Are you wondering if you can build an online business while working a full-time job? Is there ever a decent income to expect from a spare time entrepreneurship? Or is it nothing more but a steady source of frustration and a vicious cycle of never getting enough things done out of a limited time frame?
And anyway, are there any people at all, who evidently managed to grow their business into an empire, all done after hours? Or do only those succeed who can put in 10 working hours and more each day?
To cut a long story short, there are many very successful entrepreneurs who started out of a very limited time frame. In fact, some of them even claim that their limited time was the key to the extraordinary output of their work (we talk about that later).
Fact is, to make your spare time endeavor a successful one, you first have to stop asking yourself how many working hours a day are needed. Instead, the question what exactly to do in your limited time will do the trick.
Can you create your future empire with only 1 hour of work each day? Yes, you can! (sorry Obama). Take the following 6 crucial things to make that mission work!
1. The power of passion
Let’s face it: All your efforts to start your own business while working another job will mean extra hours on top of what you’re occupied for by your regular job. For your energy reserves, this means having to go the extra mile for a long time.
That being said, it is absolutely vital to have a strong driving force that keeps you on track no matter how much the weather outside invites you to lounge in the sun.
A high level of motivation and a relentless will to make progress are best driven by a strong passion. If you are really passionate about the niche / product / service you want to build your business for, a great portion of your work will happen with wonderful ease.
It is only passion that truly makes you want to know everything about your niche. Only passion lets you dive deep into the problems of your audience to create ultimate solutions.
And, there is nothing better than passion making you get up extra early in the morning or work late in the evening. Again, only passion helps you to keep going when obstacles occur.
That’s why you should make a task out of it: Make a list of the passions you spent your spare time with. And don’t miss those things you have a burning interest for but never found the time to dive into.
Passion is not to be confused with expertise. You can definitely choose a niche you are very passionate about but don’t have any experience in yet. That needed experience starts to grow rapidly, the moment you start living your passion!
Just collect all the topics you can be extremely enthusiastic and curious about for many many years to come!
2. Make an inventory of your strengths
What are your very special strengths and talents? Are there some important skills or experiences you collected in your life?
Are you good in writing or researching, talking in front of people, leading, coaching, listening, asking, visualizing, analyzing, etc.?
There are many skills and talents that can be very helpful to boost your progress. But, since we are all only ordinary mortals, no one carries all the things needed inside.
Fortunately, it’s not necessary to be perfect to succeed online. But knowing where exactly you need to improve (or outsource) is important.
Many people say don’t waste time to work on your weaknesses. They state, whatever your gap is, go fill it with the expertise of someone else.
I don’t see it that way.
Yes, they are strengths that haven’t had the chance to perform because things like fear of failure locked them away.
On the other hand, not every weakness is a hidden champion!
If you’ve never been good with figures and are not at all interested in improving that, then don’t waste your time and outsource your book keeping. If you don’t have fun with being a self-educator for all the tech things around your website then go and outsource all the WordPress stuff to someone who loves to do that.
In the end, there will come up tons of first-time things to learn. Some you jump into to find yourself stunning about what great things you are capable doing. Some other tasks you curiously dive into just to realize you are totally in the wrong place.
In case of doubt, it’s always better to be not too stingy with making new experiences, even if you’re short in time. Eventually, it’s the accumulation of all our actions (the wins and the failures) that will help us to improve and make progress.
And it’s only through experience that you become an expert in evaluating whether a particular task or job is best done by you or someone else.
The assessment of your strengths is also very important to define your very own role in front of your audience. At best, some of your talents or skills help to solve a pressing problem of your target group that hasn’t been addressed by other marketers in your niche yet. That can be a very powerful unique angle and your unfair advantage!
3. Follow a proven process to build your business
All your passionate engagement, all your going-the-extra-mile is worth nothing if you don’t have a masterplan you can trust and follow through.
Of course, there is a lot of experimenting. But it’s best to do that “within the ceilings” of proven concepts, processes, and tools.
It’s very easy to get overwhelmed by all the information you find about building an online business. This often ends in never-ending rambling around from one source to the next to the next… It’s way smarter to start reaching out to the best online marketers and the knowledge and experience they share.
With them, you don’t have to ponder whether the advice they give is trustworthy (and success proven) or not. Many of the top entrepreneurs are excellent mentors that provide awesome resources and tools that guide you to follow exactly in their steps.
Whoever you choose to learn from, there is one thing crucial for everything you learn: always do only one step at a time. Don’t try to multitask-learn, it’s a surefire failure, sooner or later.
And with all your enthusiasm and motivation, don’t forget to validate your business idea, before building it.
A lack of validation is a very common reason for online failure. You have to find out if there really is a targetable market, audience, and need for what you want to offer. Since you only have your spare time to build your business, that precious time should better not be wasted for an idea that is doomed!
