Before I began working for myself, I was working the 40/40/40 plan. You know, work 40 hours a week, for 40 years and hopefully get a $40 plaque at the end as a “thank you” for making my boss and the company rich. It hit me one day and I realized this was not the direction I was wanting to go in and I made my life changing decision. I knew I was worth more than a plaque in this short life. I knew time, money and freedom should be going to me and my family, not my boss and his family.
Many of us think an investment equals money, when it can actually pertain to many aspects of your business. You may say to yourself, “well Eric has money so investing in his business is easy for him”, and that’s exactly why I’m not going to talk about money. I know what it’s like to be bankrupt as I lived in such a bad section of town that people were being murdered in my neighborhood. One of the most deadly gangs in the world surrounded me and my two sons so I don’t come from “money”. I have sat in your seat and know what it’s like to read a blog or book, like this one, with little to no extra money in my account and I wondered how can I really make my business work without lots of money.
This is where it get’s fun. You see, you have something much more valuable than money at your disposal right now. As you read this, you are actually investing and using some of what I’m talking about and you don’t even know it. What you have, and don’t fool yourself and yell out the words “no I don’t” after you read this next line, but what you have is TIME!
Now… when I said don’t fool yourself, It’s pretty simple to do, in fact, I fooled myself for years. I told myself I couldn’t possibly have enough time to work the hours necessary to truly become a huge success at my business. Then I sat back one day and truly evaluated my days. Try it and you will be shocked with the amount of spare or misplaced time you have right now to take your business to a whole new level almost overnight.
I’m going to use myself as an example to show how even a struggling, single dad, that worked a full time job found hours weekly to invest in my business.
The first thing I had going for me, was that I didn’t have a wife at the time to constantly monitor my every move…so someone that is understanding, sees your passion, believes in your direction and will support your every move is always a nice beginning. I think If you’re reading this, your significant other already would love to see more income somehow. For me, It’s 10pm at night… my kids have been fed, put to bed and it’s now “me time”. You know…when you go sit in your big recliner or lay down on the couch and turn on the tv to catch your favorite show…then the news of course, well that to me is “me time”. None of that is making me money but I did it for years and it was the beginning of my awareness of how valuable that time really is. From 10pm to, let’s say, 12 was 2 hours a day that I could invest back into my business. Now…I had that full time J.O.B. (which i always say stands for Just Over Broke) in the morning, which was fine, but what about that 1 hour every day that I spent eating lunch with my friends at work? Well, add that to your list of time to invest in your business. I took that hour and would sit in my car and eat my lunch while I was on the phone investing in my business. Drive time? The 15 minutes to 1 hour it takes to get to your J.O.B. and get home, well, add that to your list too. If you think everyone is not on the phone while driving (be responsible of course) then you are mistaken. Just look over at the cars next to you next time you are on the road. Now, so far, without taking anything from your family time wise, you have enough hours to be working a part time extra job, OR investing in your business.
You see, we no longer have the excuse that I need to be sitting at a desk with a chair and a computer to build my business. Heck, we don’t even need an office with employees with the right type of business. We can now build anywhere, at anytime with few restrictions thanks to technology. In the car at lunch and while driving back and forth to work I have my phone. In the evenings, I have my phone and computer. Heck, I’m extreme, but when you want something bad enough, extreme is fine in my books, but I have been known to even have my phone on “speaker” while listening in on company conference calls while taking a shower or even sitting in the stands at my sons basketball games with an ear bud in my ear listening in to calls all while still being there for my kids…and cheering them on (remember to put your phone on mute of course).
Now, when the money starts coming in, you will want to stretch yourself. That does not mean you stop using that extra time every day, but you add extra minutes, hours, or days. For instance, I just got home from a trip to Asia that took me over 39 hours, travel time, just to get home. I had 1 hour of sleep prior to heading to the airport at 3am, it was raining (picture from plane window to the right) and miserable and I would have rather been in that recliner chair watching the news. Instead, I was doing something that most won’t do which incidentally ultimately will give you what most won’t ever get. From taking that trip, or getting on a skype webcast in the middle of the night to talk to your team leaders on the other side of the world or getting in the car and driving 3 hours to meet up with a new team are all things that you may not want to invest in now, but you will in time.
So by now you are seeing that you have something much more important than money at your disposal today. You have time to Invest in building your business. Very important side note; Time is short on this earth, so don’t cut out the time with your family and loved ones.
I want to finish by saying two things. First, many of you will read this, and still do nothing to change. That’s fine, we all are going down different paths in life, and yours just may be to keep making your boss rich to finally get that plaque. The second is that finding excuses to build your business is easy, I’ve heard them all over the past 22 years and your leaders know if you are working those hours or not, but do yourself and your family the favor of investing your extra, spare time into your business and don’t find excuses not to succeed.
It’s time to invest in your business, Not your boss and the time could not be any better than now. Find the right company, with the right leadership, form the right team and work these extra hours every single day until you reach your goal. Once you reach your goal (remember that I told you this), you will have many more larger goals and dreams and more lives to positively change so never give up, never get derailed, never lose focus and work as hard for you, as you do for your J.O.B.
Live Life to the Fullest! ~ Eric Caprarese