A client asked me to write up a roadmap to a kind of “four-hour workweek” for authentic business…
The best I can come up with is an 8-hour workweek. It’s more realistic, yet still minimal. Imagine: just 2 hours of work, 4 days a week. Quite a luxury, especially in these economic times!
Of course, it all depends on how much income you’re aiming for, and your current stage of business.
Let’s say you’d like to earn $4,000/month working just 8 hours per week.
(This is a true privilege, compared to the median American wage of $3,333/mo working 40 hours a week!)
To get there, you’d first have to build up an audience of true fans and resonant offerings, and then scale back your hours of work.
How long does that take? It depends on your starting point. If you have zero contacts in your industry and no experience, it may well take 3–7 years (depending on how productive you are) to build up enough of a true audience and resonant offerings, and then scale back to 8 hours a week and still earn $4,000/month.
I’ve talked often a lot about how to build your true audience and resonant offerings:
So I won’t rehash those ideas in this post.
Instead, let’s assume that you’ve effectively accomplished that already, and now you’re ready to scale back to 8 hours a week and still earn a good income.
To use a real example, I’ll share where my business is now, and then scale back from there…
For the past 12 months I’ve been earning:
If I exclude ecommerce fees and other business costs, I’m netting about $14,000 monthly or $168K yearly.
2 points of fine print (if you don’t love details, skip this) —
So I’m netting about $14,000 monthly by working 40 hours per week.
This accounts for all business-related activities, including cleaning my email inbox daily, finishing my to-do list, preparing and delivering my courses, logistics, client calls, everything.
With some streamlining of my tasks, I could likely do all of it with 25 hours per week and still earn at least $7,000/mo, if I pared down 3 things…
Let’s go even further…
Pare it all down to only 8 hours per week and still earn $4K per month:
As I wrote at the beginning, the key to all this is that I’ve already done the work to build up a loyal audience, a course catalog (17 courses and counting), and free content of over 1,000 articles and videos that I could keep repurposing for a decade or more.
So if you’re yearning to create this kind of privileged work-income scenario, you’ll need to do the work now, to have the option for a lower-intensity workweek in the future, such as during retirement.
Even while you are building up your foundation, you don’t have to work the 40 hours a week that I do. I’m grateful that I am able to, due to few family commitments, good health, and no other jobs.
If you have less time, you can work for about 10–20 hours per week to create the kind of business system that I operate. See this blog post for details: How much time to spend in my solopreneur business?
All the while, as you work diligently on creating the foundation for your future minimal business, let’s remember that all of it can be done with joyful productivity :)
George Kao is a Marketing Coach for small business owners, especially solopreneurs such as Coaches and Mentors. He focuses on ethical & effective ways to grow one's platform and build true livelihood.
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