disadvantages relative to others. Longevity and good health increase the quantity and quality of the time you have available to produce and consume. It’s a geographic advantage to live in America — or even within America, to live in a big market city. Regrettably, being male and being white have also provided advantages. Regardless of our individual relative advantages or disadvantages, each of us has a single lifetime of opportunity in which to produce value, to leave the world a better place than we found it.
Producing is hard. It takes focus and discipline, in large part because it’s so much easier to be a consumer. But the advancement of society depends on net production, so each of us should aim to produce more than he consumes.
First and foremost, take action. Sitting idle consumes your most valuable resource — time — most inefficiently.
Extend and improve your available time by maintaining your health and through lifelong learning.
Apply and share what your learn.
In your personal relationships, give as much love and compassion to neighbors, friends, and family as you receive.
In your personal finances, earn more than you spend.
Spend your resources on products and services that you value highly.
Invest in and seek personal and business relationships with people and companies that demonstrate values consistent with your own. Recognize that you have the opportunity to create wealth, and avoid relationships with parasites who would merely transfer wealth in zero sum games or destroy it at your expense.
In your work, create more value for your employer or your business than you earn. Ensure that you continually produce revenue, engender good will, and reduce costs by more than the cost of your total compensation.
Work for businesses that create products and provide services that customers value more than the prices the businesses charge.
If your production has negative byproducts, account for the cost of your byproducts as you assess your net production/consumption.
If you accumulate assets during your lifetime, make active decisions to redistribute the assets you’ve accumulated through consumption, philanthropy, and inheritance. Redistribute your assets in ways that improve the quality and quantity of your own life, and in ways that create and increase opportunity for other net producers.
In my opinion, these are values and principles to live by.
Were you a net producer today?