Are you one of those people who are convinced they have to put in more hours to make more money? That was my belief, too, until I started surrounding myself with successful entrepreneurs who have put systems in place so their businesses will thrive with or without them.
In an episode of my podcast, The Mentee, I spoke with Keefe Duterte, who currently owns one of the top Allstate insurance agencies in the country. He told me he went from working 110 hours per week to going into the office only two-to-three days a month -- while making more money than ever before.
This transition started, he said, when he was packing for a business trip and his daughter begged him to stay home. As any parent would do, he explained that he had to work so she could have and do all the fun things she enjoyed, like horseback riding, their nice house and vacations. What his daughter said at that moment would change everything, Keefe said.
She said, “Dad, I don’t care about any of that. I just want to be with you.”
Have you ever felt that you are missing the moments that truly matter? For Keefe, the time had arrived to reevaluate his priorities and put systems into place so his business could thrive with or without him.
Here are four things you too can do to make more money while working less:
1. Act "as if."
Get specific on your goals and the type of life you want to be living. How much money do you want to be making? What level of activity do you want to have in your business? Now, imagine the people who are already performing at that level. What do they do that is different from you? What tasks are you currently doing that they delegate?
To elevate your game, act as if you are already where you want to be. One suggestion is to hire an assistant. You may be thinking, “I can’t afford an assistant.” I would challenge you to ask what your time is worth. Today, you can leverage virtual assistants internationally who can be hired for as low as $3 per hour (or for minimum wage in the United States). If you don’t think your time is worth more than those modest sums, then you will likely not make it as an entrepreneur.
2. Focus on the highest-income and impact activities.
We all have 24 hours in a day, yet how is it that some people are able to get so much more done in the same amount of time? Do they have some superhuman power you and I weren't born with?
No, they just understand that making more money in less time comes down to identifying those little hinges that swing the big doors. Ask yourself, “What are the highest-income and impact activities I can take to advance my business today?” Then execute those specific activities precisely until your desired task is done. Do not allow yourself to be controlled by someone else’s agenda (email and phone calls) until you have completed the vital tasks you have identified.
3. Surround yourself with great mentors.
The late entrepreneur Jim Rohn said that, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Who are your five? Are they already living the life you want to be living? If not, what does this say about you and your prospects?
If you want to take your business to the next level and free up more time, surround yourself with mentors who are already living that lifestyle and can guide you along the way. One of my own mentors, Mark Anthony Bates, said, “It is tough to read the label when you are inside the box.” Very few people can objectively look in the mirror and give themselves adequate constructive criticism.
This is where a mentor comes in. This individual will be able to look at you objectively and give you actionable guidance based on his or her experience. This will accelerate your progress drastically. Here is one resource I put together on how to find high-level mentors.
4. Consistently practice daily self-improvement.
Your mind is your greatest asset as long as you learn how to leverage it appropriately. Some of the most successful entrepreneurs have a ritual of daily self-improvement. Challenge yourself to spend the first 30 minutes and last 30 minutes of every day reading something positive that will expand your mind and enhance your skillset. Your business can grow only as much as you allow it to, and that growth starts with you.
You likely moved into the world of entrepreneurship to have more freedom. Implement these four things and you will find that you do not need to trade dollars for hours and that freedom that so many seek will be your reality.