In hindsight, I think I might have been addicted.
It was too easy to find time in my day to swipe away at my screen, playing a game called “Clash Royale” in which I played my deck of characters to destroy enemy towers, while a live player on the other side of the internet connection attempted to destroy my castles.
For a little over a year I would find time in my day to play these three minute matches and compete for glory in the arena — a made up, completely arbitrary, glory. My only return on investment (ROI) was a low level sense of satisfaction as I defeated enemies half a world away.
In reality — I was burning time. Sweet, sweet, valuable, time.
On January 1, 2019 I deleted the Clash Royale app to focus on finding a new game — making money with the same time investment: just a few minutes here and there when I had free time. Preferably on an app, and preferably something that I would enjoy or benefit from, even if it ended up not being profitable. The only way to go was up.
It took some time to find, the options are slim:
A blog is a time consuming endeavor (But seriously, follow me on Medium).
A startup is hours out of my day. (But seriously, I’m trying.)
A part time gig always needs traffic.(Did I mention I officiate weddings?)
Making money is a game — and it never feels like there is enough at the end of the month. Literally — most of us either want or need more money every month to make ends meet or live the kind of life we would like to live.
After scouring the internet; digging through penny pincher websites, blogs about finance, and side hustle websites, I finally found exactly what I was looking for: the Quora Partner program— an online gamified system that pays you to ask questions to the world at large. Based on exposure and advertising views, your bank account is credited with cash once a month.
It seemed like a long shot, it was absolutely something that would take time. But it was flexible, scalable, and it was a clean replacement to my previous addiction.
After I found it. I got to work. In the first month I asked 828 questions, and was able to earn $258.57. An average of $0.31 per question asked.
This is a major step up from giving away my time to a mobile video game. My free time is no longer filled with the image of knights and monsters running across a screen — but instead with the characters of the alphabet, and the numbers dropping into my bank account.
It’s not Bezos money, but it was an important lesson to me. The finite amount of time I have in my day can be put to better use. I did not add any new time constraints on myself by joining Quora, just replaced one habit with a habit that is slightly more profitable and healthy. Even if some of my questions do not make any money, they are still interesting and informative. I also get the added benefit of mental gymnastics coming up with hundreds and now thousands of questions.
In summary: we only get so much time in the day. If your goal is to make more money, those few minutes out of every hour add up. Putting them to the best use possible is a game changer — and a must.
Stay tuned, this whole game is just getting started.