Have you ever tried to build and run a business on the side of your job? Not everyone wants to and that’s ok! It’s completely difficult (though not as difficult as what you would think if you have the right foundations in place) I met Matej Csornai while we took an online business course together a while back (don’t worry I’ll share more about that next week!)
Anyhow Matej has become somewhat of an expert in productivity and mindset, two things that are ABSOLUTELY NEEDED to make any kind of a career change, not just running a side biz. Matej and I have chatted multiple times and become friends, every time we have had a conversation or exchanged emails he has amazed me with how he gets so much done and stays ridiculously positive even when challenges pop up with the projects he is working on!
The story below is his and he shares big chunks of how he makes it happen every single day!
Take it away Matej…
When I bought a premium course to build my own online business I thought it would would be easy.
I saw those all amazing success stories. What other students achieved and how they built their businesses from scratch to five figures in four months or so.
I felt confident and was very motivated.
I dreamt about my business, to be my own boss who can work anytime and anywhere. I wanted to earn more money and be able to take dream vacations with my family and friends.
With the right course everything seemed possible.
I had an idea in my mind already so I thought I’ll just follow the action steps and the results will come.
The first week was great. I followed the course almost every free minute. Watched videos, filled in worksheets and took actions. First exercises were about finding an idea. And because I already had a specific idea it was easy for me to do them.
But the game was only beginning.
It was hard to take actions out of my comfort zone.
Next steps were terrifying for me. But they were very critical for building a business. I should validate my idea with real people. The best method is to ask people one on one. Either to meet somebody from a target audience or call a stranger who could be my potential client.
Because of my internal fears and shyness to talk to people face to face and meet strangers it was very hard to do it. I would do any kind of writing and other things but this mission was impossible.
That’s where I started to feel bad about myself.
I was thinking that I’ll never create my own thing. Many invisible scripts were flowing through my head. These were obstacles which hindered my progress and didn’t allow me to follow the course for a long time.
The only thing I was able to do was learning. Watch more videos, read more tactics, look for the advices from people in the community. What worked for them and what to avoid.
I was waiting for the bursts of motivation to take any action.
When I watched any kind of inspirational video I felt motivated. But it didn’t last long enough.
The time and energy I had was sufficient only to think about action which I could take. There were so many possible tasks to be done. So to choose something I could do immediately took me much of the free time I had at my disposal.
In the end when I finally chose an action to take I decided to do it next time. I said myself that I’ve been already working “hard” so I can take a break.
And what did I do next time when the same burst of motivation came? You’re right. I just looked for something to be done but never actually did it.
My results after first five months? NONE.
Oh, to be honest, there was one result. I scrapped my first idea because it was not working for me.
It took me four long months to figure out an idea which would fit for me. Pursue the right idea for your business is critical because it will drive you forward. Working on something you don’t love or even hate doing is the same as like to staying at work that does not fulfill you.
If you don’t have your business idea yet, enroll in the FREE 8-day HTYC ‘Figure it Out’ course to find the work that fits YOU.
This free course will help you find your strengths and things you love so you’ll naturally feel motivated working on your side business.
What’s the best time to work on my side business?
Right after I discovered my new great idea for my business I started to work on it. I was highly motivated and focused so I couldn’t cannot wait for a bit of free time each day.
The problem was to find free time for myself.
I didn’t have as that much time as I wanted. With a full-time job and family with 3 years old daughter it was almost impossible to make some time for me because my family was a high priority.
I was waiting all day long to finally have some time for myself in the evening.
What did happen then? I’m sure all of you experienced it. I sat down in front of computer, opened the worksheet and wanted to follow it. My focus lasted for about 15 minutes until I felt tired.
I was exhausted from all the work and things I’ve done already throughout the day.
My brain wanted to relax. To prepare mentally and physically for the next hard day. To “enjoy” the life by watching TV, playing video games or just cuddling with my wife and going to bed.
I said to myself I’ll work on my business tomorrow. I planned to save more energy for tomorrow evening. I sometimes skipped exercise or some of the family time to make that really happen. What was the outcome … I just spent more time playing video games.
It took me a long time to realize the truth.
I always could find free time. But did I spend it the right way? NO.
