Career Mental Model #1: Price your time at $1,000,000 an hour

Lawyers price their work at absurd sums, so why can’t you set an equally ridiculous rate for your own time?

No one goes into their career or job and says “my number one goal is to destroy my marriage, my friendships and relationship with my children.” Yet many people do just this.

There are no performance reviews outside of work. With humans need for security and approval, we tend toward structured rewards and clear career paths. If we do X, we will get Y. After many cycles, people end up in jobs they hate, questioning “what the hell happened?”

This is why I propose valuing your personal time at $1,000,000 an hour. Lets say you are working at a pretty good job, but your boss says to you “you know, you could switch jobs to X and really be on the fast track to a successful career.” This new job X means a higher salary (lets say $10,000) and better job prospects down the road (at least in someone else’s eyes). However, you remember what you value that time at. Those hours are worth $25 million, so it is pretty easy to say no.

If you are working in the hedge fund industry, you might need to up your model to $1 billion / hour but I am sure you already have your own issues well beyond the wisdom of this post.

About Paul Millerd

Paul is a writer, creator, and curious human that is passionate about how people can reimagine their relationship with work to do things that matter. He published The Pathless Path in 2022.