As someone who trains and coaches Part Time Marketers, I spend a lot of time talking about… well, TIME!
Specifically, how to manage it, how to leverage it and how to use time more wisely in building a business.
I teach on things like understanding times of peak productivity, figuring out where all your time goes and how to avoid time wasters like email, social media and the inability to say “No”.
But let’s go deeper than that.
There are other subtle time wasters out there…
I call them Time Vampires because, left unchecked they will suck the life right out of your Side Business.
What follows are 7 subtle Time Vampires that often go unnoticed, until one day you wake up and realize you’ve wasted days, months, or even years of valuable business time.
I’ve also included the “Silver Bullets” that will help you to vanquish these evil creatures!
7 Invisible Time Vampires That Will Suck The Life Out Of Your Side Business
How can helping someone be a waste of time?
You’re probably shaking your head and think I’ve lost my mind.
Let me explain.
There’s something about helping others that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy.
And after all, it’s what everyone tells us to do…
Help those who need guidance and the good karma in the Universe will reward us.
I’m not arguing this, but when left unchecked it can be a HUGE Time Vampire.
For example, I often will offer a free 30-Minute Focus Session to anyone who needs help with focusing on those activities that will make their success inevitable. At the end of 30 minutes, people have a clear plan of action for the coming days and weeks.
It's invaluable and the feedback has been amazing. But I let people know that if they want more of my help, I offer paid coaching at an affordable rate.
I run a business, not a charity.
You see, people take advantage.
It’s something we all do.
When we see something good, we want more of it.
And that includes FREE help.
So if you’re out there offering free assistance to others (as you should), just be aware of this tendency and put some boundaries in place.
SILVER BULLET: Limit free consulting or help sessions to 30 minutes maximum. After that, continue to offer help at a cost that is in line with your level of experience and expertise.
Coming from a recovering Professional Perfection Addict, I get it.
I understand the want/need to have everything perfect in your business.
It’s a curse many of us share.
But I’m here to tell you that your quest for perfection can and will leave you broke.
I’ve spent HOURS making things “perfect” in my marketing… emails, videos, blog posts, etc.
And in the end, it’s time wasted because during that time, no leads were being generated and no sales were being made.
If you want a clue about being perfect, just watch what most of the Top Earners in our profession do…
They put things out there and correct the course as they go along.
They don’t spend valuable time looking at the minutia of their marketing campaigns for potential mistakes.
They get it out for all to see and make any changes as necessary.
They never sweat mistakes and have the self-confidence to laugh at silly errors along the way.
SILVER BULLET: Take a marketing piece you’re currently working on and INTENTIONALLY publish it, mistakes intact. Observe the reaction of others. No reaction, you say?
Congratulations, you’ve taken the first step at becoming an IMPERFECT Success Story!
Worrying about things that could potentially happen is perhaps the most prevalent Time Vampire of all time.
Yet we rarely think of it as such.
We spend hours at a time focusing our concerns on what could go wrong, who could make fun of us, and how we might look to others, 99% of which will NEVER come true.
One example of this in business is making videos. I've watched people become completely paralyzed at the thought of getting on camera.
Yet the reality is, adding video to your business is one of the most profit-producing activities you can do. Yet people don't do videos because of fear, mostly of what others will think.
Talk about Vampires SUCKING the life right out of you!
Imagine if we could repurpose all this worry time into generating leads and making sales?
How would that change your business?
SILVER BULLET: Pay attention to your fears. Be honest about what fears/worries are wasting your valuable time and holding you back. Pick one (preferably a minor fear) and make a commitment to work past it JUST FOR TODAY.
Just for today, stop worrying about what could happen. Just for today, stop obsessing about what others might say. Just for today, commit to facing this one fear and doing it anyway! You’ll be amazed at what can happen and how GREAT you’ll feel about yourself.
This is a close cousin to Time Vampire #1.
It’s great to be available to others.
After all, you never know when that phone call, text message, or email might lead to a sale, right?
Fair enough, but usually it’s not true, right?
Most often it’s someone needing help or wanting “more information” rather than watching the company video you sent.
Or it’s the neighbor who needs a hand or a friend who wants a ride.
Make no mistake — it’s GREAT to help others but my point is simple —
Don’t ALWAYS be available, either offline or online.
Simple rule: If you’re too accessible, you’re not working hard enough!