The reasons were simple:
- I felt exhausted from all the things I already did throughout the day – day job tasks, taking care of kids, do chores, exercise, prepare for the next day
- I lacked energy to focus – my brain only wanted to relax, play games or watch TV
- I was not able to take actions out of my comfort zone – anything I didn’t experience before, something new, not an easy task
It was not possible to continue this way. It would not bring any results. I had to find another way which would work for me.
Work for myself first
Instead of hurrying to work each morning and give my most productive hours to my employer I decided to work for myself first.
Even if it’s just 30 minutes or one hour. That’s the time I’m most productive and can get lot of things done.
I’m much more focused in the morning. Full of energy and willpower. I don’t have the urge to check emails, Ffacebook, TV and other unimportant things. I can take actions out of my comfort zone easily and much more quicker that at a later time throughout the day.
Scott does the same. He wakes up every day at 3:55 AM to work on the most important tasks for HTYC in the morning.
How can you do the same?
The only way to wake up earlier is to go to bed earlier.
Let’s say you have to go to work at 8 AM. You need to start preparing at 7:30 to leave. So to have an hour for your side business you need to set up alarm to 6 AM. You’ll have 30 minutes for waking up properly. Then you can work from 6:30 – 7:30.
To be able to wake up at 6 AM you need to go to bed at 11 PM at least to ensure great sleep. It’s recommended to sleep at least 7 hours. Make sure of that to be full of energy for work in the morning.
It’s important to make waking up early a habit so your body will adapt to new routine and you’ll do it automatically.
When you’re just starting out don’t try to make a quick change.To wake up one or two hours earlier than usual. Make the change slow. Set your alarm just 5 or 10 minutes earlier, get used to it for a couple of days and then repeat the same.
I cannot give you ultra- specific tactics because everybody has different conditions, e.g. kids who fall asleep and wake up at a different times, different activities in the evening and morning. But make sure you don’t watch TV shows late at night so you can wake up earlier.
Make your side business a priority. It’s much more important than watching your favorite TV show!
Think how better you could spend these hours of watching TV if you’ve built a successful business. You could be lying on the beach with your family or traveling around the globe with your friends. Those are just some examples. I’m sure you know what you would be doing with the never-ending freedom.
What about all these distractions around me?
If you want to make the most out of your free time you need to avoid all kind of distractions.
The biggest distractions are electronic devices with all the applications we think we “need”. We have the urge to check constantly our inbox, news and social media if anything “very important” does happen we have to know about. Watching TV, playing video games or other unproductive time consumers.
We’re distracted by all the meaningless things that we don’t have time and focus left to do things which are really important to us. The things which can bring us closer to our goals and dreams.
How to get rid of these?
At first we cannot imagine avoiding all of these. But once you start it’s simple and your life becomes way easier.
For me it worked very well. I completely removed news, TV shows and films from my life. I just watch sports from time to time to get some relax. I also uninstalled all the games from my computer and mobile not to crave playing. Instead I work on my business, spend more time with family or read and learn.
This way I’m more calm cause I don’t see all those things happening around me which are out of my control like economy, politics, celebrities, etc. I don’t get bothered by meaningless things in my head. I focus on my family, on getting great results at work, building my side business and self development.
It’s very important to stop doing unimportant things or things we’re not great at. One of the great ways is to outsource the stuff we’re not great at or anything which can be outsourced to other people. Like doing chores. If you can get a maid for one hour to clean up your house you can spend that time doing more important stuff for you own business.
Scott has many great suggestions in the podcast episode 075 Finding the time. He speaks about importance of cutting out unnecessary things, scheduling and outsourcing.
How to get laser-focused on important tasks
Because I was not moving forward with my side business I had to make it a priority.
I was focusing on all different things. I wanted to be as much as possible with my family, achieving great results at my job, improving healthy eating, exercising, reading more and learning more.
Sure, all those things should still be a priority. So should be my side business.
I changed my priorities. Still my number one priority is family and I want to perform great at my job too. But I’m doing pretty great with healthy eating and exercising so I could move my side business before them.
Last year my goal was to have a six-pack. To be able to show myself that I can reach a big goal. It’s not an easy task so I thought it would make a huge boost in my confidence. However to live the whole life with six-pack but as an employee without freedom and financial independence didn’t make sense any more.
