How To Accomplish Your Dreams, Even With a Full Time Job (The Second Morning)


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

Time vs Energy Drawing

While balancing your time between what you want to do and what you have to do, you run into two major problems.

  1. Lack of Time
  2. 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

Current Time and 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:

  1. Sleep
  2. Wake Up
  3. Take a shower / Clean up
  4. Drink a smoothie
  5. Drive to work
  6. Get a cup of coffee
  7. 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.

  1. I had a quick nap
  2. I took another shower
  3. I drank another smoothie
  4. I made coffee
  5. I started working

It worked.

Optimal Time and Energy Levels

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

My Results

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

About relationships:

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.


  1. Nap Study: An ultra short episode of sleep is sufficient to promote declarative memory performance
  2. Average American watches 5 hours of TV per day from
  3. Social Networking Eats Up 3+ Hours Per Day For The Average American User via


  • 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.
  • Michael Staub

    Though i got a lot out of this post, as most of your posts, I’d just like to say, of course Kanye West worked at the Gap. Of course he did.

    • Malan Darras

      Hey Mike, I know you love Kanye 🙂 the point is the dude was working at The Gap while he was writing music at his apartment that would someday propel him to being one of the biggest artists in the world… that’s the thing

      • Michael Staub

        Yeah, it’s a great point. For some reason it just entertains me to think about Kanye working at the Gap. But, I mean, I worked at TGI Friday’s before I became… ummm, a not super-star 🙂 I was a walking Office Space joke… but I actually learned a ton from that job, for reals.

        • Malan Darras

          in our little box we had a good time. the rest of it… Office Space all the way.

  • Charlie

    Cool tips my man! Never thought off that. I often get pissed when I get home from work because I now I won’t have much energy left for working online. I get caught in those vicious cycles where I pass out on the couch as soon as I get home, wake up at 10pm all feeling energized, work on the biz till 2am then wake up at 6 30 am for work then spend the whole day at the job tired then its back on that couch!! Imma most definitely give this a shot! I wonder how coffee after a protein shake feels. Anyway I know it’s social media but peep this…What I enjoy doing when working on the biz is hit youtube and listen to some miles davis, or classical music like Tchaikovsky, Mozart or Beethoven. Or Dark Knight rises or the Gladiator movie soundtrack. Music like this especially classical is known to raise your IQ by 15%. This sh*t will get you in a trance. You’ll work like a mad man and get lots of stuff done!

    • Malan Darras

      hey Charlie, so instead of passing on the couch for 4 hours, just nap on purpose for 20 minutes (you’ll feel just as, if not more rested) and take a shower and go.

      I agree on the classical music and movie soundtracks. Really good for me while working. Dark Night has been a friend of mine many mornings / nights. Great soundtrack.

  • Tyrone Robertson

    Another great post thanks Malan

  • Tyrone Robertson

    sorry bout the picture that was a mistake. At the time I thought I was uploading a profile picture for when I post but you have to admit I am a handsome 40 something 🙂

    • Malan Darras

      i was wondering what that was all about haha.

    • Antony

      LOL! hahah) Can I upload my pic to Malans blog too? So unexpected, this guy made me so curious, like: wtf did he want to say by that? Handsome man)

    • Tyrone Robertson

      It was a shameless attempt at humor to deflect my embarrassing mistake -_-

  • Petre Veluda

    Cool concept, secondMorning :)!! The short naps really work even before hitting the gym, a quick 25-30min rest is enough to give you the energy needed for the workout.

    • Malan Darras

      right, i seem to feel better after a 20 minute nap than i do after a 2 hour nap

      • Petre Veluda

        I think I’ve got this from Charles a while back. He was saying that after 25min you get into deep sleep and that’s only going to make things worse. 25 or so min it’s the best timeframe for a nap and it’s way better than drinking lots of coffee..

  • Kyle

    Keep up the awesome content, Malan. I look forward to each new post you come up with. truly original and useful stuff!

    • Malan Darras

      thanks Kyle, thanks for being a part of it

  • Justin Garza

    Great post man – I have been following along as well as on twitter since I saw Ngo recommend you. This post was great I have a buddy struggling and sent this straight away. Tons of valid points and a good way to look at things. Keep it up, please.

    • Malan Darras

      thanks for forwarding to your friend Justin, hope it helps.

  • Justin de vries

    What dream are you trying to balance?

    • Malan Darras

      did you read the article Justin?

  • Antony

    Hi, Malan!
    Would you recomment DigitalOCean for hosting my landers? Or I should choose something else?

    • Petre Veluda

      Hi Antony,
      I think that these days any hosting will do as long as it’s not a $3/month plan. It depends on your traffic or tracking system because sometimes shared could work fine if you are just starting out but soon enough you’ll need at least a VPS.

      I use WiredTree but I heard people using DigitalOcean and like it.

  • Edgar Ochoa

    Nice Malan! I also have similar energy cycles as you do. I’m a morning person, and so I’m more focused and full of energy from 7am-1pm… After 1pm, I begin to lose steam…

    I will definitely give this a try man. Thank you!

    • Malan Darras

      let me know how it goes Edgar.

  • Mike M. Lin

    Super technique, Malan. I have one for you. Another way to get to sleep faster: never read or work in bed. Do that elsewhere. In the same way you use shower, smoothie, coffee as queues for your body to wake up, you can teach it that bed = sleep.

    • Malan Darras

      nice, thanks Mike

  • C.D. Beatrice Clay

    Such and interesting concept! I will have to give this a try for sure.

  • Myron DeBussac

    Interesting concept, Malan. With my job I’d need to find a different way to make a Second Morning.

    My work schedule is Wednesday from 2 pm to 8 pm. Thursday and Friday are 7:30 am to 8 pm with a 1-1/2 break from 3:30 to 5 pm. And lastly Saturday is 8 am to 6 pm with no break.
    I’m usually wiped out by the time I get home on Thursday, Friday, and somewhat Saturdays.

    At least what you’ve done has given me some insight on how to make my time off work for me when I don’t have to go to that miserable job!


  • astr0

    I tend to be productive enough after work and on week ends but getting burned out fast that way.
    This should help a lot.

    Big thanks!

    • Malan Darras

      good luck astr0

  • John Nkume

    Ohh Malan, Thank You, Thank You ever so much for this post