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Full-Time Prosperity With Part-Time Hours

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This is an article based on my recent virtual workshop, “Why Your Dream Business is Not Making BIG money (Yet) – 3 Steps to Build a Full-Time Business on Part Time Hours”.  And wouldn’t we all just love to have more time to ourselves?  Imagine being able to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, without taking a cut in income.  When I made the decision to approach my business this way, I had a very strong motivation – I was determined to work only three days a week, so I could spend the other four being a mom to my little girl.  But this was a very conscious effort, and I’m going to share with you three of the steps that it took to get me there, and the steps you can take to get yourself in the zone of peace and prosperity as well.

Step 1 – Make your days count with high impact business-building activities.  And this to me was the most important step.  I had to ask myself, on a daily and sometimes hourly basis, “What am I doing now that should be delegated or dropped in order for me to work part-time?”  What can go… what must go so that I can accomplish this?

First, figure out what days and hours would work best for you in order to have your ideal lifestyle.  Once you decide the part-time hours you want, block that time off.  These are your new, dedicated work hours, and your productivity becomes magnified during these hours.  Get rid of all non-service delivery tasks, for example writing copy for ads, scheduling meetings, checking your emails, networking, working on your e-zine, even sales activity.  And when you work from home, like I did, you have to resist the urge to start cleaning the house, make shopping lists, and start dinner.

You will need to develop what I call a “delegation consciousness”.  In every moment of every day, ask yourself, “should I be doing this?”  I’ll give you an example of how this worked for me, and it was life-changing.  I have an e-zine that I send out to my list, and I decided to hire a virtual assistant team to take charge of the process for me, because I was spending way too much time on it.  By delegating my e-zine maintenance, that put into place a circumstance that allowed me to have a team already in place when the floodgates opened and business started pouring in.  I was ready for it.  I needed to push against my fears that I should do it myself and that I couldn’t afford to outsource this.  And it felt great when I let go of it.

Are you making proclamations that don’t really apply to the person you are now?  Maybe you’ve caught yourself being sucked into something you know isn’t the best use of your time, and you swear you’re not going to get caught up in it again.  But the next time it comes up, there you go.  We go to business events, read books, attend networking meetings, make cold calls… and this is ok to do once you’ve gotten your part-time hours under control.  But for now, get rid of anything that is not essential to you right now.  This is going to be extreme, you will be cutting back to bare minimums.  But don’t just cut back, be very conscious of what you are bringing in to your business, as well.

Solutions only have the opportunity to present themselves when you make a decision.  You’ll find many things that can wait if you really want to work part-time.  What is the benefit of working part-time?  Only you can answer that for yourself.  For me, it re-energized me, and gave purpose to everything I did with my business, and allowed me to live the life I’d only dreamed of.

In Step 2, I’m going to show you how to focus on your time.  Where it’s going, how you’re spending it, and most importantly – how to guard it.  This part really is the backbone of realizing your dream of full-time prosperity with part-time hours!

Step 2 – Create a vision for your ideal work week and practice time guarding.  Step back and visualize what your life would look like if you had 2 or 3 extra days a week to spend any way you wanted.  Would you spend more time with family?  Or do some volunteer work?  Or maybe start exercising, or take a class at the local college?

I got started on this step by literally putting a big red X through the days that I did not want to be available.  You know yourself; make your work days the ones that are typically the most productive for you.  Maybe you want to knock out your work week at the beginning of the week, and have a long weekend.  Or you could work 2 days, take a day off, work the other 2, and have your weekend.  It doesn’t matter which days you pick, what matters is that the days you pick are sacred.  It is essential that you block off that time and make it work.  Who says it has to be Monday through Friday?  You’re in charge here!

I’m not suggesting that you cram everything you’re doing right now into a few days, keeping the same work load.  You may be used to working 5, 6… 7 days a week (I know some of you are in this category!) and there is no way you are going to fit all of it into just 3 or 4 days.  So here’s where you get out your little scissors and start making cuts.  If you want to shed a light on things that you’re doing now that really aren’t essential to your business, shortening your work week will do it.  What needs to get done will get done.  So you really have to commit to these work days, making them productive, power-house days, protecting them from any non-essential distractions like a mama bear protects her baby cubs.