After I made sure my business is a top priority I needed to know my BIG WHY.
I think about it every time I don’t feel motivated or question myself what should I do next. Whenever I feel bad or face an obstacle I turn to my why and know exactly where my focus needs to be and which actions need I take.
My big why is the FREEDOM.
Freedom to spend any minute I want with my family. To be able to travel with them, enjoy the vacations with friends. Be able to go skiing in the middle of the week. Don’t have to count money if I can eat in that restaurant or try something new I haven’t experienced before.
I cannot enjoy the life fully as I want without it. That’s what drives me to take actions and be laser focused on important tasks.
Another thing which improves my performance is a challenging and time-specific goal.
It should be something you find exciting because it would be hard to achieve. Something you know will be a great result if you manage to do it. For example getting first 500 subscribers or creating a product prototype in two months. Make the time specific so you’ll be driven by the deadline.
Tell other people about this goal to hold you accountable. It could be your partner, family, friends. Or you can just post it on social media, here in the comments below or in the “One stop” community.
You’ll be motivated and focused to deliver the results not to look stupid that you haven’t done anything.
If you don’t reach your goal fully but you worked hard along the way it’s totally perfect. It just didn’t turned out as you planned. But make sure you put in the hard work. At least the same effort you put in at your day job to get the paycheck. Treat your side business as a real work. As something you get paid forrom. If you work hard you’ll surely get paid for it soon.
In order to be able to use that created motivation and focus there is the next important part of the process. It’s planning.
Without proper planning you solve tasks as they come on your mind. Either you do, postpone, delegate or scrap them. But the problem is that you don’t know what should you work on.
I know it myself.
Before I started doing weekly planning of three most important tasks (MITs) I was not able to progress towards my goals. I would watch the video from course and then take action based on it. It could work sometime however it was inefficient most times.
Without proper planning I didn’t know what is the desired outcome of the task. How close will this result bring me to my goals and dreams.
After I incorporated weekly planning into my life, many things became easier. I know exact steps and expected results.
Some time ago I also started doing 5-minute journal each evening. I open the small physical notebook, grab a pen and write down three things which went well that day, one thing which could be better, one thing I learned that day and one thing I’ll do the next morning. This task has to be aligned with one of the weekly MITs.
This way I practice gratitude, reflect on the things that didn’t went well and could be improved and memorize important thing I learned that day. And the most important I plan what to do next morning. So the next day I’m able to jump straight at taking most important action without thinking.
JUST DO IT
You see it on the clothes all around you. I wear some T-shirts with these big words. But it took me long time to realize the meaning.
In reality it’s pretty simple. Just do it. Do the things in real and take actions. Don’t just think about them, read and learn. Nobody has done something wonderful in his head. Your business idea could be the next amazing thing like the next Apple, Google, Facebook but if it remains only in your head it’s worthless.
To make sure you don’t only consume these information and ideas, I’ve prepared a challenge for you. One week challenge accompanied with a worksheet which will help you to work on your side business at least one hour each day.
It will help you get results and momentum which you can keep long after this challenge. I’m sure you can create a habit of working for yourself an hour every day so you’ll achieve results regularly.
Step #1: I want you to work on your side business at least one hour each day for 7 days straight. The recommendation is to work in the morning when the energy and focus is on the highest level and distractions are at a minimum. But if you cannot make it in the morning I’m sure you’re able to spend one hour during the day.
E.g. go to Starbucks right after the work and do something there. Skip TV news or show in the evening or work during the commercials. Get creative and you’ll find many ways.
Step #2: Every day before you go to bed fill in the worksheet. You can print it, write it in your notebook or fill in on your computer. Just make sure you reflect on your day. Learn from the experience and improve next time. You can find the worksheet here.
Results: Apart from the results you’ll get with your actions, you’ll learn a lot about yourself. How much free time can you find, how can you focus, how you plan, your ability to take actions and your biggest distractions.
It’s great starting point to take your side business seriously.
More tactics for finding time and focusing better
If you struggle to find more free time for your side business I have more solutions for you.
If you have full-time job and kids as I do, it is very important to know what to work on at the right moment. To be laser-focused on every action you take.
Close the gap between your dreams and reality.
If you’re ready get my FREE guide right now.