In today’s world time is at a premium for many of us.
Holding a job and taking care of your family can be difficult enough, but throw trying to build an online business into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster. Many would-be entrepreneurs never reach their potential because they feel like they don’t have enough time.
I can attest to this as someone who worked a full-time job when first building my online business, and I have seen other people go through the same thing. To get through it, you need the right ingredients for success.
I managed to build a successful online business and quit my job. I’ve seen others do it too – people with far busier lives than me. It is possible. In this article I will explain how.
A Friendly, Motivational Kick Up the Ass
Let’s start with some tough love.
Whatever you want to achieve, someone has already done it, and they’ve done it in less time and with more things holding them back.
Your plans aren’t to create some kind of miracle – in the grand scheme of things your achievements will be a mere drop in the ocean. I don’t say this to discourage you – quite the opposite. I say it to galvanise you into truly believing that you are more than capable of achieving your goals.
To say “I can’t” is rarely true. If you want to, go ahead and say “I don’t want it enough,” but never say “I can’t.” Be honest with yourself. Whatever you think you don’t have time for, you do – trust me.
Before you start reading the following tips I have for making the most of your time, you need to shift your attitude towards one of enlightenment – i.e. “I know I can do this with the limited time I have; I just need to figure out how.”
In a nutshell, you need to adopt the right mindset and remember that you can do what you set out to do. Only then will you be truly ready to tackle your online endeavours effectively.
Have Less Fun
I say “Have less fun” with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek – creating your own business isn’t about having less fun.
However, you may need to make sacrifices in the short term in order to assure your success in the long run. This is the sort of basic tradeoff that will pay off.
Put simply, you cannot expect to build a successful online business without spending more time working than you would have otherwise. Stories abound of people earning substantial money doing what they love online (and I am one of those people), but you can’t expect to arrive at that point with only a few hours of work per week.
As such, sacrifices will be necessary.
You may say that you have no time, but in reality that hour in front of the TV in the evening or extra hour of sleep on a Saturday morning may have to be sacrificed for the greater good.
At the end of the day it’s up to you to determine how much you want success. If you want it enough, you will work hard enough, and you can succeed.
Everyone has spare time – if you find yourself unwilling to do necessary work in that spare time, fair enough. Perhaps you don’t want it enough yet. Perhaps you need to revisit your priorities. But make sure that you’re not just making excuses. Working overtime to build your business isn’t a permanent deal – you just need to do it for long enough to get it off the ground.
A Bunch of Tips To Make More Time
Let’s continue with a whole bunch of tips that can help you to make more time right now. These are short and sharp and will enable you to carve out healthy chunks of time from within your already hectic schedule. It’s just a matter of analyzing your current job, igniting your work ethic and using your time smartly.
Think about your work – your other work. A job with steady income is essential while you try new endeavors but you’re in trouble unless you evaluate how your current job impacts your online business. Here are some tips:
- Use your lunch break.
- Avoid wasting time in rush hour traffic. Instead, arrive at work early and/or leave late.
- Take your holiday allowance and designated sick days.
- Confirm what you are and are not permitted to do on the job.
- Confirm what your company does and does not permit you to do on the job – if you get your work done, are you free to do your own things?
- Negotiate remote work days with your boss (even if it’s only a day per week).
Always work hard. You need to be willing to put in effort to grow your business:
- Go part time so that you have more time to devote to your online business – if it’s on the right path.
- Work a six day week – dedicate Saturdays to your business.
- Allocate 1-2 hours after work to your online business. Once that time is up, disconnect yourself and relax.
- Cut out an hour or two of TV and/or web browsing on weeknights so that you can get up earlier and start on your work.
- Stop checking email and social media sites every 10 minutes. Grant yourself a few 5-10 minute periods throughout the day and stick to them religiously.
Working hard is not enough. You also need to work smart:
- Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize!
- Use Rescue Time. Let it shock you. Then work more efficiently.
- Turn off all notifications!
- Evaluate the worth of all tasks you engage in relative to your Target and Endgame.
- Read Getting Things Done. Take its advice.
- Eliminate anything that isn’t taking you forward. Be ruthless.
The Fallacy of “Making More Time”
Making more time is never about “making more time” – it’s about better using the time you already have available.
Many people have launched profitable online businesses. So can you. We all only have 24 hours per day, so it stands to reason that the more successful among us simply use that time more effectively. That’s what you need to do.
In order to achieve this I recommend four steps that I call the AESA process.
Step 1: Act
To succeed you must act. Action is paramount and takes precedence over all other things.
Step 2: Eliminate
Get rid of things that don’t help achieve your goals. As your business begins to take shape, regular analysis of your workflow will reveal inefficiencies and redundancies. In short, some of the stuff you do just won’t help. The key is to keep working on those areas that provide a return and dump the rest.
Once action has led to success, eliminate those things that have not contributed to that success (directly or indirectly).
Step 3: Streamline and Systematize
Study the remaining tasks carefully and make each process as efficient as possible. Allow no room for anything that adds time and effort to a project without adding substantial value as well.
Once you are left with a core of your most efficient and results-producing tasks, you should look to streamline each of them until they are running at a maximum level of efficiency.
At some point, a focus on efficacy and productivity will lead you to put others in charge of some aspects of your business. This is natural and beneficial (I myself do this), but be careful with it. No task should be assigned to others until you understand it fully and are able to break it down into relatively simple step-by-step instructions. Understand before you delegate. I cannot stress how important this is.
Step 4: Automate
Finally, you should outsource those tasks that others can do in your stead. This will free you up to do more of the tasks that result in greater business growth. Furthermore, it puts you in a position where the business can all but run itself, perhaps requiring your input on a limited scale (possibly even just an hour or two a week).
Also remember to think about how these steps apply to other areas – this process can apply to your job as much as it can to your business. If you can outsource relatively menial elements of your job for an hourly rate less than what you earn, what is to stop you? You can utilize the time freed up to strengthen your business.
Your choices for automation are far-ranging — from third-world virtual assistant companies like Ask Sunday and Task Bullet to sole operator virtual assistants in America. You can expect to pay anywhere from $4-$25 or more depending upon who you deal with and their skill set.
You have dreams and aspirations for your project, but you may not think you have the time to put it into action. Remember that you do. Success begins with the right mindset – if you really want something, you can have it. Productivity is paramount, so make sure that you effectively use the time you already have.
Hopefully the tips that I provided here will guide you as you seek to launch, grow, and sustain your online business.
What do you think? Which of these tips are most helpful as you try to balance a busy schedule and bring your ideas to life? Do you have any useful advice of your own? Let us know in the comments section!
Thanks to Roberto Ferrari for the photo!