You’ve probably heard success stories of brave souls who took the giant leap of faith to quit their day jobs and become their own boss.
Annoying, isn’t it?
I mean, most of us can’t just close our eyes and jump off a cliff with no safety net, hoping that our yet un-proven business idea will break our fall. Especially in a bad economy, or with a family to feed.
So how do you build a successful business while working full-time?
Well, I’m always looking for tips and strategies to help me build my side business while studying Dentistry and scoring a high GPA.
I’ve done a lot of research on people who have successfully built a business on the side, and I’ve found that there’s one thing that 90% of them have in common…
A morning routine.
I know, I know, you’ve heard this tip 100 times before.
I had too.
But are you applying it yet?
If not, I’m going to show you the difference a morning routine has made in my life, and how to start a side business with just 90 minutes or less in the morning.
Why a Morning Routine?
Like you, I’d heard about having a morning routine dozens of times before. But there was one trigger that made me finally apply it.
It’s something Jim Rohn once said:
“Your business growth won’t ever exceed your personal growth.”
(By the way, this is the same trigger that made me go to the gym.)
I simply had never made the link before between business growth and personal growth! But once I heard this quote, it finally clicked.
After that, I found that the best way to set my day up for success was to keep a morning routine.
(Consequently, it is morning now as I write this post, and I am getting my side business work in before going to school for the day!)
But what specifically is so great about a morning routine, and how can it help you launch your side business?
Here are the top 3 ways:
1. Your Willpower is Through the Roof in the Morning
When you’ve just woken up, your mind isn’t drained yet. You aren’t fatigued by an entire day’s worth of work and stress.
For example, I sometimes have to listen to lectures for 7 continuous hours. I don’t get anything meaningful done at the end of such a grueling day.
That’s why having a morning routine is easier to follow, and it will set your side business up for success.
2. You Will Feel Less Stressed
When you wake up late, open your inbox, and then need to hurry up to get to work (or school) on time… what do you expect your day will be like?
It will be highly stressful. Not just for the first few hours, but for the whole day.
In fact, your stress will likely increase throughout the day because you still haven’t gotten around to working on your side business.
How can you solve that? Wake up 30-90 minutes earlier, do some meditation or exercise, and you will have a completely different day.
3. High-Quality Time for Your Side Business
When you wake up 90 minutes early, you’ll have an hour and a half of complete silence where the world is asleep and there are no distractions.
Let’s say that you want to spend 30 minutes on your morning routine. Then, you’ll still have one hour to work on the stuff that matters: your side business.
Because there are fewer distractions in the morning and you aren’t yet drained from the day’s work, you will be far more productive. Before you’ve gone to your job, you have already accomplished what others would take a full day to achieve!
Those 3 reasons are why a morning routine has changed my life forever. Not only have I improved a lot in many other aspects of my life, thanks to tripling the amount I read every year, but I also have time to build my side business no matter what happens during my day at school.
5 Daily Habits to Set Yourself Up for Success
Now that we’ve discussed the top 3 reasons why you need to have a morning routine, let’s discover some of the habits you could add to your morning routine to set your day, your side business, and your whole life up for success.
The first one?
1. Don’t Check Your Email (0 Minutes)
To have a successful morning routine, whatever you do, don’t open your email.
You will be tempted to break this rule, but doing so will do nothing but open loose ends in your mind. It will eat up a lot of your time without you even noticing.
Even if you don’t reply to messages, you will keep thinking about the emails that you saw, which will distract you and sabotage your productivity.
Why increase your stress levels now?
2. Brush Your Teeth (2-3 Minutes)
Of course, since I’m a dentistry student, you expected me to mention this.
A simple reason to add this to your routine (besides the health benefits) is that it will help you wake up and not feel sleepy.
3. Make Your Bed (2 Minutes)
This is something I learned from Lewis Howes in his book The School of Greatness (which I had time to read, thanks to my morning routine!).
Making your bed will not only make your environment less distracting, but you will already have a “win” in your day during the first few minutes of it.
That will prime you to complete actions, and not just start them.