Nathan Chan (foundrmag) has shared some quick and very effective actions to validate your business idea.
If you want to play it safe with your idea, test it with the help of Pat Flynn’s book Will It Fly? It covers everything you need to take into consideration to make a reliable validation.
Keep in mind, whatever your idea is, it needs to be your very own, highly demanded and very useful contribution to the market!
4. What’s best to do with your time (instead of counting it)
The more you immerse into online business, the bigger the hugeness of all the things you need to learn becomes:
Find a domain name, find hosting, create your WordPress blog, create content schedule, create unique content, find relevant products, create relevant products, create leadpages, create optins, create videos, build a podcast, set up email funnel, market your content, engage in social media, track your results, rinse and repeat…
Did you already have that massive moment of OVERLOAD?
How can someone with a full-time job seriously expect to have a business breakthrough within the next 10 years or anytime ever…
working only 1 or 2 hours a day on tons of entrepreneurship to do’s?
The moment you start thinking that way, your part-time entrepreneurship can easily turn into a mission impossible. You come home from your day-job rat race, to jump into your evening rat race. Frustration about your regular job gets “good” company of your stuck-in-no-progress evening endeavors.
That’s a losing game to play. To stop that, you need to do some changes in your head. The first one is this: Stop the counter!
The value of your business is not made of the hours you dedicate to it. It’s made of the result driven actions you take during the time you can work on it.
This is when people come into play who claim they work less hours with more outcome. Yes, it’s all about Tim Ferris’s bestselling 4 Hour Work Week here:
It’s all about learning to work smarter in the given time.
What goals are realistic to achieve per day? Make that small goals and you get used to meeting them each day. That way, you can build a small but very powerful success ladder.
And, have you ever tried to build your business in the very early morning hours? A while ago, I substituted my nightowl-ness by very early bird actions. It’s absolutely amazing what a raise of performance that caused in my entire life.
I not only start earlier in the morning, I also start with some very powerful morning routines before working. These routines help a lot to boost your overall energy and mental power (which’s importance is often overseen).
Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning was a true revelation for me to install these powerful morning routines in my life. I know this is hackneyed, but it’s true: If I managed to turn into that early bird boss, everyone can!
Another very effective thing you can do to work smarter is to check if there are tasks that are not only very time-consuming but not your biggest strength either. By outsourcing them, you can save valuable time and raise the quality of the outcome.
And, try to apply the 80/20 rule to all your activities, no matter at what stage of building your business you are. That rule mainly means that 80 percent of your outcomes come from 20 percent of your inputs. Always focus on the things that have the most impact on the growth of your business. Harvest and exceed these things.
Believe me, if you start thinking (and acting) more in results than in hours, you find yourself in getting more things done in less time.
5. Watch your balance
Over time, you will collect a good portion of time savings. But, even if it’s very tempting, don’t just use that additional time to only do more work! Somewhere in your days and nights there still needs to be some space left for rest and relaxation!
Burn outs are all around us. People collapse in series because they have lost balance in life. Part-time entrepreneurs are highly at risk to burn out. Many of them get used to skipping the breaks with all the pressure on their shoulders.
It’s a vicious circle: performance goes down, output goes down and sooner or later the big breakdown day is there. A complete out-of-order condition that not only jeopardizes your regular job but also your dream of a successful online business ever coming true.
Take care of the balance in your life! Use your time savings to sleep, dream, exercise, etc. Give your head and heart the opportunity to take a break from all your busy business related thoughts, emotions, impressions. You will be granted with great creativity and focus, each time you come back to work from a real good break.
Yaro Starak has created a great post about balance and the secrets behind a two hour work day. I love what he says there:
Your potential for creative output is interlinked with your ability to use your down time well, and vice versa.Yaro Starak
6. Stand your mental errors and follow through!
With all the things we discussed, you are on a pretty good way to making your after hours endeavor work! There is only one more thing that could seriously rain on your parade: your mindset.
What most people don’t know: mindset issues are the #1 reason for failure in online business.
Are you fighting with things like distraction, procrastination, overwhelm, lack of consistency, lack of patience, etc.?
All these mental errors can easily sum up to one fatal (and very common) consequence: You start with things to never finish them, or even more important, to never generate any decent results from them.
I have created a free email course (First Aid Against Failure for Bloggers) to fight this trouble. It helps you to overcome (or leave out) the tricks your mindset wants to play on you so you can focus on growing your business like a charm.
Now it’s your turn – what business are you building after hours? What has helped you to get yourself focused and organized? What are the things you may still struggle with?
Like always, I’d love to hear how you do so please share your story in the comments below! And don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!
To your very after-hours blogging success,