One of the hardest parts about following your passion or chasing a dream is that in most cases, your dream doesn’t make money right away.
So unless you live at home with your parents or are willing to pull your next meal from a garbage can you have to balance your time between your dream and a full time job.
You’re not alone, a lot of A-list celebrities spent their early years working a day job while they built their careers.
- Brad Pitt used to dress up as a chicken for El Pollo Loco.
- Madonna worked at Dunkin’ Donuts.
- Johnny Depp sold ballpoint pens over the phone.
- Kanye West worked as a sales assistant at The Gap.
We all have to start somewhere.
I Did It Too
When I started doing online marketing I was working 9-5 at marketing/ad agencies, playing in multiple bands (another passion that made no money) and working on campaigns at night. The balancing act wore me down… it was almost too much to take. I asked myself several times “Is this worth it?”
Finally, after a lot of trial and error, experimentation and failure, I figured out a way to balance chasing my dream and a full time job.
Within a year I was able to confidently quit my job, break free from the 9-5 grind forever and make more money than I’d ever made in my life.
And now, because I’m your friend, I’ll show you how to do it too.
Two Major Problems
While balancing your time between what you want to do and what you have to do, you run into two major problems.
- Lack of Time
- Lack or Energy
A full time job takes up 8 hours of your day and 80% of your energy. So when you finally sit down to work on your big idea you have a limited amount of time and energy to put into it.
You can’t add more hours to the day, so you’ve got to focus on energy.
Documenting Energy Levels
I looked at my schedule and saw that I had a few hours every day that were much more high energy than any other time.
Highest Energy: 9:30am – Noon
Lowest Energy: 3pm – 10pm
I had a big surge of productive energy in the mornings, but hit a downward spiral after lunch that continued for the rest of the day. By the time I got home to work on my own project I was out of gas.
So my thought was “If I can recreate that high energy time in the evening, I can get more of my own work done.”
To get started, I documented the process that led up to that high energy moment in the morning.
What I documented looked something like this:
- Wake Up
- Take a shower / Clean up
- Drink a smoothie
- Drive to work
- Get a cup of coffee
- Start work
I took out “drive to work” and had a system I could recreate in the evening.
That evening, instead of just sitting down at the computer right away I went through the process.
- I had a quick nap
- I took another shower
- I drank another smoothie
- I made coffee
- I started working
My energy level spiked again. It felt like a full reset on my mind and body. I was more alert, my brain functioned better, I could concentrate more and I was able to work much more effectively than ever before.
According to recent studies, even short naps are very good for your brain:
A study by Dr Olaf Lahl at the Institute of Experimental Psychology revealed that even an ultra short episode of sleep is sufficient to promote declarative memory performance.
“…even an ultra short period of sleep is sufficient to enhance memory processing. We suggest that the mere onset of sleep may initiate active processes of consolidation which – once triggered – remain effective even if sleep is terminated shortly thereafter.”
Source: Journal of Sleep Research
I used the Second Morning concept for a full year. By the end of that year I was able to quit my job and do online marketing full time.
Within 90 days I was making (way) more money than I ever had at a full time job.
Instead of wasting my best hours on client work or company meetings, I dedicated all that time to pursuing my dream. And when I focused my energy on my own projects – the money started pouring in, like waves from the ocean.
I quickly paid off all my debts and fired all of my freelance web design clients. I was making more every day than they were paying me for 3 months of work. I gave them all full refunds and recommendations for new web designers. I politely asked them to never contact me again.
I wanted all responsibilities to other people gone from my life forever. I was finally independent. I could finally do my own thing.
I was finally Free.
If you’re struggling to find the energy you need to go after your dream – I suggest you give this a try. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to create The Second Morning and set yourself free.
The Second Morning:
- Document your morning. We’re all different. My morning routine at the time was showering, getting dressed and making coffee. For you it may be wake up, eat oatmeal and go for a jog. Just think of what you do and write it all down or put it into a spreadsheet.
- Pick 2-4 of the big winners. Don’t worry about things like “Drive to work” or “Company meeting”. Think of the 2-4 power moves that you do to give yourself an energy spike and add them to the list.
- Create a Second Morning after work. When you get home from work – start over from scratch. Get in bed, close your eyes for a few minutes, take a 10-20 minute nap if you can (I used a sleep mask and earplugs) and “Wake up” fresh again. Do everything you did earlier in the day and reset yourself.
- Get to work. Now is your chance. If you do it right you’ll feel refreshed, renewed and ready to put in 3-5 hours of work before you go to bed. Most people waste their precious hours of free-time on TV and social media (see “Why It Works” below). You can no longer afford to be one of them.
- Have fun. Remember, this is an experiment and you may feel strange for the first day or two. But try to stick with it and check your results after a week or two. Are you getting more done? Are you having more fun? Keep going.
That’s the process that I followed. That’s what worked for me. You can do a total reset on your body by taking a quick nap and having a shower. It made me feel reborn, renewed and ready to get things done.
Why It Works
There are only 24 hours in a day and most of that is taken up doing things you “have” to do leaving very little time for the things you “want” to do.
- Sleep: 8 hours
- Work: 8 hours
- Driving / Errands: 3 hours
- Your time: 5 hours
If you work a full-time job you have a maximum of 5 hours a day to work on your dream. Even less if you have a family or relationship you have to attend to.
Most people waste those precious hours watching TV (Netflix, Youtube too), drinking in bars and arguing politics on Facebook.
How we waste our time:
TV: The average American watches more than five hours of live television every day. (source: nydailynews)
Social Media: Americans aged 18-64 who use social networks say they spend an average of 3.2 hours per day (source: marketingcharts)
Second Morning allows you to put those wasted hours to work for you. As a result, you appear to be super-human compared to the average person. People will start asking “How do you get so much done?”
The time is there. You just have to prioritize it correctly.
When I started re-creating my morning at 5:30 PM my girlfriend thought I was crazy. She hated it and told me I was wasting my time.
If you’re in a relationship or have a family at home they may not understand what you’re doing. All they know is you’re definitely not sitting on the couch with them watching TV anymore… and they’ll want to know why.
I have found that if you explain what you’re doing very kindly and tell them that what you’re doing is important to you and your future, you can reduce complaints drastically. A lot of times people just need to know why.
If you’re having a hard time finding time to work on your affiliate marketing campaigns try this. When you get home from work have a nap, take a shower and start your day over from scratch.
Stick with it for a few days, preferably a week or more. Then see how it feels. If you feel good about it keep going. I did it for well over a year.
Splitting your time between what you want to do in the future and what you have to do right now is hard. But remember, I’ve been there and done it, so you can too. Give this a try and let me know how it goes.
Create a Second Morning.
- Nap Study: An ultra short episode of sleep is sufficient to promote declarative memory performance
- Average American watches 5 hours of TV per day from nydailynews.com
- Social Networking Eats Up 3+ Hours Per Day For The Average American User via marketingcharts.com
- SleepGenius: Great app for putting you to sleep, there is something magical about it
- Sleep Mask + Earplugs: Use a sleep mask and earplugs to block out sun and mute noise to fall asleep fast
- SelfControl: An app to block time-wasting sites while you’re working. I use it daily to block FB and Twitter while I work.