I know the frustration.
You really want to build this online business but your 9-5 leaves you exhausted and you’re wondering how you are ever going to find time to actually nail this.
On top of that, you have family responsibilities, responsibilities in your local community or church AND you have to find time somewhere in all that craziness to sleep as well.
Take heart friend ! It’s not all hopeless.
I still work a 9-5 job for various reasons and also manage to juggle a side business. To be honest with you being able to generate side income has been an intense blessing for my family and I highly recommend it as a way to ease yourself into full-time solopreneurship if you are simply not ready to take the big plunge.
So how do I find the time to handle it all ? I don’t claim to have the perfect system but I will share what I do in this post with you today.
Fact : I spend 2-4 hours on my online business per day. This means that in a week I spend between 14 and 28 hours on my online business. This number is typically closer to the 25-hour mark though.
I use my hours before and after work as wisely as I can. This doesn’t mean there aren’t nights I don’t slip in a an hour of Netflix or Youtube. I do however try to stick to working between 2 and 4 hours everyday.
Psst just in case, here’s the FB Live video of me chatting about this very topic.
#1 – The 7-10pm shift
I actually learned this principle from Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.
You can decide to make yours 8-11pm or even stretch it out from 9 to 1am. Whatever the time-frame works for you, just make sure you stick to it and do PRODUCTIVE work during this time.
Which brings me to the next point.
#2 -What Should You Be Doing During Your 7-10pm shift ?
I am building a mash-up of a freelance and information business. Thus the tasks that fill up my calendar may be entirely different than what will fill yours.
In any case, the first step to figuring out what you need to be doing during your 7-10pm shift is to figure out exactly what kind of online business you are running. Regina from byRegina.com defines the 6 different paths for bloggers very aptly in this post.
Anyway, once you have figured that out, it is time to fill your calendar with tasks that will help you move towards your goals.
So like I mentioned, I run a freelance/information biz mash-up. So my tasks include
- Do freelance work for clients – in my case I write
- Creating and sending out invoices
- Research for articles I will write for clients as well as for myself
- Social media scheduling
- Writing e-mails to my list
- Creating free and paid content
- Client calls and consults
- Live streams/recording videos
This is A LOT of work. But I have to do if I want to get paid through my online business right ? So how do I make it easier on myself ?
#3 – Use a calendar
I use a dry erase calendar just like this one.
The type of calendar does not matter as much as you following your plan on what you want to do within your shift.
I simply make a list of tasks I need to complete keeping in mind especially when my clients’ projects need to be completed by.
I then plop them on my calendar and tackle 2-3 tasks during my 7-10pm shift. Making sure you fill your calendar with work and committing to do it on a particular day so you can cross it off (or erase it in my case) as “DONE” will save you from going down the YouTube/Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest vortex and keep you on point and super productive.
Because I am also building a blog/information business, some time on Wednesdays or Thursdays, I actually will spend the whole evening writing e-mails that will go out to my list on Thursday or Friday. Keep this practice consistent has definitely helped me keep the lines of communication open between my subscribers and I and has landed me some nice sales.
Side Gigs & The Art of Focus
At this juncture, I want to talk about the power of focus how that it will get you ahead and put more money in your pocket.
Focus has been the propellant of my business in the past year. I used to chase every single shiny object I would hear about on a podcast.
The thing though is – listening to podcasts, watching Youtube videos or reading books are not what will make will not make you profitable necessarily. It is taking the knowledge you have , choosing an area, focussing on that area (I once heard John Lee Dumas describe FOCUS as Follow One Course Until Success) and working at it to become profitable.
What do I mean ?
When I decided at the end of 2016 that I wanted to shift my focus to freelance writing and building solid relationships with my e-mail list, I knew what I had to do.
For my freelance writing – I would need to get clients. So I bought a course from a 6-figure freelance writer, devoured it and then started putting myself out there as a freelance writer. Within weeks I had made my first $1000 as a freelance writer.
I wanted to build solid relationships with the beautiful people on my e-mail list – I switched my e-mail/newsletter management service from Mailchimp to ActiveCampaign because ActiveCampaign would provide with me certain blogger-friendly features and help me track my statistics better. I put what I wanted to write to my e-mail list each week on my calendar so I would not be scrambling for ideas on what to write to them come “e-mail day”.
It has worked beautifully ! Industry experts say a good e-mail open rate is from 20% upwards. I am proud to say I am sitting right around 30% right now AND my e-mail list has doubled in size in just the first 3 months of 2017.
None of this happened by accident. I can get distracted just like the next person but I have to confess that practicing the art of FOCUS has been invaluable to me as a mom working at building her side hustle while I continue to work my 9-5.
Here are some extra resources if you really would like to improve your focus to help you get ahead with your business.
Did you find this post useful ? Do you have a routine you follow for your side hustle ?
Let me hear about it in the comments. I read every single one.
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