Want to know something great about me?
I keep it real.
(Please read that as a Martin Lawrence “rrreeeal”.)
I recently got an email from a reader asking me to keep it real when it comes to doing work you love and entrepreneurship.
Here’s an excerpt (bolding is mine):
I’ve read a ton on this topic and how it’s awesome for single people who want to 1) travel the world and/or 2) be self-employed and/or 3) follow their calling. Or that in just half an hour a day, I can build a business doing what I love. Cool. Cue the skepticism.
How about those of us with families, especially little kids who are often more than a ‘full-time’ job? What if the magic half hour a day is a hit-or-miss crapshoot? What if I’ve been out of work for 3.5 years and only freelanced here and there? Will anyone even take me seriously?
So lay it on me: Can bootstrapping REALLY work for everyone, or are there some big dealbreakers to honestly consider? I’ve had so much of that “you can do it!” psychological motivation junk that I appreciate some honesty.
So here’s some honesty:
The “magic half hour a day” that this reader refers to is not just a crapshoot, it’s complete bull$h!t.
99% of everybody in the world has NO shot at a business and work they love by halfheartedly working for 30 minutes a day.
Ain’t gonna happen.
Warren Buffet could work half an hour a day and make millions (maybe billions). Bill Gates, yeah. Oprah Winfrey too.
But a mom at home with multiple kids and a spotty work history? Probably not.
But if you read blogs or buy internet marketing products, you’d think anyone who ever fired up an internet connection and dribbled out some content was a stay-at-home millionaire.
Here’s some truth:
Getting a business off the ground is hard – way more than 30 minutes-a-day hard.
Here’s some more truth:
Doing work that you love is not your birthright. No one is going to just hand it to you. It’s something that you need to choose and fight for.
Here’s a more encouraging truth:
Making good money doing work that you love is absolutely possible.
And if you want to do that as an entrepreneur you don’t have to be Warren or Bill or Oprah.
But you could learn something from them – the secret to their incredible earning power.
So what’s the secret?
Why is it that Warren and Bill and Oprah could make millions in 30 minutes a day if they wanted to?
One word: Leverage.
With enough leverage you can most certainly make millions working just a half an hour a day. – Click to Tweet
What is Professional Leverage?
We are in the middle of our inaugural Purpose to Profits Course, and in the course we talk in-depth about taking SMALL steps that create leverage for you professionally.
Professional Leverage basically comes in two forms:
- Financial Leverage. The more financially independent you are, the more you can choose work that appeals to you and the more ownership you can take over the work that you do.
- Status Leverage. The more others view you as an expert, the more you can trade that status to do work that interests you – and the more you can charge for your services.
Warren and Bill and Oprah all have incredible financial independence and absolute expert status in their respective fields.
That’s why they could make millions in half an hour a day if they chose to.
But here’s the thing, they didn’t create that leverage with a leisurely 30 minutes a day of work.
They fought hard for it – 100hr weeks hard. And more importantly, they fought smart for it.
How to Create Professional Leverage the Smart Way
Now, here’s me keeping it real, once again:
I am NOT a workhorse.
I’m just not one of those guys who can pound out a hundred hour workweek – and I don’t want to be.
I enjoy pouring myself into pursuits that I love. I’m incredibly diligent and dedicated. But I know that I am not going to win by outworking everybody else – I’m just not wired that way.
This article is not some pump up speech that’s intended to get you to go out and work a hundred hour week on an emotional high – only to crash after reality sets in.
Part I was a reality check.
Part II is strategy on how to get where you want to go in the most enjoyable fashion.
Find your small pond. Find an area either in your current business (or as a freelancer) where you can be a big fish in a small pond – an area where the competition is relatively limited and you can quickly shine. For me, this was doing business operations for tech startups.
Dominate your small pond. Once you’ve found your small pond, put in the work to actually become a big fish. Your work may feel meaningless and small BUT remind yourself that this small pond is just the beginning. Success here means leverage which means bigger opportunities.
Leverage your success for more ownership. Once you become a big fish, do NOT trade in your success for a pay increase. Instead, trade it in for an increase in responsibility. Get ownership of tasks that are integral to your company’s succcess (or your client’s success if you are a freelancer). Now you are indispensible.
Cash in on your expert status. Once you’ve made yourself indispensible, THEN ask for more money. Ask for a raise or raise your rates. Let people know that while you have a track record for exceeding expectations and keeping a smile on your face, you expect to be compensated appropriately for your outstanding service.
Trade status for meaning. Now you’re making good money. You can increase your lifestyle to match your income, and make even more money. OR you could use your financial independence and expert status to begin choosing to do work that is more meaningful to you. Your choice.
One last thought.
Warren is really old, Bill is pretty old too, and Oprah’s getting older. None of them have to work.
And yet, what do they do?
They work – really hard.
Because they understand that work, at it’s best, is not something that we need to avoid. It’s something that we get to enjoy.
Here’s to you making millions and working hard because you enjoy it.
Question: What do you think about this strategy for creating professional leverage? Any tips of your own? Leave a comment.