This past couple of weeks I have made a lot of progress towards my 4 hour work week, which is good as it is planned in my diary to happen in just 2 more full weeks!
So what exactly have I been doing to make it happen? Here are the 5 P’s I’ve been working on:
Planning is very important to reach a 4 Hour Work Week (4HWW). If I hadn’t planned the 4HWW out in to exactly what makes up those 4 hours, I would not have known exactly what it needs in order for me to stick to 4 hours.
As a reminder, my planned 4 hours are:
By planning this I can visualise what is needed to get me from ‘where I was’ to ‘where I need to be’, and more importantly by actually planning it in to the diary I have a date to achieve it by.
To get my weekly meetings with my Property Manger down to 1 hour only on new business, I knew I needed to ensure all systems were in place and running effectively, that he had experienced weeks without my input, to slowly decrease the time of each meeting each week, to focus on not solving problems once as they occur but creating processes that solved it and solved them as they occur in the future.
I knew my RAP on a Friday needed to be extremely effective. I need to have all KPI (Key Performance Indicator) data in an easily readable format so I quickly review them, make decisions, ask questions and put plans into place for the following week/month.
To achieve a 4HWW without people would not work! My businesses rely on customers being satisfied which would not be the case if I had an out-of-office email reply and voicemail stating:
I am currently out of office, please contact me between 10-10:30AM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Emails over 10 lines will be ignored, conversations after 5 minutes will be cut off. Good luck…
Not a lasting business model!
Therefore, I knew I needed the right team around me and as I do not have an office (nor want one) I needed the majority to be virtual.
Over the last few weeks we have hired in a fully qualified accountant to be our Finance Manager for all businesses (and also the person that compiles all the KPI data for me to review on a Friday), a UK based virtual PA to manage emails and oversee the rest of the team and an Online Marketing Manager to keep generating sales for our Amazon based business and the Serviced Apartment business.
To ensure I had a team all working towards the same goal I needed to:
Products mean a variety of things.
The products we sell - I could not reduce my working week if the products we were offering customers were poor quality. I needed to make sure all the products were top quality, as the customer expects (and beyond) and that all my team understood the benefits and features of them all, and why we were selling these.
The products we use – this is mainly online technology. Without efficient online tools I would need to be spending more hours in the business. These range from:
A lot have been tried and tested for weeks, months or years and a lot have come from recommendations from our network & team members who were using them.
Positivity (& Possibility)
Without a positive attitude this would not be possible. If I thought a 4HWW was not realistic, or not possible, and that a virtual team could not be trusted, or that the businesses needed me to survive and the team would not be able to cope – then all of these limiting beliefs and negativity would have lead me to not push myself to where I need to be and it would have stopped me when I needed to commit to expenses.
Positivity and the belief that it will all work (along with all I have put into place) drives you on to succeed in your goals. It also rubs off on your team creating a more positive, trusting and committed team.
Persistence (& Perseverance)
An attitude to keep going no matter what, because you know it’s possible and you will get there is definitely needed.
Not everything goes smoothly, our first KPI reporting run was about 50% complete, of that about 10% was incorrect! I did not think “this was not going to work” and take it back and do it myself. Instead I took full responsibility for the result, knew that I needed to further clarify each KPI, where people should be getting the information from, the exact reporting time for them and improved the communication to the team to achieve the desired result next time.
There will always be stumbling blocks and things that go wrong, so it is important to stay tuned in to the bigger ‘Why’. Why are you doing all this? Why are you putting the time in to make it this way? And then keep at it until it works, continuously improving processes and the it will happen.
Now, there you have it, my 5 P’s of getting to a 4 hour work week.
Having recently re-listened to Life Leverage, by Rob Moore, there are 3 ways to use your time. Waste it, Spend it or Invest it. The 5 P’s above are great examples of how I’ve prioritised investing my time to get passive and recurring, long-term benefit.
I hope you find this useful, please let me know if it is too general and needs more detail and I will cover it in later blogs.
Have a great week and thanks for reading,
p.s. As I tried wakeboarding this week for the very first time, here are the 5 P’s in relation to this:
Planning – I got told to bring swimwear and a towel!
People – I would never have tried this if it wasn’t for the mastermind group I’m part of, 2 of whom regularly wakeboard.
Products – We got given a wetsuit and a wakeboard!
Positivity – When I fell off straight away, and then again after being lurched from the wakeboard, I didn’t feel down or disappointed, I knew it was part and parcel of this and enjoyed it.
Persistence – If I gave up the first time I full on face-planted the water (or even the tenth) I would not have had the satisfaction of going from on my knees, to going round the lake and then finally achieving a length wakeboarding properly and standing up. A big thank you to the mastermind group for arranging a great day.