I’ve heard every excuse in the book:
“There’s not enough time in a day”
“I’m not going to sacrifice my happiness”
“I prefer work-life balance than this lifestyle”
All of the above are nothing more than excuses.
If you want to escape the 9 to 5, you’ll find a way – if you’re okay working the 9 to 5, you’ll make an excuse.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s easy to do. It’s very challenging.
But you can learn from those around you and apply tactics like the 100 tips I give in my latest book to make transition from the 9 to 5 to the freelance lifestyle just a little bit easier.
I’m going to share with you a few insights that helped run a side business and I hope you can use these insights for your own good:
Wake Up Earlier Than You Need To
Here’s the thing:
You have the same amount of hours in a day as everyone else unless you wake up earlier or stay up later than the competition.
The biggest drain on your time isn’t the time in which you’re busy getting things done; the biggest drain on your time is being interrupted.
When you’re working in the 9 to 5, the biggest issue is distractions. It’s not just distractions during your 9 to 5 workday that can slow you down; it’s distractions like Facebook notifications, co-workers, emails and more.
Mornings and nights are my most productive time. In fact, I’m writing this blog post at 11:38PM in my office with no distractions besides a software update that I’ve been avoiding for the last month.
Stop Saying ‘Yes’ To Everything
Because I love business, people and start-ups – I had a hard time early on in my career saying ‘no’ to random meetings and catch-ups.
These days, I’ve learned to take strategic coffee meetings and avoid those that are one-sided. It’s not something I’m proud of but if I say yes to one person, I have to say yes to everybody else. It’s just how I’m hard coded.
Unfortunately, I need to be smart about my time as I’m running multiple companies and would like to have a bit of a social life.
When you’re still working a 9 to 5, it’s more important than ever to be focused. You’re losing the majority of your day to your full-time gig so every minute and hour outside of that is key to getting things done.
Create Systems That Streamline Your Work
I wish I knew about all the tools and hacks I know about now when I got started. To be honest, some of these tools didn’t actually exist when I first started.
So you have that as an advantage.
One of the tools that I’ve been using since day one is FreshBooks. It’s a tool for managing invoicing and keeping track of all your bookkeeping needs.
Another tool that has helped me is Boomerang by Gmail. I’ve since been going back and forth between Streak and Sidekick as my Gmail plugins. Both of these tools are CRM systems that integrate directly into Gmail but also allow you to schedule your emails in advance.
So if you’re working late at night like me, you can schedule the email to be sent during normal working hours.
Another great tool for optimizing your productivity is Crate + Buffer. Crate gives recommendations surrounding the types of content you should share online and Buffer allows you to optimize the time in which your content gets shared for clicks and engagement on social media.
Now I want to hear from you…
If you’re planning to start a freelance business but haven’t made the leap:
What’s slowing you down? What’s stopping you from making the jump?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Interested in learning how to make your first 100k as a freelancer? Be sure to check out my latest guide – 100 tips for making your first $100k.