My mother told me I could do whatever I wanted. My father told me I had grit. My coach told me I was ridiculously tenacious, and could I please work a bit less?
To me, I was just me. Have an idea. Work hard. Get what you want. Isn’t that what everyone does?
It never occurred to me that I was willing to do things that most people weren’t.
After a decade in the design industry, my career in graphics was interrupted by a baby. I quickly discovered that I didn’t care about my job or future title in a company. I suddenly desperately wanted to soak up every moment with that kid of mine and never go back to an office again.
I set to work devising a plan to exit my 9-5 job once and for all. I tried a bakery, I tried grad school, I tried a network marketing business… none of these hit home for me.
After three years of trial and error, I found business coaching, quite by accident, and the world cracked open. THIS is what I was put here to do: Helping women everywhere create choices for themselves by making money doing what they love.
I spent the next year with my new love affair, building a business on the side of my day job. It took late nights, early mornings, and dedicating every free moment I had to making it work.
My most hilarious trick for hustling was escaping to the bathroom for 3-5 minutes at a time at my job, and posting my pre-created content onto Facebook a few times a day.
Most people make excuses.
Most people say they can’t do something because it’s too hard.
Apparently I’m not one of them, because I was willing to do anything and everything to make this work for myself.
If you’re looking to leave your corporate job and start your own business from nothing, I can tell you it’s totally possible. I built everything on the side, with a job, a family, and being pregnant (baby #2).
Here’s ten of my best time hacks I used to build my business and make enough money to leave my day job:
1. Your Calendar.
Schedule EVERYTHING! Use Google Calendar and block out your schedule with chunks of time you spend every day. Include stuff like sleeping, eating, and getting ready every morning. Color code it to visually break up every-day tasks, business tasks, family stuff, etc. You’ll find gaps in your schedule you didn’t see before.
2. Your Lunch Break.
Ideally, you’ve got a whole hour to play with. I know it can be hard, but resist the peer pressure to go out to eat every day. Don’t worry about what your co-workers think; this is your DREAM, remember? Instead, spend this time being productive. Develop emails, Facebook posts, ads, design a challenge, get on Periscope… anything! How much can you accomplish in just one hour? I made it a game with myself to see how much I could check off my to-do list.
3. Your bathroom breaks.
5-10 mins here & there doesn’t seem like much, but you can still use it. Make a post on Facebook while you’re in the bathroom (yes I really did do this all the time), respond to an email on your phone, or anything fast! The point is, just get it done. A few of these per day can add up to an extra half hour of checkin’ off that list.
4. Your commute.
How long do you spend in the car to/from your office? This is valuable time you can utilize to work on your mindset. You’re basically trapped in one place, so invest in personal development audios (books on tape, podcasts, etc). You can also use this time to focus on your goals, visualize what you want, pray, be grateful, put your desires out into the universe. Mindset work is key to your success.
5. Where are you wasting time?
If you come home from work every day and veg out on the couch for the rest of the night, you’re losing major hours of productivity. How many hours of mindless TV do you watch? What about all that time you spend scrolling through Facebook? Nix it and see your business grow. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, I know you’re tired at the end of the day. But here’s the harsh truth: if you want this dream to come to fruition and be able to leave your desk job ASAP, you must take advantage of every moment. You’ll thank me later.
6. Get up early.
Your mindset work is the first thing you should be doing daily, without fail. Get up before everyone else and check off a few things, including setting your mental pace for the day. It’s another tough habit to enforce, but you can do this. It will pay off. It’s much easier to be productive when it’s quiet in the house and you’re alone.
7. Stay up late.
After the kids go to bed and the house is finally quiet, put in a couple hours and focus. How much can you accomplish in 2 hours? I like to use bigger chunks of time to create new content, work on ads & email sequences, or other larger tasks that are harder to do on the fly.
8. Trade off time.
Get your partner on board and take turns with the kids. This is officially a family affair! You’re working for them, so they can do a few things to pitch in. Take one night a week and go straight from the office to a coffee shop and put in 3-4 solid hours of productivity (versus trying to get through an evening full of interruptions). Give your partner a night of their own in return.
9. Delegate stuff you don’t have time to do.
Hire a cleaning service, a lawn service, a social media expert, an assistant, or even a day of childcare if you’re home with your kids instead of in an office. Exchange the time you’re doing busy work for “billable hours” that more than pay for the services you’re hiring. You can’t do it all by yourself. Get the help you need! It’s a worthy investment.
10. Remember this is temporary.
It’s only double-time until you make enough money to quit your day job. You can totally do this! Keep your goals and your whys in the front of your mind. Let them drive you! It’s totally worth it.
Find the hidden time-pockets in your own schedule. There’s more than you think. You’ve got this!