7 tips for doing business in four hours a day or less
“How to build a Mother of a Business”
By Denise Hall
Because I am one, I know that mothers are often the primary (and sometimes even the solo) breadwinner in the family, and both are really BIG jobs! So here are my most useful 7 tips (or as I affectionately call them, “mothers little helpers!”) for building a Mother of a Business:
#1 – find 4 Hours or less a day
Do you know what you’re typical day really looks like?
Grab a piece of paper or on your tablet/phone, and draw a grid, with Monday to Friday along the top, and school hours in 30min chunks down the left hand side. Now, add in all the usual daily activities you are currently locked into, under the day, next to the time slot.
See much white space left? No, then what can you move or get rid of to create those 4 hours at most a day?
#2 – earn what you must in 4 hours or less
Doing so really does take the pressure off Anything else earned over and above that figure is play money (that translates to adventure money for me!). Knowing what you must earn focuses you like no other.
To roughly calculate what that number is… using your grid in #1 as a guide, how many hours do you have per year to actually build your business? For example, the grid shows 25 hours per week x 40 school weeks per year = 1000 business building hours. Divide that number into what you earned last year (eg: $50,000 p.a. / 1000 = $50 per hour) and you come up with your hourly rate. If what you’re currently doing does not meet that, you have some decisions to make.
#3 – outsource what can’t fit into 4 hours
I love the word “outsource”. Yes it does sound big business, but that’s no reason why we can’t adopt the same principles to suit us.
OK, time to tell the truth! What are you doing that gets in the way? What are you not doing that you must? What can be done elsewhere? What don’t you want to do and who could? Mind map everything you do, everything. Then make rules. Work out what you want to keep, and what you want to find an alternative for. Then start making enquiries. You’ll probably know people that are doing or have done what you’re looking to outsource, so talk to them and get it sorted.
#4 - DO one thing every day
Every day. FIRST off, immediately after the school run each and every morning. Do whatever is the next thing in your diary or phone or daily do list (or whatever you use) first. That way, if Life does take over for the rest of the working/school day, it doesn’t matter. You’ve done what you need to do.
Think about it; by adding all the ticked-off daily-do’s at the end of the month, you will have done approximately 20 more things towards building that Mother of a Business…adds up doesn’t it!
#5 – turn OFF the automatic send/receive on your email
Yes, this is classic Tim Ferris (The 4-Hour Work Week – must read) and it so works!
Rather than be distracted by emails randomly landing in your inbox with their customary “hello, pay attention” ding, potentially taking you completely off track, don’t do it. Just turn that function off. You will be pleasantly surprised how much more controlled you feel by doing so. Decide which hours of the day/week to set aside to handle emails and correspondence generally, lock them in the diary; and that’s when you do email, and only then.
#6 – connect the dots
Business is creative. I’m not just talking about what you produce, but more about the way you do it. You can structure your Mother of a Business any way you want. Here’s an example, at the entrepreneurial mother®, I made a conscious decision to work with other women entrepreneurs to help them Finish Unfinished Business. We women entrepreneurs are very good at starting, and even growing a business, but we don’t seem to give a whole lot of thought to “now what?” So what I’ve done is pull together all the things a Business Owner needs to finish off and get out of their business, saving all the energy and the heartache spent trying to find all this out, on top of everything else!
What can you do that is savvy & high impact, low effort & low cost?
#7 – start with the end in mind
The best, easiest and fastest way I know to get a grip quickly on what to spend time on (or not) in your Mother of a Business is to shape it so it could be sold on the spot (if you chose to, that is), ideally to a very high bidder! By getting a handle on the most valued elements, and renovating them accordingly, highlights the exact places to hone your efforts for maximum pay back. Given that your Mother of a Business might be the 2nd largest, if not the largest asset that you own, treat it with the respect its due. After all, what’s the point of going through all this effort if you end up just packing your Mother of a Business away with the toys once you’re done?
Bottomline, if your Business is eating up your time, and you’re way too busy to earn and even mother more! (think about it…) it’s time to STOP; re-examine, re-evaluate and reenergise.
What do you want? Why are you doing what you do?
If you’re not happy with the answers, it’s time to DO differently.
About the author, Denise Hall
Denise is founder of The Entrepreneurial Mother Denise’s story is one of being unemployed, homeless and a pregnant singleton who has morphed into the entrepreneurial mother®; by building and selling her business, all in guilt-free school hours.