SILVER BULLET: Just like with your fears, the first step at being less accessible is to become AWARE of just how available you are.
Are there always 5 different ways to interrupt you if someone needs help? Do you easily stop everything to pick up the phone or answer a Facebook message?
Try this — for the next hour, be 100% INACCESIBLE to everyone (except family members who need to contact you in case of emergency). You’ll probably feel uncomfortable at first, that’s normal. But soon you’ll relax, dive into a project and get so much done! And also notice — the world did not stop because you couldn’t be reached!
It seems like I’m challenging a lot of the current marketing dogmas, right?
After all, aren’t you taught to constantly make yourself more valuable to the marketplace?
Yes, and it’s true.
But sometimes the quest for value can work against us.
As a Side Business Owner, I love webinars.
I love learning new things and the flexibility of being able to listen to recordings on my own time.
But not long ago, I was a certifiable “Webinar Junkie”.
I attended any webinar I could if I thought it would add to the value I could bring to others.
But soon I found myself extremely SMART with no results.
It’s far better to strike a balance between learning new things and taking actionable steps to implement what you learn.
The key is learning things you will use NOW to get results in your business, and then passing it on to others.
It’s the best way I know to simultaneously add value to the marketplace AND build a profitable business.
SILVER BULLET: Only watch webinars that will help you in the next 30 days. This includes the latest, greatest lead generation strategy or online tool.
If you’re not going to use it in the next month, skip the webinar and spend your time getting RESULTS with what you know.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but I regularly see pieces of marketing online where someone forgets the Call To Action.
People need and want to be told EXACTLY what to do — click on this link, go to this page, leave a comment, etc.
Even if it seems like a no-brainer to you, “assuming” will kick you in the backside every time.
Be sure there’s a clear Call To Action in all your marketing pieces.
Be short and concise in your directions.
Don’t leave anything to chance.
After all, if you’re going to spend your valuable time creating amazing content, ads, etc., be sure you “seal the deal”.
SILVER BULLET: After creating any piece of marketing, review to be sure you’ve told your reader/listener EXACTLY what you want them to do next. Ask a marketing buddy to review your Call to Action if you’re not sure it’s clear.
Sidenote: If there’s a link in your Call to Action (“click here”), be sure it’s functioning properly. Broken links are common and a COLOSSAL waste of time.
When you drive on a Toll Road (one that charges money to access), have you ever found a Toll Collector (automated or human) who forgets to collect?
Yet every day I see people wasting valuable time and money on ads or marketing pieces where they forget to COLLECT someone’s name and/or email.
It’s one of the foundational pieces to growing a business… build a list.
If the Toll Collector regularly forgets to take your money, the Transportation Authority will go broke (before that, they’d get fired!).
It’s the same with your business.
Don’t waste your time and effort by forgetting to collect someone’s information in exchange for your value.
It’s a rookie mistake you can’t afford to make if you’re building your list (and business) Part-Time.
SILVER BULLET: Before publishing any content (including placing ads), check to be sure you take them to a page where they provide their information.
Use a list management system like Aweber to manage your connections. If you’re building your business offline, you can add people to your list manually (with their permission, of course).
Don’t miss this essential piece to the success puzzle!
Don’t try to tackle all of these time-wasters at once. Some may run deep in your personality and require some major changes.
As always, the first step is always OBSERVATION.
Becoming aware that there’s a problem always happens first before any correction can occur.
Going forward, become more AWARE of your time and these potential Time Vampires.
Learn to recognize them for what they are. And then gradually go about correcting the issues, one at a time.
Correct some easy ones first, to build confidence. Then go after some of the major violators.
You’ll be amazed at the results and how good you feel about yourself in the process!
Suggested Business Resources
Aweber - building your list has never been so important. Grab your Free Account.
InMotion Hosting - my preferred web-hosting service
Descript - by far the best video and audio editor I've ever used.
TubeBuddy - if you're doing videos, this will be your best friend
Legendary Marketer - lead generation and business creation platform for affiliate and network marketers.
Fearless Influencer Academy - learn the skills and strategies for growing any business online.
It's Your Time to SHINE!
Dr. Bob Clarke
This post may contain affiliate links to products or services that I trust. This means that if you make a purchase using the links included in this post, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you for the support!
P.P.S. If you're building your business Part Time and not getting the results you expected, I created this for you.