Quitting your day job is a very scary decision to make because it is hard to reverse. Quitting your day job might burn bridges, your position might be filled, and you are not sure if you can ever get employment ever again. That is why you need to have a set of goals for quitting your day job, that way you have something to work towards, you know when it is time to quit, and you have a driving force pushing you to quit, and pull through on your self-made promise.
You should have goals for savings, career, income, and with legal issues. Savings might mean that you have a certain amount of money in the bank, just in case your business takes a turn and stops making money. Decide on how much money you need in the bank to support yourself for six months, at least. That is pretty easy to work towards, and to figure out. If you decide that you want $10,000 in the bank, then figure out how to save $500 or $1,000 every month, keep adding to that nest egg until you hit your goal.
Then, think about your career. It is going to look weird if there is a blank spot on your resume for 5 years or 10 years on the off chance that you have to go to a day job, or if a new job presents itself that you just can’t pass up. Think about what it will look like on your resume and maybe if you need to stay with this job for another year or two just to have the experience, or even to have the proper training to then manage your own business.
Probably the most important and obvious goal is income or cash flow. How much money would you need to have every month, not just to be happy, and not just to equal your day job – but how much money would you need to have coming in every month to justify quitting that job, It is very difficult, because what if your day job makes you $5,000 per month and then you figure out how to make your home business make $5,000 per month. Now you are making $10,000 per month, and to quit your job at this point – you are going to be cutting your income in half. That is why you have to figure out what level of income you would be happy with even with the sudden drop of losing one of your incomes.
And probably the least important are the legal goals. What kind of things will you have to worry about that you did not have to worry about at a day job, Will you need to get your own car lease, Your own health insurance, Establish a business structure, Figure out what legal issues you need to have in place when you quit your day job and get these in place as soon as possible.
Quitting your day job can be an emotional and difficult choice, but if you split that huge, big, scary choice up into small pieces – you can attack them one at a time, have a goal to build up to, and be completely sure when exactly the right time is to quit your day job.
I know that you might hate your day job, or you may realize that your day job might come obsolete pretty soon and you want to quit. It is not a good idea to drop everything and suddenly start building a business. So how do you balance your existing day job with your future business, How do you keep both of them moving forward so that eventually your business overtakes your day job and you can quit your day job and now be in business for yourself instead of someone else, Make sure not to mix the two, set time to do your business before or after the day job, and give yourself the proper motivation to eventually quit.
Never build your business while at your day job. You can never be sure what kind of monitoring software your employer had installed on the computer or on your network, and you can’t always be sure of what clause is in your contract that may or may not state that using your day job to build your business is reason to be fired. Not just that, but that your business is now owned by your day job.
It is not a good idea and the best way to be sure is just to keep your day job at your day job, and your home-business at home.
How then do you find the time to do things like set up a website, make a blog, make a product while going through this day job, What you do is schedule time to build your business before or after going to your day job. This depends on if you have a family, and if you are a morning or a night person. You might have to wake up an hour earlier to focus on your business before going to your day job. Maybe immediately after you get home from your day job you spend one hour on your business. Maybe you wake up in the middle of the night to spend one hour then to build what you have to build, but schedule certain hours or maybe just one hour per day, or maybe time on the weekend when you can make the day job hours work and when you can still see your family and still have a normal life.
Don’t mix the day job and the business, and schedule time before and after for your own personal time. Even though you might be really tempted to quit that day job immediately, hold off for a few weeks at least. The day job is very good motivation to eventually quit.
We all have bad days at the day job, we get tired of waking up early, or don’t feel like driving into work. Keep that in mind so that you are motivated to get alot done in your own business, and after you quit you will be motivated to keep doing that so that you never have to go back to your day job.
You don’t get extra points or extra money if you are working for yourself just by putting in extra time. If one person sits down and spends 30-minutes making articles, sending out auto-responders and leaves. And another person sits down for 12-hours and gets the same thing accomplished – then who is the real winner, They both got the same out-come, but one person spent half an hour of time, and one person spent 12-hours of time. You don’t want to be busy, you want to be productive. You can tell you are being productive if you are finishing what you do, if you are focusing on deliverables, and if your tasks are on course to your bigger goal.
What does it mean to finish something, It means that you have something to show for your efforts, it means that someone could look over your shoulder and see what you physically created from your efforts. That might mean that you made five forum posts instead of spending three hours on a forum. It might mean that you finished two chapters of your report, instead of outlining two chapters. Outlining is fine, but finishing is better.
You need to show what you have actually completed. What that actually delivers to you. That means that if you finished two chapters of your report, did those make you any money, Did you take those two chapters and release the newer version of your report, If you wrote an article, did you submit it, And, did that give you traffic and did that get you sales, Then you now have a deliverable based on what you created.
It’s one thing to write more of a blog post, but what if you published it or scheduled it so that it is now out there. No matter what tasks you complete, you need to make sure that this is all in line with your bigger picture. It doesn’t make sense to be marketing in one niche, but then write articles in a different niche. Or, to send an email with one topic but tomorrow ask people to buy a product about a completely different topic.