Now here’s the flip side.  You need to be as protective about your days off as you are with your work days.  Right now, take out your calendar and plan how many vacations you want to take this year-  even if you don’t know where you want to go yet!  Figure in your long weekends, your week to visit family, or lay on the beach for a few days.  These dates are not set in stone – that’s the beauty of having your own business and being flexible – but you are 99% more likely to take this time for replenishment if you already have the dates set.  If you don’t, chances are you will never go anywhere; and all work and no play makes Jack – or Jackie – a dull person!  I can tell you from experience that having specific vacation dates is key.  Do it for the rest of the year, and every year after that.  In months that have 5 weeks, use that bonus week to catch up on your filler stuff, or special projects that you’ve been wanting to work on.

I love my life, and what my income allows me to do.  But my lifestyle is not by accident.  I make sure that I do not schedule work activities on my days off, and vice-versa.  Do not let your guard down, or you will see your calendar start filling up on those precious “me” days.  It takes accountability, and   having someone in your life that models this lifestyle for you.  You will start to see what you’ve been missing in a very short period.  And you will see how you can get more done with less time just by planning your ideal work week.

Step 3 will show you another import time-guarding secret!

Step 3: This Is Personal

There is nothing so heartbreaking as seeing your dream business – that you’ve put your heart and soul into – falling to the ground like a big broken kite!  If you could separate yourself from the equation, it wouldn’t be so bad, but if you’re anything like me, your business is your baby!  So here’s the third reason, and I know this one well:

You are not used to failure feeling so personal. When things are going great, all is right with the world.  But when it’s not going well, let’s face it – it’s embarrassing!  Your business is a reflection of you, and it’s hard to accept setbacks, rejection, or criticism. This is the point when people give up and get a j-o-b rather than admit their weaknesses.  So here’s the third and final principle, and it is by far the one that helped me the most to triple my income over the past two years:

Divine Juice Principle #3 – You must use failure to catapult your success. There is a lot of good that can come from failure – believe me!  It leads to a phenomenon that I call the “entrepreneurial wormhole”.  Believe it or not, many businesses actually are born because of some type of struggle or pain.  And through that experience, the business owner learned!  They either decided to use that pain to help other people, or they realized that they had a gift in a certain area, and wanted to share it with others.  Or, they found something that helped them and then wanted to pass it on.

Failure has a purpose!  Of course when you’re in it, it sucks.  But once you’re out the other side of the wormhole, that knowledge catapults your business.  And here’s the rub – when you invest in yourself, and in your business, you often experience another version of your wormhole.  It doesn’t make sense, but you’re birthing the next level of your work – and it hurts!  But if you don’t take those risks, it could be the death of your business.  Investing in that help, working with my mentor, and having faith in myself – that’s what got me out of my wormhole.  I could never have offered the high level content of the Inner Circle had I not made a high level investment in myself, and had I not experienced and received that kind of support.  Yes, failure feels personal – because you’re not used to this level of frustration!  But in order to always move forward, you have to have people around you – peers, friends, a mentor or mastermind group – to help you get through that wormhole.

So here’s your homework for today – list your “failures” and what you learned from them.  Give them the credit they deserve.  Maybe it was a struggle, or a setback, but in your heart it became pervasive enough to affect your ability to take risks.  Doing this exercise may help prevent another wormhole!  And it will make what you’ve gone through – or going through – make sense.  I have a saying that we share in the Inner Circle – “Leap and the cliff disappears.”  When you decide to love your career, to have a peaceful and prosperous business, the cliff disappears.

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Lisa Cherney, a.k.a. the Juicy Marketing Expert, founded Conscious Marketing 12 years ago to help small business owners find their authentic marketing voice, attract their ideal clients and increase their sales. Following her own Stand Out & Be Juicy program, which centers on owning your unique self and laser-focus marketing, Lisa has tripled her income while working
part-time.

Prior to Conscious Marketing, Lisa worked with many Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Lipton, Nissan, Blue Cross and Equal. She is a highly sought after speaker and often shares the stage with experts such as Jack Assaraf (The Secret), Jack Canfield and Jill Lublin. Learn more about Lisa at www.consciousmarketing.com or call 887-771-0156.

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One Response to “Full-Time Prosperity With Part-Time Hours”

  1. Great article, Lisa. Enjoyed reading it!

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