The Bad News and the Good News
With more than 10 million workers in the UK at risk of being replaced by robots by Artificial Intelligence (AI), it has never been more pressing for you and I to find a way to increase our income.
With our 9-5 jobs at risk, we can’t just rely on our monthly pay check as our security blanket anymore. We have to prepare for the future that lies ahead.
But its not all doom and gloom. With the advances in technology, it has also never been easier to start a business today. The internet has created a viable opportunity for ordinary people like you and me, with no technical or marketing experience to grow a successful business to supplement and backup our income with the lowest barriers to entry that has ever existed.
So what is the best time to start a business?
Well, the best time to start a business is NOW!
But why don’t we see more people starting a business and preparing for the future?
Well, most people want to start now but they tell themselves, “I just don’t have time to start a business.”
It’s true that our lives are busy. But guess what?
Life is busy and it’s not likely to change anytime soon!
When you are at college, you’ll say I need to study, I’m too busy. Then you start a demanding job and get even busier. Then down the track you get married and have kids. Spoiler alert…you will be even busier yet!
There will always been demands for our time. We all have various priorities and tasks pulling at us every day – our studies, our jobs, our families, our social lives….
Ask yourself, why do you want to start a business?
Maybe you’ve had one of those moments…
You are sitting at your 9-5 job and at around 3pm, the afternoon energy slump, you sit back with a sigh and think to yourself…
I just can’t do this anymore…I can’t do it.
Or maybe your company has implemented some new technology and some of your colleagues have found letters on their desk…telling them their roles have been disestablished. Every day, a crippling feeling of fear fills your as you can’t help feeling your job is closer and closer to be replaced by the next machine upgrade.
You know you have to build another source of income.
No matter what you why is, many successful businesses are born out of these ‘whys’. And you are in the exact same position as almost anyone I’ve met that has built a successful business online. They had demanding jobs, kids and a busy life but they managed to find time to build a business. And you can find time too.
I remember when I first felt compelled to start a business, I told myself I just started my career, I’m too busy to think about anything else. In fact, it wasn’t until down the track when I had a baby AND a career that I found the time to start a business.
Was it because I suddenly had all this extra time on my hands? Trust me, with a baby that hardly slept, I didn’t. It was because I had a stronger and more compelling ‘why’ to why I wanted to start a business. With a new baby, I knew that I didn’t want to spend hours at my job away from her and missing out on her childhood. So with this renewed passion I managed to find time to finally get started.
Check out these two guys who started a business while one had a full-time job and the other hand a commanding agency business. They managed to find the time ‘working nights and weekends’.
Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day
So how does Beyonce manage to go to so many basketball games with Jay-Z, take amazing holidays and run a fashion line, music and other businesses while having a family on top of that? Surely she must have more than 24 hours in a day! That reality is, we all have the exact same 24 hours in a day.
Some people like Beyonce can probably go with less sleep but if you are like me, you need a full 8 hours (especially with baby waking up during the nights). That still leaves a good 16 hours per day that you are in FULL control of. The only difference between the people who are ‘too busy’ and those who find the time despite the busyness, is how they use their 16 hours.
When I started out, I had to make some sacrifices in terms of time. I had to do things a bit differently. Instead of turning Netflicks on when my baby went to bed, I would work on my business. Instead of accept every social invite, I worked on my business. Instead of taking an hour lunch break, I found a quiet spot and ate while I worked on my business.
I must admit some days were tough – a deadline at work meant that I got home later, only to rush through dinner, bath time then my baby would decide she didn’t want to sleep and wanted to play with mom for hours. By the time my baby was in bed, I was ready for bed myself. On days like that I might do 15-20 minutes before calling in a night. But doing something was better than nothing.
On average, I would manage to dedicate 2-3 hours per day to working on my business. Yes, I might have had less to talk about with colleagues around the printer as I wasn’t clued up on the latest TV programs. But I knew I was building a source of supplementary and eventually full-time income that would give me the freedom to live the way I wanted to and escape the 9-5 grind.
You can do the same. I challenge you to take a look at your day, map it out and find ways to carve out time to get started on your business.
Here are some practical ways that I’ve used to ‘fit in’ starting a business into a busy life. Who knows, they might just work for you too
7 Practical Ways I Use To ‘Make More Time’
(1) Write down weekly business goals. Now this is not a full-blown planning exercise but a simple 5-minute outline of the week. I get out my notebook and jot down a maximum of 3 tasks I want to get done every day with my business. My plan for a particular day might be – plan next 5 blog posts, respond to comments and cover a chapter of self-learning for example. It’s easier to be productive when you don’t have to spend the first 15-20 minutes deciding what to do and actually ‘get work done’ right away.
(2) Have dedicated days for laundry and other chores. With little people in the house, my laundry pile seems to be never ending. The temptation for me is to quickly put on a load of laundry in the evenings. This ‘quick task” can quickly suck up 30 minutes if you included hanging the clothes out to dry and ‘quickly’ hand washing a few bits and pieces.
Do you have other chores that need to be done but seem to suck time out of your day? For me, Thursdays are now laundry day and maybe Saturday if it’s sunny. Try planning your meals for the week or precooking to make cut dinner prep time. It’s the little stresses that zap your energy and suck up your time.
(3) Get myself out of Facebook (and social media). Facebook in particular is a huge distraction for me. Just one click on the app can mean 30 minutes of watching ridiculous videos. To gain 30 minutes back a day, I took drastic action and decided to delete my Facebook app.
Trust me, you’ll be more productive if you remove social media distractions. And don’t worry, missing out on funny videos and your friend’s latest “look at my awesome life’ posts will actually be a nice break.
(4) Work on your business during lunch. If you still in a 9-5 job, take your lunch hour to develop idea, work on your website or do some research. This is how I used to carve out an extra 1 hour a day to invest into my business. Don’t underestimate how much you can get done in the hour. In fact, planning and researching during my lunch hour meant that I could focus on other more meaty tasks in the evening.
(5) Take a notebook wherever you go. Great entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Bill Gates all go through many notebooks a year. So take a notebook with you to jot down ideas and thoughts that pop into your mind during the day. I used to keep digital notes on Onenote in my phone until I realized there was something magical about pen and paper. It just seems to get the creative juices flowing better. Try both out and see which one works better for you.
(6) Read on the go! I used to turn on the TV first thing in the morning. Not only was that starting my day off with negative reports which zapped my energy, it was also frankly just a waste of time. These days I prefer to listen to podcasts or audio book to keep informed and keep progressing my education. I listen to this as I get ready in the morning and as I drive to work.
When I’m running at the gym, I like the read e books and keep learning on my favorite online platform Wealthy Affiliate. I also use apps that summarize business books to get as much knowledge as I can about my business niche and running a business etc.
(7) Stop multi-tasking, it’s wasting precious time. Did you know that new research confirms that distractions reduce our productivity and rewire our brains resulting in a drop in IQ by 5 points! Eek! So if you are easily distracted like me, you can download this free productivity program to block distractions on your laptop so you can actually get work done.
I would love to hear your feedback on what you think is the best time to start a business.
I do hope this post has been helpful for helping you find practical ways to find extra hours in the day to start your business now instead of putting it off.
This is where I personally learnt to start a successful business, you can check out my full review here.
If you have any tips, tricks or stories to share please let me know in the comments below.