It is so funny to me that as entrepreneurs we get to pick what we do during the day, but so many of us spend most of our time doing things we don't like…. how can we do what we love AND make money?
Ever wonder how to quit that rat race and do work you love…
About 3 years ago I figured out how to spend most of my time doing things I love and since I have had this talk with three different people over the last week, I figured I better share it with you all!
Top Level – Your Three Business Squares
Years ago I started teaching a class about the 3 squares. Functionally it means that you can only have three parts of your business at one time to be effective.
These are high level pieces, like divisions of a company!
So for me my three squares look like this….
I LOVE doing Etsy and really like my clients and selling online products so this is great for me!
Some people have a job so that would go into one of their squares and some people have kids they are the sole parent for so they would fill one with their kids.
Functionally you want to look at your life and figure out three BIG things that take up the majority of your business time.
Then you want to divide your time in roughly that way!
I spend Mondays and some of Wednesdays on my clients, most mornings working on my internet empire and do big chunks of time when I am sourcing or listing my Etsy products.
What this also means is that I DON'T have time for anything else! Even if someone comes along with a great idea, if it doesn't match one of my squares I politely say no!
TO DO :: Pick the three squares of your business and write them down! And no, you can't explain to me how you have 5 squares or that you couldn't possibly narrow it down. We can't focus on that many things at once so if you have too many parts, either figure out how to merge them under one umbrella or stop doing some (for now).
Doing Work You Love
For YEARS I thought that knowing the three things I was focusing for my business was deep enough to be helpful, and when you start with a big mess, it really does help clear the decks.
But three years ago I figured out another set of three things to focus on … the three things I LIKE TO DO MOST!
As women we often don't think that what we love to do is worth anything to anyone else. It has been ingrained in our culture that if you are happy doing something, you are probably wasting time.
But I have found that when I focus on doing just what I love, everything else gets easier… so what do I love?
- Writing (blogs and books)
- Making pretty picture (taking them or making them in graphic design)
- Bossing people around (mostly through videos)
That is it!
I came to this realization when I realized I was so busy doing “stuff” that I was having to squeeze my blogging time into the wee corners of my life. That was STUPID!
It is what I love and the way that most people find out about me, so why was I doing that last?
Here are the things that my friend Rebekah likes to do…
- work out
- research social media
- tell people about it
and my friend kir…
- work out
- inspiring people with how she lives
There are seriously no right or wrong answers here, you just have to be honest with yourself and figure out what three things you would do all the time if someone would pay you for it (we will figure out the how later!)
TO DO :: Write down the three things that give you the most joy in your life. Those ones where you sit (or stand) to do them and hours just waste away.
How To Make Money
Frequently in my business people have been confused about how I make money. From the front of my operation it looks like I write blog posts and make helpful videos…. hmmm not much money there!
But if you look under my skirt I make money LOTS of ways, big and small!
- Clients pay me monthly
- Coaching clients pay me monthly
- I promote affiliate products
- I sell products in two Etsy stores and a Shopify store
- I get paid to write promoted blog posts
- I do one hour consultations
- I get residuals from book sales on Amazon
There are probably a few other ways, but those are the easy ones off the top of my head!
How Rebekah can make money… www.successfulweighs.net
Okay, now let's look at how Rebekah can make money with the things she likes to do (work out, research social media, tell people about it)
1. She can do coaching to help other people lose weight (she has lost a whole person) – She needs to be careful though, because she doesn't like talking on the phone. Maybe, like me, she needs to do Skype calls so she can see her clients when she talks to them. OR she could do email-only support for her clients or set up a Facebook group and only do group coaching with no one-on-ones!
2. She can work out with people – Not necessarily a trainer, but if someone has never been to a gym and needs to know what the heck to do, she is your gal!
3. She can use her research skills on social media to promote companies – Imagine if a gym could have their own gym-rat, Instagram babe there to promote them 5 times a week! Rebekah would get to work out AND mess around with another social account.