4. Ask Yourself the Steve Jobs Question (2 Minutes)
Every morning, Steve Jobs would look in the mirror and ask himself, “If today were the last day in my life, would I do what I am about to do?”
The beauty of this question is that it will help you prioritize your daily actions and stop doing stuff that doesn’t matter. It will make you focus on the 20% of actions that deliver 80% of the results.
That is what you need, especially when you have limited time to build your business on the side.
5. Do Your S.A.V.E.R.S. (6-20 Minutes)
Hal is the second biggest influence after Jim Rohn for adding a morning routine to my life. He gave me a clearer idea about what to add to my morning routine to make my day a success.
So what are the S.A.V.E.R.S.?
- Silence: This could be any form of meditation or a prayer. It helps you increase your focus.
- Affirmations: Muhammed Ali primed his subconscious mind for greatness by repeating to himself, “I am the greatest! I’m the greatest thing that ever lived.” Your affirmation can be anything you want to be or to achieve.
- Visualization: Sit for a moment and visualize what your life will be after you achieve your goal. Imagine everything in detail. What do you see? What do you hear? How is your day from start to finish? After you do this for 10 minutes, you will be motivated to take action through the rest of the day.
- Exercise: It is important to increase your blood circulation in order to be at your best. You can go for a full workout, or just do a 7 minute workout, which is what I usually do.
- Reading: One idea can change your life. Read, even if it’s just for one minute. Maybe you’ll come across an idea that will change your life forever.
- Scribing: Scribing (or journaling) is a great habit to build. You can write down what you want to achieve in the day, what you are grateful for, and even express your frustrations, so you can tackle the day with renewed energy.
I have been doing most of these habits for 2 years since reading The Miracle Morning, and I can’t look back.
The part that I struggled with for a long time is the affirmations part, but eventually I got comfortable with it. If you’re struggling with affirmations, I suggest including quotes you liked in books, stating your goal and how you plan to achieve it, and re-declaring that you are worthy of achieving success.
The most important part is to read your affirmation slowly, and fully digest it.
If you are still having problems with affirmations, check out this video:
Focus for 60 Minutes on the #1 Action You Need to Accomplish Today
After you’re done with the habits part, now you need to focus for the next 60 minutes on the #1 task that will move your business forward.
For me, it’s writing blog posts. Either for my clients, as guest posts like this one, or posts for my soon-to-be-launched blog.
If you have a bit more time, apply the 90-90-1 rule by Robin Sharma:
For the next 90 days, devote the first 90 minutes of your work day to the one best opportunity in your life. Nothing else. Zero distractions.
Stop spending time on “fake” work in the morning. Check your email after lunch. Make your phone calls in the afternoon. Surf the Net in the evening.
And see the results for yourself!
Maybe you have 60 minutes, maybe you only have 30 minutes, but the important thing is that you do work that actually “moves the needle” in your side business first.
How to Start a Side Business Today
Now you know the power of a morning routine, and you know how to start a side business in 90 minutes or less per day. But you may still be thinking that this is going to be too hard.
First of all, I would suggest you read The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. It’s a book that completely changed my life. Order yourself a copy right now.
Next, plan your morning routine for tomorrow. Don’t go crazy– just choose one or two of the S.A.V.E.R.S. to start with.
Tonight, go to bed an hour earlier than you usually do, and set your alarm clock to wake you up an hour earlier. (You can work up to 90 minutes eventually, but 60 minutes is a great place to start.) Place your alarm far away from your bed so you’ll have to get up and get it.
Tomorrow, do your planned morning routine, and then focus the rest of the morning before your day job on the #1 side business task you need to accomplish for the day. (Remember, you don’t need to spend a full 60-90 minutes on this right away… start small, and build up to it.)
Keep adjusting every week to get the maximum benefits out of your routine. You can also rotate your routines by switching out S.A.V.E.R.S. every couple of weeks so that you don’t get bored.
No More Excuses
Many people wonder how I built a side business online, still study, and get high grades without sacrificing my social life.
The morning routine is my secret weapon, along with doing focused work on one important task at a time.
If I can do it, you can too.
So stop using “I don’t have enough time” as an excuse for not starting your side business.
Just get started.