How To Chase Your Dreams … and still pay the bills
There was a time when I wanted so badly to work on my dream online business but I was stuck having to go to work to pay the bills. If you can relate and you want to know how to chase your dreams and still pay the bills, then this post is for you.
I’m going to cover:
How to chase your dreams
Steps to success
How to keep moving toward your dream
1. How To Chase Your Dreams
So, you know the situation, it’s worse than frustrating. It’s drive you into the ground, running on a hamster wheel, waking up on a Monday morning with that dread in your gut type thing. It really is a terrible situation to be in when you just hate the thought of getting up and going to work for whatever reason – maybe there is a toxic office situation going on. Maybe you don’t feel valued in the workplace. Maybe you really do not enjoy the type of work you’ve found yourself in. Keep reading for some ideas about how to start digging yourself out of this problem.
There is one key concept that I am always mindful of when trying to achieve a strategic outcome in my business (or in my personal life for that matter) and it is at the core of what I’m going to share with you today.
Use the 80/20 Rule
You might’ve heard of it before – The Pareto Principle… the whole idea behind this principle is that for many events, 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. For example they say that in business 80% of your income will come from the top 20% of your customers and there are SO many powerful ways to apply this in your life.
Now, I’d like to show you this very specific way to apply it to gain the time you want to work on your purposeful project while still being able to keep up with the bills.
Applying the Rule
What I propose, if you have a dream of building an online business (or something else meaningful to replace your current “time for money trade-off”), is to first of all, get yourself into a situation where you are getting 80% of the income you need from your current, obvious, automatic main source of income.
Maybe, it’s :
- the job you already hold
- the brick & mortar business you have
- perhaps your student income
- your consulting business
- or coaching practice
- or maybe even a government benefit
Now the trick is that you really only want to be using 20% of your time to generate this main source of income.
Perhaps working this job, or running this main business or pursuing this current study option might not be the exact thing you want to be doing for the rest of your life and it may not be giving you the fulfilment you need right now, but here’s where it gets interesting…
So THEN, if you’re only tied up roughly 20% of your time doing that “time-trade thing” to ‘pay the bills’, you could spend the remaining 80% of your time chipping away at this something amazing that you’ve got brewing inside you – it’s the thing that you really want to be doing. It’s that purposeful and passion based project that you are really amped about! You might not make as much income from it at first as you do from your current main source of income but my commitment here is to teach you to gain as much fulfilment as possible from a situation like this because I truly believe THAT IS the key to your total happiness and freedom.
So, what could that 20% portion of income look like at the outset in an online business?
At the start it might be something as simple as :
- a small ebook that you sell
- a few one on one coaching clients that you maintain
- a small amount of monthly income from ads you are running on your website
- a paid event you run for a limited number of people a few times a year
- a service you provide even if it’s only on a small scale to start with.
But doesn’t that small start feel so much better than the grind me into the dirt, sprinting in the rat race, can’t get out of bed to work thing? I think so…
2. Steps To Success
Here are some examples of what steps to take to help you to make a success of this idea in your own life :
You are in Employment
Try and get your working hours down to (roughly) 20% of your total available hours whilst still receiving 80% (or the bulk) of the income you need to live your life. The most practical way to do this would be to go part time at work.
However in order to achieve this, you will probably need to :
Decrease your expenses – there are lots and lots of ways to do this but you need to be creative and open minded about what options you have available to you. It really comes down to how important it is to you to be able to have the time to work on your bigger project. Ask yourself the question “What are you willing to sacrifice?” It may be that you could refine your living costs I.e downsizing your home / turning off your cable tv / cancelling your magazine subscriptions etc… or it may be that you research the options for consolidating your debt.
Increase your income – there are numerous ways to do this too and once again it comes back to how much you want it. Ask yourself the question
“How do I get more in return for the current exchange I am putting out?”
Use your creativity again here. It may be that you simply ask for or are due for a pay rise… or it may be that you work smarter and more efficiently to increase your commissions… perhaps you get more organised and driven to reach targets to achieve a bonus or for a real impact and change up, maybe you could even change jobs?
