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I was having a discussion with some people about what I do for a living and again the topic of whether I really work two hours per day came up.
I was interrupted mid sentence when I was about to explain that to make money from my blogs it takes about two hours per day, but I work much more than that, when someone who knows my working habits butted in and gave a good explanation of how I currently work. It went something along the lines of this…
This got me thinking about how I, err, think, when deciding what I do with my time.
I have some basic criteria when it comes to what work I choose to do, they are:
Once you start down a path, and you enjoy some success, you usually don’t change paths because with most things there is a learning curve and a period where you have to pay your dues.
Internet marketers and bloggers know this well, people who actually make money took months or years to get where they are and they would prefer to build upon what they have already achieved, rather than start something new. That’s precisely why opportunity seekers who jump from one project to the next are usually beginners – they haven’t put in the time yet into any one project to get rewarded, so when something comes along promising instant riches, making the jump is an easier decision.
Often when you look back over a period when you have really stuck to something long enough to realize a result, you start to get faith in the process.
Having faith is quite important, especially if what you are doing right now has a time-delayed reward. If you don’t believe it will happen, then you may not work long enough for it to happen. Like many things in life, experience is usually necessary to create faith, and this holds true for business too.
Ask yourself – will what you are doing today contribute to something that will make money tomorrow without you being there?
This hearkens back to the principles of treading water and swimming forward. Will the tasks you do today impact your business and move you forward, rather than just maintain the status-quo?
A good example is writing to a blog. Each article you publish, in theory, should contribute to the growth of your blog. If you use your blog as an income source, either directly or indirectly, each article you write should take you closer to making money, or if you already do, should help you make more money.
During the early days of blogging for money, you have to faith since you don’t get paid, sometimes for years (but lets hope it’s just months). Eventually though, you build and build and build to the point where each article is compounding your results at a much greater rate than what your first few articles did.
Once you have traffic, thanks to network effects, it’s easier to bring in more traffic, thus make more money. Although each blog article might take you just as long to write, it’s pretty clear that the return on investment you get for publishing an article to a thriving blog is a lot higher than publishing it to a blog nobody reads that has just been launched.
Did I mention you have to pay your dues?
Blogging today is an activity that can make you money tomorrow, especially if you are working towards building a blog that is profitable without you.
Tim Ferriss would call these activities things you do to create a muse – an income source that grants you time freedom, which is the resource that we are all really after. If what you are doing today won’t translate into or contribute to a muse-like income stream tomorrow (well not exactly tomorrow – but in the future), then why are you doing it?
I admit it, I do work pretty hard, but as I tell people, it’s not really work when I satisfy the four criteria I mentioned above, especially the first point about enjoying what you do.
When you build processes that exponentially magnify your results you can begin to see the real power in true business leverage.
When less work leads to more profits BECAUSE you worked hard previously to build up points of leverage, then you really begin to understand how each daily activity fits in to the big picture. Until you grasp this awareness, you run the risk of spending your days doing things that will not help you reach the point where work is a choice, not a mandatory activity in order to survive.
I hope you come to realize this one day soon if you have not already and more importantly, adjust what you do today so that you work towards building income sources for tomorrow.
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