Last week, I read a very interesting post by Sunil at Money Extra Blog asking if you would rather spend an extra hour on your profession or on your side business. I found this debate quite interesting as there is a huge discrepancy between what people say and actually do. It’s easy to say that you would spend an extra hour on your day job to increase your chances of getting a promotion but what are you going to do with this hour? The same rationale applies if you decide to use this hour wisely to work on your side business. So tell me:
What would you do with an extra hour?
I really want to know what you would do and am even more curious about what you are doing right now? Have you taken any steps to free up some time in your schedule? What are you doing with this precious time that you have cleverly wrestled away from one of those time eaters we encounter during a typical day?
I’ll tell you what I did during the last 2 years with not one extra hour but one extra DAY working on my side business!
Back in July 2009, I announced that I was working 4 days a week at my day job so I could have more time to hustle for my business. Now, 2 years later, I can tell you that it was the best decision I have ever made in terms of my personal finances.
Where I went before working 1 day a week on my side business
2 years ago, our online empire wasn’t that big. In fact, it was limited to:
Gather Little By Little (which is no longer part of our empire)
And that’s about it. We were making roughly $4,000 per month from these 3 sites but it wasn’t enough to justify that we should work more than 10 hours each on the company. It was slowly growing and was easily managed. This is when you need to be cautious.
Cautious of falling into your comfort bubble and never escaping it
But we weren’t like that. Since we had several projects in mind, we decided that I could start working 1 day per week (which is 6 hours more) to work on these projects. That was really the key; when I worked during these 6 hours, I:
– Don’t write posts
– Barely answer regular email
– Don’t work on our main sites (unless for special projects)
– Therefore, I don’t do regular stuff
The key, when you are about to use an extra hour on your side business, is to direct your work towards CREATING VALUE
If you use an extra hour to write an article or to answer email, you won’t see much improvement. However, if you use this extra hour to:
– Work on the outline of a new site
– Look for private advertisers
– Create a group project with other bloggers (that will eventually drive traffic and new readers)
– Work on a product
– Think about your long term strategy
This is how you will create value and see amazing results. You want proof? Here we go:
In the past 2 years, with only an additional 6 hours per week (and counting 5 weeks of vacation 😉 ), we went from an average of 4K/month to an average of $8,000 to $9,000 per month this year. On top of this, we have diversified our income through a dozen websites and now count 5 major sites in our company. We now have 2 ebooks (Dividend Investing & Escaping the Rat Race) and are presently working on developing 3 other niche websites (which will be bigger sites than our current niche websites) along with 4 book projects on the table (the sequels to Dividend Investing & Escaping the Rat Race).
Would I have tripled my day job income with 6 hours more at work?
What would have happened if I had taken these 6 hours and put them into my profession? Would I have been able to earn a sustainable income out of it? I think the answer is pretty obvious: working longer hours at work will at best give you small benefits (such as a bigger bonus or at best a promotion) but it will never scale over time.
The best case scenario would lead you to a better job, earning perhaps 10% more income… and probably requiring you to work more hours ;-). In comparison, I don’t work more on my online company but my gross income has tripled. It is true that I had to hire 2 VAs and more writers, but it was also with the purpose of creating a team that will be able to handle the growth over time. With our current team, I know that we can handle double the work we have on our plate right now, without increasing our cost… and without having me or my partner working more than 10 hours per week (+ my 6 hours 😉 ).
In the end, it’s not how many extra hours you are able to find in your week to work on your side projects, it is what you do with them ;-). Try to outsource all admin work and focus on value creating activities.
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