You own a Physical Business
Try to get your working hours IN your business down to (roughly) 20% of your total available hours whilst still receiving 80% (or the bulk) of the personal income you need to live your life. The easiest way to do this is to roster yourself off the work schedule. However in order to achieve this, you will probably need to:
Increase profit margins – obviously there are many many ways to do this from increasing your prices to sourcing more competitive suppliers. Today, I’ve decided to talk about getting better productivity out of your employees. This is all about getting a better return on what you’re paying for. Getting just as much in sales from your business without you there as you would if you were there. This will all come down to HR – team building, recruitment, training, professional development, resources, payroll and all of that good stuff. Ask yourself the question
“How do I keep my employees engaged and feeling valued so that it’s a win/win for both parties?”
Decrease your business expenses – similar to decreasing your personal expenses, there are lots of ways to tackle this one too and once again it comes down to how much you value freeing up your time. If it’s the highest priority on the list to get that time freedom, then ask yourself the question “What business expenses could we forego for the sake of the monetary savings and how much extra time does that spare money equate to now that I no longer have that expense on my list?”
You are a Student/Beneficiary or similar
You could just be in the most beneficial situation of all (excuse the pun). While it’s possible that your income right now isn’t exactly where you want it to be as it might be at the lower end of the scale, you most likely have the advantage of more flexibility with your time.
It’s probable that you’re already in a situation where your living costs are at their lowest. Maybe you are flatting or boarding, living with parents or living with children if you are older. But I’m guessing that while you may still have tasks on your plate, for example classes to attend or appointments or community responsibilities, you’ve got a lot more flexibility with your time compared to an employee or business owner.
Similar to the examples above, you also, need to try and get the time you trade for your income down to a 20% investment. Regardless of exactly where your income comes from, if it’s the Government or from Mum & Dad’s support or Savings or Investment funds, you need to look at the certain tasks you currently do during the day as your “exchange” for that income. So the question to ask is
“How do I re-arrange my daily routine so that I am only exchanging 20% of my time for this money that I get so that I can free up the other 80% of my time for my big dream project?”
You may have to:
Get a renewed sense of gratitude for the time asset you have on your side – this will honestly change everything. Perhaps you’ve been living in this situation where you’ve been privileged to be receiving even a modest level of income and the work output for this is fairly minimal OR it may be quite flexible.
I found myself in this situation in 2010 when I was studying and my family was boarding with my parents in New Zealand. This was a gem of a situation in that we had the pulled efforts of the wider family to help with chores, supporting our daughter, cooking and running errands. It’s really really important that if you are in such a set up to remind yourself on a daily basis how lucky you are to have the leverage you currently do.
Perhaps you’re not boarding but you are on a government benefit, this is another example of a situation where it might become “routine” to have your income support deposited into your account but if you really get a renewed sense of gratitude for the time asset you have because you’re not stuck in a 9-5 job, this will help you to regain motivation, and open your mind to seeing new opportunities for what they are. Start a gratitude journal, create a dream board, sit in silence to help you re-connect to how appreciative you are.
Get clarity, focus and get organised – wake up earlier, work on planning and time management, sort out your priorities and re-order your daily routine. Maybe you can drop a paper at University and still maintain your current level of student income, perhaps you could smarten up your study skills to get a better result with less effort, or for a real big impact could you change your course of study so that you can work on your dream project as a part of your programme of study?
You are a Superwoman (Mum/Wife/Housewife)
This one is super special and closest to my heart and so I have a fuller explanation for you that was FAR too powerful to pile into this post with the rest. Click here to check it out – it’s called ‘How I Went From Worn Out Wife To Power & Productivity’
3. How To Keep Moving Toward Your Dream
You’ve GOT to get creative!
I never said it was going to be easy! It’s your job to figure out HOW to get an 80% income return on your 20% time investment so that you can work on the projects you WANT to be working on NOW – building your Purposeful, Passion-based project one step at a time and still get the bills paid.
When you master this mental maze, that 20% of income you gain from the seeds you’ve planted for the realisation of your Dream Project will ensure that you never go back to that Mouse trap again!
All you Superwomen, I have a special example breakdown and insight and I bet it’s just what you need to hear – Click here to check it out!
Until then x