Action is by far the most important translator of turning time into money. If you agree with that, then you should also believe that knowledge (information) and social capital are also resources that can be introduced into the translation process through the “art of action.”

ActionFourCurrencies

Although most people don’t regard time, information, or memes (social behaviors) as currencies, I see everyone exchange them all the time. It’s only through action that any one or a combination of those four universal currencies can be translated into the other(s) to build more value in their respective domains. With the exception of time, only three can be grown: financial wealth; real world/academic knowledge; and quality/quantity of relationships.

Why are some entrepreneurs so successful in building a great core team, a fanatical customer base, and/or supportive group of investors? Because they use their personality, passions, know-how, grit, beliefs, and value structures to build a company and its products/services around, in which their counterparts would support with their time and money because they know a large part of the founder’s DNA is a part of the company (products/services).

Why do A-List actors get paid so much? Because the process of acting boils down to being “publicly private” and if anyone can make us believe that what they’re acting out is how they would truly behave if there were no script, director, cameras, crew members, or production set, and we were just a fly on the wall, we would become fans and pay to re/watch more of their performances that connects us to an authentic representation of who they are as another human being.

Why do folks take a chance in marriage or be a life partner? Because after already having gone through the roller coaster of life together, knowing more unknown challenges are to come, they are willing to take a risk and “stand for love” versus fall in love and wanting to have their life partner by their side as their friend, lover, and whatever other wants/needs they provide for each other. As a side note, I’m also a non-denominational reverend so I contemplate about this stuff from time-to-time.

According to U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, the failure rate for small businesses in Year 1 is 85%. Based on the Ulmer Scale, a Hollywood hopeful has a 1 in 1,505,000 chance in being a movie star. The Census Bureau also asserts that people are waiting longer to get married for the first time and the divorce rates for first marriages are at 41%. So why even pursue any of the aforementioned? Because no matter how much money, knowledge, and, social currency you have, time is the only one that gets expended without your permission, and taking no action renders no value.

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules, science, or math behind how all four universal currencies relate to each other or how they translate from one to another – it’s different for each individual like that of the definitions of success, happiness, or love. Those who are cognizant and naturally adept in understanding the specifics of what s/he’s offering, in hopes of a desired return, will be more successful than those who give or take unwittingly – this applies to both professional and personal endeavors.

I can probably go on all day about the virtues of each currency and the different levels/combinations that might be used in different situations, but the key in translating/growing the currencies is the underlying action(s) – whether you’re an executive negotiating an important deal across the table of a key decision maker; an actor convincing the paying audience that what you emote rings true with them; or a guy/gal proposing to your best friend and love of your life, varying levels of currencies have been invested and are being transacted. We all take calculated risks in life – we just need to take some time to understand what currencies we’re actually calculating to take action on and to grow value in.

Mr. Shin is a Moore Fellow and an Inc. 500 award winning executive, who possesses continuous intellectual curiosity in the intersections of business, creativity, and technology, with over eighteen years of well-rounded and seasoned leadership of complex initiatives working with many diverse teams across several industries. He is currently a Co-Founder for Content of Characters, Board Member for Dosha Pops, Co-Founder for In The Lights PR, and Advisory Board Member for TriplAgent; consults, mentors, and advises other startups; and has held senior leadership positions that demand: corporate governance, executive management, entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, program management, business transformation, product development, new products / services launch, business development, strategic positioning, technology management and enterprise risk management.