The Most Practical Ways to Earn More By Working Less The motto of my coaching business is Earn More, Work Less, and Enjoy Life! This is something every business owner wants, but they often feel it’s too difficult to achieve. Too many of us have been programmed by the employee mindset of working hours for dollars. Employees get paid by the number of hours they put in. Entrepreneurs get paid based on the value they create for others…whether they’re actively working or not. Here are 7 practical steps to begin on the road to earning more by working less. #1 – Hire a Personal Assistant Quit trying to be a one man (or woman) show. Even if you’re currently a small business of just one person (such as a home business, life coach, or real estate agent), you can’t do it all yourself. Hire someone to help you with the routine tasks of answering emails and phone calls. Have them do secretarial work. Figure out what parts of your current work can easily be handled by someone else. Either hand it to a staff member or outsource it. #2 – Eliminate the Time Vampires Quit wasting your time. That short call you had to answer became a 30 minute delay. The email you once answered for a non-client has produced 10 additional emails and help requests from the same person…who still hasn’t purchased. That individual who stopped by your office for a quick word with you is still here after one hour. Try putting an egg timer on your desk and remind yourself every call or contact needs to get to the point within the next 3 minutes. #3 – Quit Working On Your Weaknesses We’re told to acknowledge and work on our weaknesses to be a well rounded person. Forget about it! Acknowledge your weaknesses, but quit trying to work on them. Build a team and hand off responsibilities where you’re weak. Concentrate on your strengths and giftings. You do what you do best. Hire out the rest. If you’re horrible at writing, hire a copywriter. If you don’t like administrative paperwork, hand it off to someone else who’s qualified. #4 – Raise Your Prices I’ve helped many businesses develop their unique client focus. In a few cases, they were one of the lowest cost options. Yet this is NOT the unique client focus I prefer to have. It’s the most difficult one to build a business on. I’d much rather see you use one of the other 17 ways to develop your uniqueness in the marketplace. You’ll often find that by raising your prices and focusing on a more upscale market segment, you’ll eliminate many of the time consuming problems of your business. #5 – Work One Less Day a Week If you want to make more money, work one less day a week. It sounds crazy, but it has been proven time and time again. If you’re currently working 6 days a week, drop to 5. If you’re working 5 days, drop to 4. By removing one day from your schedule, you’ll be forced to focus more on the days you’re working. You cut the garbage out and get down to business. You’ll quickly find that a lot of the things you used to think were essential weren’t needed at all. #6 – Take Time to Plan Plan the schedule for your next day in the last 5 minutes of the day. Plan your schedule for next week on the last ten minutes of your last day of the week. Take out one day every quarter to plan the next 90 days for your business. This is only a small investment each day, but it pays huge dividends for what you accomplish. Of course you can purchase a time management course, but this is the simple basis of planning your time. Decide on the essentials that must be done in the coming period. And always plan time to work on your business instead of just in your business. #7 – Hire a Coach It’s so easy to keep following the status quo. I’m sure you’ve heard that one definition for insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. If you want to earn more while working less, you have to make some changes. And the absolute best way to make these changes is bring in someone from the outside. They have a different viewpoint and experiences in helping other entrepreneurs just like you. A good business coach knows how to ask the right questions to help you discover exactly how to transform your business into a profitable business instead of just a low paying job. Earn More by Working Less It sounds reasonable that the more hours you work, the more mone you’ll make. This idea comes from the employee mindset where you’re trading hours for dollars. If you’re working as an employee, you get paid more by working more hours. Too many entrepreneurs come into business with this same concept. They think that by working longer hours they’re make a greater income. I’ve found this rarely to be the case for entrepreneurs. Sure, it may work in the short-term, but over the long-term you may suffer both burn-out and sickness. Notice I said “may” in the above sentence. Something you will definitely suffer is a lack of ideas. You’ll get in such a routine of doing things the same way every time that you never advance…you never grow…and you never build better systems. I have never had a breakthrough idea while sitting at my desk…not once. I’ve had some decent ideas while working, but they have never been ones that radically transformed my own business. My best ideas for both improving my own business and ad copy hooks have always come while relaxing, playing games, riding the ATV, etc. Let me explain this from the viewpoint of writing ad copy. When you write an ad, you first interview the business owner, their employees, and a few of their customers. You also research the marketplace, read competitive ads, and get your hands on as much information as possible about the subject. Then you take a break. Take your spouse to a movie. Play with the dog. Take a nap. Do something relaxing. You’ve worked your conscious mind by doing all your research. Now you let your subconscious mind work on the problem. During this break period is when you’ll find your “hook.” If you don’t take the break, you’ll often end up writing run-of-the-mill “normal” ad copy that looks like everything else in the marketplace. Taking the break gives your subconscious mind time to work on the problem and discover something unique to present to the marketplace. Now, let’s move this out to the rest of your business. You might hire a professional copywriter for all your writing. You just do _______ (insert your business title here). Michael Gerber says that many business owners aren’t really entrepreneurs. They’ve just suffered an entrepreneurial seizure. You’re good at what you do…so you start a business offering your services. Your primary goal was often to have unlimited income potential and to be your own boss. That dream becomes a nightmare for many business owners. I recommend you take time today to figure out exactly how many hours a week you’re working. This includes any studying or research you do for your business. You may find you’ve been working some serious overtime without compensation. If you were working as an employee, there are laws to protect you from this. As a business owner, you can work yourself to death if you like. I’ve found a large number of entrepreneurs who made more money per hour when they were an employee. If you want to profit from a business, you must start thinking like an entrepreneur. This means you don’t earn money based on the hours you work. You earn a profit based on two primary principles: 1. The value you create for your customers, clients, patients, etc. 2. The systems you put in place to contact and deliver the value. You may be great at delivering value to your clients. They love you and what you’ve done for them. That’s good. You’re ahead in the game. Now you just have to develop systems for each step in the delivery process. Develop systems to market your product. Find ways to put multiplication marketing to work for you. Marketing is by the far the biggest leverage point in any business. I’ve seen ads improve by up to 18 times. I’ve had a single one word headline change in an ad improve the results of a website by almost 50%. Develop systems to deliver your product or service. Even if you’re in a service business where you deliver the product yourself, you should turn it into a system where anyone else with your basic qualifications or education could easily step in with the exact same level of service. Your employees should have systematic training. For example, the sales people should have the sales scripts and questions to ask clients. People who work in the back should have a procedure manual that outlines step-by-step how to do their job. You can even include photos of each step help them along the way. Many businesses go into collapse when they lose a vital employee because they’ve never put a system in place around that job. They didn’t create a training guide. They didn’t outline the steps. They didn’t create a checklist of how to do the job right. You may be thinking that what I just mentioned sounds like a lot of work. You’d be right. It is a lot of work. You only have to do it once though. The motto of every entrepreneur should be work once and get paid forever. Employees work, work, and work some more for every paycheck they get. If you’re just working and barely making it, you’re not an entrepreneur. You’re not a business owner. Quit lying to yourself. You’re a poorly paid employee with a bad benefit program. Create your own systems…and then you’re an entrepeneur. Work once and get paid forever.