That is what you need to do to make sure you are productive, and not just busy. That you are finishing what you start, that you think about what deliverables you are making, and that your tasks are on course to the bigger picture.
If you are still stuck in the “day job” mentality, you might be thinking about how many hours a day you need to be putting into your own life or your own business to make sure that you keep making progress every single day. That is the wrong way of thinking and that is the wrong thing to be asking, because being busy does not mean you are being productive.
If you sit at your computer for 8-hours a day and constantly check your email, check your twitter, check Facebook, check forums, and never get anything accomplished – then you are busy. You are spending all this time at the computer wasting time, getting nothing done, having nothing to show for it.
Most people I know who work an 8-hour per day “day job” can tell me that they only put in about 15-minutes of productivity every single day. Sure you get paid for 8-hours, but you take bathroom breaks, you check email, get coffee, you spend time researching or reading, and really as far as getting things completed and showing what progress you have made. There is only about 15-minutes every day put into it.
Luckily, when you are in business for yourself – you are not stuck at a “day job”, you are not stuck with a boss and you can get off the computer to take breaks to make yourself more productive when you come back. Think of your computer as a “hot-seat”, you don’t use it for checking email all the time and you have most windows closed. You sit down at the computer, you get whatever task finished and as soon as that’s done, you get off the computer and get to something else – walk the dog, take a walk, wash the dishes, vacuum the house, go to the store, something that does not involve TV or the computer. That way you can have some downtime, relax and recharge your batteries and subconsciously resolve many of the problems you would have had beating your head against the wall while you were on the computer.
Instead of thinking about how many hours per day you need to work, think about what tasks you should and should not be focusing on and get in the habit of using your computer as a “hot-seat.” Sit down, do it, then leave.
There are probably hundreds or thousands of different software programs that try to help you try to manage your life, give you more free time, and make you more productive. The problem is many of these software programs box you in and suck up all your time while you are managing the different things you get done.
I am very much against complicated time-management systems where you have to draw tables, list lots of tasks, and keep everything in a spreadsheet or in a software program. Instead of using a software program or a complicated system, just use four (4) daily tasks and a countdown timer.
Four daily tasks means that today you pick four simple things to do. That might be write a blog post, send an auto-responder message, get one new affiliate partner, and edit sales letter for 30-minutes. Just have four simple things, four tasks – not a to-do list, but tasks, where each of those items can be completed in one single sitting at the computer.
To make sure you complete these tasks in a timely fashion, use a countdown timer. If you are a Windows user, I use a program called Cool-Timer that will countdown or count up depending on what you want to do. If you wanted to spend 30-minutes changing around your blog, then set that timer to 30-minutes, let it countdown, and as soon as it hits zero, then you stop.
If you are not comfortable with a computer program to time you, or you don’t have a Windows computer – you can use a kitchen timer, or even use the countdown timer on your phone.
Have four things to do, and time everything you do with a countdown timer to make sure you finish it all. Don’t waste time managing the system or tracking your progress or analyzing your progress, just have four things to do every day and time those tasks so you get them completed on time.
Your time is valuable. Other people need to respect your time, and you need to figure out when you are busy and when you are available. That way you can schedule meetings, webinars, teleseminars, or coaching calls weeks or months in advance and still have a time for yourself for vacations, days off, and for working on your business.
That is why I use a Gmail calendar and a Smart-Phone to keep track of all those things. First of all, I recommend you get a Gmail account, which is hosted by Google because in Gmail there is an extra tab where you can have your very own calendar. It displays the day, the week, the month.. You can schedule blocks of time according to when you are going to be focusing just on one particular task, having a meeting, and so on. What is really good about this is you can sync it to most Smart-Phones. That way you can set up a meeting with your phone and then check it later on your computer or in fact, any computer in the world and vice versa. You can set the meeting on your computer, and it will appear on your phone as well.
The really cool feature about this is you can give others access to this Gmail calendar. It means that you can share the calendar with your family or your business partners, so they will automatically know when you are busy and when you are free, and you can have different security levels. For example, your business partners will see that you have family time blocked out, but they might not necessarily see what you have it blocked out for – only that you are busy. It means that if your business partners want to have a meeting at a certain time of day, they just schedule it and if your family wants certain family time with you or to go on a trip, they can just schedule that on a calendar as well. And when they schedule it, it will show up on your phone and on your computer. And, if you schedule it – whether it is on your computer or on your phone, it will appear on their calendar’s as well.
That is how you easily organize yourself with a calendar to keep track of your tasks, and meetings by using Gmail calendar by syncing it with your phone and by sharing it with your business partners.
Any tool you have to improve your life can also be misused, including things like calenders, day-planners, and task-lists. That is why you don’t want to spend too much time planning the rest of your life out. Just think about monthly products, weekly promotions, and daily tasks.
