How to Build a Lifestyle Business in Your Spare Time

It's time to build your lifestyle businessI used to spend a lot of time watching TV many years ago.

And I used the excuse, “I don’t have time,” when in reality I didn’t feel like doing much. I wanted things to be easier.

It felt much more comfortable to relax in front of the TV than to do anything “hard.”

Since then, I’ve changed quite a bit. I still enjoy watching TV, but my priorities are different.

I get a lot of emails from people telling me they’d like to start a lifestyle business, but they just don’t have time.

This seeming lack of time is what I want to cover in this post. Just for a moment, I’d like to ask you to suspend your beliefs that this isn’t possible.

Open your mind to the possibility that you have more than enough time to build a lifestyle business in your spare time.

Yes, even if you work a full-time job and have kids.

The Problem is NOT Time

It’s how you prioritize your time.

You’ve probably heard this before. But that doesn’t make it any less true.

This whole thing about time is another very convenient excuse. It may be more believable than all the other excuses, but it’s still an excuse.

Because let’s face it. If you truly wanted to, could you find 15 minutes during the day to work on your business?

Of course you could.

There are people out there who have less time than you, and they are going after their dreams, and that means you can do it, too.

But you have to stop putting up obstacles in front of yourself.

Yes, you may be swamped, but there is always a way to find time to work on something that’s important to you.

False Solutions

The solutions I often hear from people go something like this, if I only:

  • Could quit my job
  • Take a vacation to focus on my business
  • Had more clarity on what to do

But these are all excuses.

If you quit your job, you wouldn’t get any more done than you do now. Plus, you would probably be stressed out because you don’t have any money coming in.

It’s classic Parkinson’s Law, which states: work expands to fill the time available for its completion. If you quit your job, you’d just spend more time procrastinating and doing useless tasks.

I know, because I’ve been there.

Stop waiting for something to happen, and start with what you have.

The Real Solution

This is not about getting more time, it’s about:

  1. Finding pockets of time
  2. Focusing on the right tasks
  3. Getting more done in less time

It’s about working hard, but also working smarter. It’s about working with what you have, even if that means working just 10 minutes a day.

The more time you have on your hands, and if you use that time wisely, the more progress you can make.

But this doesn’t mean that you can’t make tremendous progress with just 30-60 minutes of focused work per day. Yes, it will be slower than someone who’s putting in 3 hours, but you can only do what you can do.

We have this false notion that we need to drop everything to do something, that we need to make dramatic changes.

But building a business takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight, and sometimes just having one to two hours a day is more than enough to make significant progress.

You can build a business in your spare time.

Is it going to be easy? Nope.

Will you have to get more organized? Probably.

But is it possible? Definitely.

How Much I Work

On a typical day, I’ll work around 2-3 hours.

But during these hours I’ll get more done than most people do in 8 hours. Sometimes more than some people do in days.

Since becoming a father, I’ve had to become extremely efficient. I’ve had to fit work into the few hours I have in the morning.

It has also helped me separate work from life. I used to try and work all day long, but it was only burning me out.

I was trying to force progress. Now, I get my things done in the morning and then I live life. I’m a classic overachiever, so this has been hard for me.

Focusing on the Right Tasks

If you’re starting out, or if you’re in the process of growing your business, chances are you won’t know what to focus on, when, and how to get it done.

This means you’re wasting time.

A lot of time.

I wrote about the cornerstones of a lifestyle business recently, but that post alone won’t help you focus on the right tasks, because it’s impossible to convey everything you need to know in a blog post.

You have to constantly focus on where you are going and then evaluate if what you are doing right now is helping you get there.

When you focus on the right tasks, you can often eliminate 80% of the things you’re doing. The good old 80/20 rule comes into play.

And this means you can make amazing progress with the time you have each day.

The Bottom Line

You already have the time you need to build your lifestyle business.

This is not about getting more time. That’s an excuse. This is about learning to use the time you have better. And focusing on the right tasks that give you the best results for your time.

Everyone can find 15-30 minutes per day to work on something they’re passionate about.

If you truly don’t have time to build a business right now, that’s fine. But don’t make excuses for why you can’t make it happen.

Own your decision.

If you’ve read this far, somewhere deep down you want to make this happen, so start thinking about how you can find that extra time.

And start looking at what you need to focus on first.

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Comments

  1. What you say about being able to make time even in the midst of a busy life is right Henri! It can be done with careful planning if someone really is dead serious about their need to do it.

    In the case of someone with young children, I would advise thinking through some short activity plans (after the children are asleep) for the next days.

    It might take some patience initially to get them to “work” by themselves, but even very young children can become absorbed in some activity for 10 minutes or so. You could call it work time for Dad or Mom and you guys!

    With some patience in the beginning – answering questions etc – you could earn yourself some more work time, and it’s good for the children to learn to replace some helter-skelter play and bickering with a focused activity

    Fran

  2. Yet again another great post! At the moment I’m trying to work all day, but yeah maybe I should try and cut down to 3-4 hours, but get everything done without procrastinating!

  3. Time is not the issue for me. Knowledge about becoming a developer is. However I Will use the internet and your information to proceed.
    Cheers Jan from Adelaide.

  4. Hi, What you said about time is true but my problem is not time. It is good business idea (S) that viable and lucrative. Pls help me with business ideas that is viable and lucrative.

  5. Awesome stuff Henri.

    This post is so true to my heart. Focusing on the right tasks is extremely crucial and I’m having problems identifying these tasks. However, since I’m in the know, I can do something about it.

    Zell

  6. So true. The time is never an issue. You can wake up early or sleep late and already gain 2 hours. I think it is all about how bad you want to do it. If you want it bad enough than nothing is an issue, really.

  7. Thanks Henri. Another nice post. You really gave me some inspirational stuff to figure out things to take action!