For years, I desperately tried to launch my own freedom business while working full-time.
It can be quite a challenge, especially when you’re at the beginning of the journey and have to build everything from scratch while fighting your own doubts.
So I thought I’d share my best hacks to help you start a side project while working full time.
You don’t have to use them all. Just pick the ones that resonate most.
And feel free to add to the list by posting a comment :-)
Hack # 1 – Escape Slots
This one is quite mainstream but it’s probably the most efficient one.
Set up sacred “Escape Slots” in your calendar.
These will be planned short slots of time you’ll dedicate to your online business, your escape plan.
Make them at least one hour long and make sure you don’t get distracted – no Facebook, no Twitter, no “I’ll just have a quick look at that video of cute little kittens on You Tube”.
The secret is to plan these slots ahead (even put them in your work calendar) and stick to them no matter what.
Remember, one hour a day and you’ll easily reach the 30 to 40 hours mark by the end of the month.
40 hours? Yep, that’s a full work week dedicated to your business each month.
Imagine how much progress you could make if you had 1 free week every month!
Hack # 2- One Small Step For Man
Make this commitment to yourself:
Every single day, you will take a small action that helps to move your freedom business into the right direction.
It doesn’t have to be anything very time consuming. Could be as simple as making a phone call.
But it has to happen, every single day.
Add them up and you have a minimum of 365 actions per year! This can make a huge difference to your life and business.
Copywriting & marketing superstar Dan Kennedy has been doing exactly this for the last 40 years, and he built an empire thanks to all these micro-actions (365 actions x 40 years, you do the maths).
At Paid To Exist we find the one small step a day approach so powerful that we built an entire programme around it, called 365 Days to Freedom.
Hack # 3 – Mastermind Your Success
Sure, it’s all good to be ‘crazy’ and ‘spontaneous’, and just ‘go with the flow’ but the hard reality is this – when it comes to creating your own business, there is no better way to achieve big things than to draft and maintain a detailed action plan.
It is crucial, that your entire path to success is written down, with specific weekly and daily actions.
Only this guarantees that you’ll never lose focus and direction, and really get things done.
If you don’t know how to start, this is a great book to help you draft a master plan and organise it around constraints of your 9 to 5.
Hack # 4 – Drastically Follow The 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 rule is simple – focus on the 20% actions that will generate 80% of your results.
The remaining 80% of actions are just dealing with details and don’t produce significant results. They can be dealt with later (you don’t really need this fancy letterhead or that cool WordPress plugin).
I know we’ve been doing some Tim Ferris bashing on this blog (the infamous “Lie of the 4 Hours Work Week” post) but there is no doubt that his book does offer great insights on how to drastically apply the 80/20 rule in your life.
Hack # 5 – Make Yourself Accountable
No matter how many hours you dedicate to your freedom business, only results matter.
And there is no doubt that you’ll get better results if you make yourself accountable for them.
You can get a coach, to whom you will be reporting back on your progress.
If you can’t afford a coach, get an accountability partner, start a mastermind group, or join a community like Trailblazer.
No matter what you chose, set some simple targets & milestones that work for you, and report your progress regularly.
Hack # 6 – Play The Corporate Game (And Cheat)
Here is a naughty secret I’ll share with you – you can actually dedicate some time to your side business while you’re at work.
And it really doesn’t have to mean being less efficient in your day job. Here you can find some great tips on how to do it.
Hack # 7 – Get A Helping Hand
It isn’t easy to ask for help, but for sure it will make you progress faster if you do.
Here are four ideas for you:
- Get a partner: you suck at tech, design or sales? Why not partnering with somebody who actually knows this stuff?
- Outsource: don’t listen to the people out there who tell you that you can outsource all your business from day 1, that’s B.S. When you get started, you need to try everything by yourself to better understand how your business works, and how to improve it. But then of course there is no need to spend 5 days learning Photoshop to design a shitty logo, when somebody else could easily do you it for $5 (Fiverr anyone?)
- Automate: we know robots are slowly killing our jobs, but they also allow us to enjoy more free time :) Build automated systems into your freedom business as soon as you can. Get an email auto-responder and an online shopping cart as a bare minimum.
- Get feedback: asking for relevant feedback can be scary but it is super important. It will help you focus on what works and change what doesn’t. It’s a massive time saver, so don’t be shy – approach your peers, accountability partners or join a community of like-minded entrepreneurs. Share your work with them and ask for feedback.
Hack # 8 – Focus On Fast Results (While Keeping Long Term Goals)
Build your business in small chunks.
Rather than spending the next 2 years crafting an awesome training programme that might never sell, why don’t you put a 10 pages eBook out there, test the demand and refine the model?
This will get you early results, build your self-confidence, and help avoid wasting loads of time building massively over-complicated stuff you will end up throwing away.
Hack # 9 – You Are In Control
You are starting a freedom business, so embrace your freedom.
Remember – you are in full control and you can create your own rules, your own hacks.
So whatever works for you is just fine … as long as you share it with us :-)
What are the best time saving hacks for you? Anything you would recommend?
Leave a comment below to let us know.