4. She could be an affiliate for products that she could promote on social media – Being a social media influencer is a “thing” but the added benefit for Rebekah is that she could use affiliate products to “test” different social sites without going through all the work of making the products herself.
5. She can make videos to get people into her pipeline – Rebekah said she wanted to do a podcast (we did one together years ago) but that she was being stymied by technology. Instead of going that route, I suggested that she do videos (which she knows how to do) that she can then pull the audio from to make podcast episodes… BRILLIANT!
How Kirsten can make money… www.foodfitnessfinancefun.com
Kirsten likes working out, texting and inspiring people by how she lives.
1. She could make exercise plans for individuals or to download – I know she has these and she can do them easily, so this one is a no brainer!
2. She can be a vegan or triathlete coach – because this is a such a niche area she could totally find 10 people who wanted to be coached each month. Because she like texting, she could do all of her coaching via text with occasional phone calls.
3. She could have a paid Facebook group that talked about training for Ironmans (she has competed twice)
4. She can grow her following by taking videos of her food and workouts (she does this and it works!)
5. She is an MLM superstar who can promote healthy products that she uses every day
I could think of about 1,000 other things my friends could do, but you get the picture!
But What If No One Wants What You Love? How Can You Make Money?
I was chatting with Rebekah today and she said it makes her soooo mad when she sees someone else doing what she loves and making money! Not because she is jealous, but she hadn't known how to leverage HER skills and passions into a paying proposition.
If you have never read Gary Vaynerchuk's book, Crush It yet and like what I am talking about today you need to go read it (or re-read it!) #ad
There is ALWAYS a way to leverage your passions into something that makes money. If you don't have any great ideas off the top of your head then do a wee bit of research…
1. Go to Amazon and see if there are any products related to your passion
2. Do that same search on Etsy and Ebay
3. Research your idea on Google… get SUPER specific! For example, doing a search for “meal plans” there are 32,800,000 results. BUT do that same search for “triathlete vegan meal plan for women” and there are 0 results! Does that mean that no one else is doing those, nope, but when you get that niche everything gets easier.
4. Find the top person doing what you want to do and see what they are selling … I would do this at least 10 people deep. Write EVERY way you see them making money and then figure out which ones match what you like to do!
No One Is Marie Forleo When They Start (not even Marie!)
It's funny, I think I share this video every year about this time! In it Marie talks about what it was like to start her little video channel (which has since grown to over 430,000 subscribers!)
How To Get Started
If you have figured out that your current work is not your dream work, then you need to start doing something else at least part of the time that is in alignment with your goals.
For me that is posting a fancy picture once a day on Instagram.
Seriously? One lousy picture a day, how will that help me get closer to my goals?!?!
For Rebekah it is starting to make one video a day to post on her socials.
Again, how can one video do anything?!?!
We always want to find the “big win”. The sweeping change that we can make to get our whole life to another place.
But I am here to tell you, my Etsy stores all started with one little product, and then another. My photography was embarrassingly bad but now is better (check it out on my Instagram!) My blog started with one post… EVERYONE starts somewhere.
Do me a favor, write down your three squares and then the three things you like to do… don't judge, just write them down.
And pick one thing you are going to do every day for a week to start your dream. Just one, every day.
And if you like it, then do it for another week! If you didn't like it, try something else for a week.. a week is long enough to get the kinks out and really do it!
And don't think you are going to make a million dollars the first day… make a wee bit of money and then make some more.
BONUS :: Fixing The Pigeon Hole Problem
For YEARS I resisted doing things that would pigeon hole me! For example I DO NOT want to be the “Instagram Gal” or the “LinkedIn Guy”. I don't want to focus only on Realtors or just do author posts. I don't want to build myself an empire I am stuck in that I have to dig my way out of!
But when I turn it around and say that I like writing blog posts, I can write any kinds of blog posts I want! I can write a ton of mindset ones, then do a bunch of Etsy ones and creep back into author ones when I get interested again.
Starting with what I like to do and then implementing against that means I will always be doing what I like, the only thing that will chance is the output of that work!