This month, what product are you going to be launching, What is going to be your big launch, This week, what are you going to be promoting to your subscribers, Is it going to be the same product you are launching, Are you going to be relaunching an old product while you create this new one, Or, are you going to be promoting someone else,
Finally, what tasks are you going to be completing everyday to make those promotions happen, Are you going to be contacting potential new affiliate partners, making a new blog post, writing and scheduling emails, What daily tasks are you going to be completing to make you weekly promotions possible to have a different monthly product come out to your subscribers,
To make sure that you focus on this one month or this one week – I want you to theme your months and your weeks. This is easy, if you are launching a new product called “Self Improvement Guide”, then this is Self Improvement Guide month. If this week you are promoting a product called “The List Building Accelerator”, then this is List Building Accelerator week. Make sure that all the tasks you complete this week are related to that and most of the promotions you make this month are related to that exact product launch.
You do need a clear plan, you do need to know what direction you are headed in, but over-planning means you won’t get there. Consider if you were traveling from one end of the country to another, you do need to know what highways to take and what direction you are going. But, you might not need to keep track of exactly where you will stop for gas along the way, exactly what you will eat for every meal on the way, and exactly which lanes you will change to along the way.
When was the last time you spent an hour or two just thinking about what you are going to do that evening, or where you are going to go for dinner, Think about how much time that wasted and think about all the different possibilities you thought of only to go back to your original decision. That is why the first choice, or the first decision you make is usually correct. Most decisions you make can be easily reversed. A good example is deciding on a design or theme for your blog. It takes one click to change the theme of your blog, especially if you are using a free theme. That means that decision isn’t very important.
Set up your blog, worry about the blog content, comments and getting traffic and set whatever theme you see immediately. You can always change it later.
The other thing you remember about the six second rule is if the right decision is that important then it will usually present itself. That means that if you look at the dinner menu, and you see something that jumps out at you. You know that is what you should have for dinner. If you are trying to decide on what niche to theme your website about, and you keep seeing that people ask you the same questions or you enjoy that certain subject. Then, that is the niche you should go after.
It is all important because most decisions don’t really make a difference in your long term life – what you will have for dinner, what will be your new parts domain name, what article you will write about today. Just think about it and do it, and get used to trusting your instincts and taking that first decision into action.
There are three changes I want you to make in your every day, day-to-day routine. Get an accountability partner, document your tasks, and finish what you start.
An accountability partner is really easy. Choose that tasks you are going to be completing today and send that list to someone you know. It can be a business partner, but it doesn’t have to be. Just email them your list of tasks at the beginning of the day and contact them at the end of the day telling them what you did and did not finish. Just the act of having someone report to you makes you alot more productive whether or not they reply, read, or even know you are sending them these messages. It is just that there is the chance that they could be looking at your tasks that makes it sure that you complete them.
By doing this, you automatically document what tasks you finish. If you notice that you are performing useless tasks – like updating your twitter background, or spell-checking your blog, or installing a new WordPress theme, then you can tell that you need to focus on things that get you more sales and subscribers. Document your tasks so you know what things you should stop repeating, and what new tasks you should start doing.
It is not enough to just start some new tasks, you need to finish what you start. That means if you start on a new report, then finish it. Even if it is half done, just take what you have already and put it out on the market as is. Don’t make your projects too big, and don’t promise too much in your sales letters if you know you can’t deliver. Make a simple product, price it at a low price, and as you add to it – as you increase what is in that product, then you can increase the price.
You don’t have to promise lots of things to your blog readers or subscribers. If you want to do something nice for them, just make it a pleasant surprise.
That is how you can get more out of every single day. Have an accountability partner, document your tasks, and finish everything you start.
Here are three simple ingredients to get at least triple the amount of work done as you are getting now. Use Parkinson’s Law, Time Boxing, and Train your brain for urgency.
Parkinson’s Law is pretty simple, it says that if you have a certain amount of time blocked out for a task – that task will balloon up to the amount of time you have set aside for it. That means that if you give yourself 8-hours to set up a website, it is going to take you 8-hours to do it. But it you give yourself one hour to do it, then you will find a way to set up some kind of website – maybe not the perfect website, but something after one hour.
Shorter, smaller tasks makes sure you get more done than big, long, bulky tasks. That is why you have to have some clear small tasks, instead of big to-do items and time yourself doing it. This is called Time Boxing. That means if you say it will take you one hour to set up a website, then hold yourself to it. Create a countdown timer, use a tool like tool-timer, use your phone, or use your kitchen timer to countdown the seconds of that one hour to make sure that you have something online.
Think about that, if you were setting up a simply web page and you had 8-hours to do it and you were 58 minutes in, you wouldn’t care if there was a bunch of incomplete stuff on the page, would you, It would be fine if the header looked crappy, if the design was bad. But if you only had an hour and you were 58 minutes in, and you only had two minutes left to finish. You would do whatever you could to make it passable, to make it look good enough so you could come back later and make the changes you need to make.
In the worst case, if just left that ugly web page alone – it would still serve its purpose.
What is interesting about timing your tasks and having a countdown timer is that you begin to train yourself to do things quickly. If you stick to the countdown timer, and you only give yourself an hour to set up a web page or ten minutes to write an article, you get used to that buzzer going off and you get up from the computer and you completely stop. You will find yourself starting to rush when the countdown timer approaches zero. You will figure out ways to type faster, read faster, think faster and just get your tasks finished and good enough before that timer runs out, becuase you are focusing not on what people will think of you or how good or bad something is, but can I have something finished before that clock reaches zero.