[Article republished from “Mondays with Mike – 1/15/18” email newsletter ==> Subscribe to get weekly newsletter in your inbox plus FREE REPORT]
I get asked all the time, “How do you do it?”
Balancing my day job, kids, exercise, everyone else’s to do lists, etc.
Fitting a side hustle into your life, or making time for a hobby or other passion often takes time. Sometimes lots of time.
So how do you do it?
I find it comes down to three things.
- Big Blocks of Time
Let’s start with …
What do you want to get accomplished?
For me getting you this email each week is something I prioritize. It is important. It is something I’ve committed myself to doing. Every week. For at least 50 weeks a year. Without missing.
In order to make that happen I need to generate ideas. I get these throughout the week. Sometimes they just pop into my head. When they do I dictate them into my “Google Keep” app on my phone. I just started using this (used a phone post-it note app before). I also get them from listening to business podcasts on my way to work. Or I get them from other people’s emails I subscribe to. Or they come from random conversations I have throughout my day.
So now, when I sit down to put this ezine email together I have several ideas to choose from for the weekly core essay.
Then I comes to writing. And that is about…
Focus is critical in writing. I find that when I write I need UNINTERRUPTED TIME to get an article written. This is because when you’re in creative mode, the thoughts cue up off each other. So you just need to really write until you’re done. Until the words stop coming.
Then you can edit later.
But if you don’t knock out the piece uninterruptedly, you’ll find you lose the essence, the passion in the writing. And it will seem like where you picked up again doesn’t match the feeling you get in the first part.
I tend to be a logical person so the editing piece is easy for me. But the writing I often struggle with. But it is amazing when you get into that zone. That zone of complete focus on the story. In the moment. How everything flows easily and you just enjoy the process. It is freeing and fun.
But getting into this zone often takes being free from distractions and being in that place where you can just get it done.
And this is where…
Big Blocks of Time
This is something I got from one of my mentors, Kevin Hogan. He was all about finding a block of time when you won’t be interrupted by responsibilities, kids, housework, etc. A time when you were in your “Happy Place”…okay that was a Happy Gilmore movie reference :).
The thing is, if you only have an hour to do the work, it is highly unlikely you’ll make much meaningful progress on any major initiative. For this ezine, because I’ve done the prep work I can usually knock this essay out in under an hour of writing. May take another half hour to get the rest of the ezine put together and scheduled for the Monday 11AM distribution.
If I’m doing a bigger project. Like revamping my website, creating a landing page for an opt in offer, or spending some serious time thinking about my business, then having 2-4 hours…or even a full day…can result in tremendous boosts in implemented ideas.
It’s Not Magic…or maybe it is.
Looking back at a side hustle that started out as testing the waters with a blog and website, with no paying clients nearly three years ago to now having a thriving part time business where I get to work with people who want to drive their career or business forward. Working with doers who are making things happen in many different arenas. It is cool. Here’s some of the things I’ve been a part of from this experience.
- Resume/LinkedIn Profile Writing – Last count 45 clients. I’ve learned from them about – IT, Fashion, Event Planning, TV/Radio Production, Wine Business, Sales, Staffing/Recruiting, Women Leaders, Startups, Commercial Construction, Wireless and Wireline Telecom, Comcast and Frontier TV Home Installs, Drones for Business, behind the scenes insights to the war in Afghanistan from someone who was in the main triage center there. I’ve worked with CEO’s, Startup Founders, Board Members, Startup Incubator Leaders, Podcasters, Recruiters, a ton of people in Telecom, construction managers, project managers, Directors, VP’s, Sales and Business Development Experts, coordinators and administrative staff.
- Blogging – Having written over 200 blog posts and with guest posters on my site doing at least one blog post a week (50+ a year). It keeps me engaged, creative, and connected with my community (yes, that’s you). These posts show up on my website, reposted to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook (since not everyone is a subscriber to my ezine yet).
- Mondays with Mike Ezine – You’re either reading this because you’re on my weekly email list, or had this email forwarded to you by a friend, or saw it reposted later on my website or through LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook on those repostings. Here, like the blog, I’ve learned to be consistent. This is also the place I try to get a little more personal. Sharing my thoughts and stories – where my blog often has more formal articles, particularly with those guest posts on my site. My goal for the ezine is for you to learn something (often it is just triggering an idea you want to pursue that may not have anything to do with my article but just popped into your head anyway) and to have something fun and different to read to break up your Monday.
- Marketing – Right now most of my business comes through referrals. From people who’ve worked with me or people who’ve seen my articles or heard of me through a podcast I was a guest on or from recruiters I work with (when they have a great candidate with a bad resume, they send them my way). Are these methods the best for getting clients? Yes and no. For me and the part time limited nature of my business they work well. If I needed a full time income I would probably need to take a different approach to get enough work. That might involve Google, Facebook or LinkedIn ads. It might mean more work with influencers – podcasters, recruiters, and others who work with the people I work with but in non-competitive ways.
For those of you who might be considering a job change, starting a side hustle, or jumping into a new hobby or project, consider some of the things I shared throughout this article. I would hope that it would help you guide your efforts so you could be more successful in your efforts.
I would love to hear some projects you’re working on. Shoot me an email (or comment when this hits my blog later).
And if I can help in your efforts, let me know about that as well.
Now go schedule and tackle some Big Blocks of Time and make something great happen!