Earn Back Time

I was reading an excellent book recently by Colin Wright called Start a Freedom Business.  In it he talks about not only earning money from your business but earning back time.  It’s well worth a read, and at 77p for the Kindle edition it’s a steal.

In this post I want to talk about business design for the solopreneur and how you can earn back time something that really resonates with me.

Lifestyle Design

As a solopreneur you are ideally positioned to not only design your ideal business, but your ideal lifestyle.  If one of the things you would like from your solopreneur business is more time outside of your business to have a life then this is the site for you.

I’ll be talking about this extensively and I will be documenting my progress with some of my other very time intensive businesses as I re-engineer them, you’re welcome to come along for that ride.  I want a fulfilling business but I don’t want to work 14 hours a day, seven days a week.  I’ve been earning back time in many areas.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not lazy, I work really hard for my clients, but I think there is more to life than work, and if you work for yourself you are in the ideal position to get that balance correct.

The first thing you need to know is that selling your time on a 1-1 basis is never going to allow you to earn back time.  You need to think about how you can sell your expertise and skills passively so your business is generating income whilst you enjoy your earned back time.  Work On Your Business Not In It 

You need to leverage technology and systems to free up your time, time that is now earned back.  Remember this is your business, you can design it as you please, there is no face time for the solopreneur, if you don’t have to work, you can free up that time.  You don’t have to sit in that seat from 9-5.

This took a little getting used to personally.  I found myself free from work at 3pm, and I was looking around for other things to do, busy work to fill the rest of the day.  I felt a little guilty not working a full day.  Then I realised if I have met my income goals and have clients in the pipeline then it’s okay to goof off for the rest of the day.  I have learned to love the feeling of picking up my daughter from school happy in the fact I don’t have to go back to work and we can mess about, watch a DVD or do anything we damn well please.

How To Earn Back Time

Here are some of they ways you can earn back time.

Productise Your Knowledge – package up your expertise in such as way that it can be bought like a product, you can package up your knowledge as an ebook, video course, membership site, physical book or DVD.  This can then be sold without you giving over time.  What is more it can be sold over and over again.  As an aside read the Asset Snowball Effect to see how releasing time with products allows you to create more products and a snowball effect happens.

Sell other people’s knowledge – if you don’t have any products of your own, then the next best thing is to  sell other people’s knowledge as an affiliate, I’ll talk about affiliate marketing at a later date, but essentially you sell related products to your clients and get a commission.  For example over at ibraininc.com I recommend premium themes and plugins to my clients, if they buy them through my affiliate link I get a commission.  This is not a huge income stream for me, but I regularly earn a couple of hundred dollars per month via affiliate systems, this adds up to a couple of hours that I don’t need to bill and is earned back time my my book.

Ditch the commute – work from home and ditch the hours you commute, I remember when I was working in offices, a couple of hours of my day were given over to sitting in a bus as I commuted into a large city centre in the UK.  Wasted hours that can be earned back.

Automate, Reduce and Systemise – I’ll not go on about this as I wrote about this over at Kiss My A.R.S, but if you reduce certain activities from your schedule you can earn back hours.

Limit Liabilities – a small lean business with low overheads needs to earn less meaning less hours

Right size your business – if twenty hours a week billable covers your expenses and allows you to fund the lifestyle you want then only put in 20 hours.  I’ve got a minimalist streak to me, I look around me and I have everything I need, I don’t need any more toys. I know the amount of income I need to sustain this lifestyle, if my business can generate my income requirements on a part time basis I’ve earned back my time.

Increase your rates – I’ve been experimenting with this extensively and I’ve got a stack of techniques to increase your rates without putting off clients, join my solopreneur mailing list to keep up to date on this topic.

Design Your Business

This is just a 101 intro to lifestyle and business design.  I want you to think about this when building your solopreneur business.  Get it right sized, don’t just focus on income, focus on quality of life too.

Want To Learn More Techniques Like This?

I’ll be teaching you how to design your solopreneur business so you can build not only the business, but the lifestyle you want in my  Solopreneurians coaching program.  In this weeks session I will show you “Why Webinars Work” an excellent way to market your business and deliver services in a smart way that can free up some of your time.  I’m offering a 14 day free trial membership of the inner circle, why not take advantage of that and learn all about webinars.

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