trading hours for money

Hitting the gym early in the morning has quite a few advantages, like every instrument is available, I can find the treadmills free, and the place smells better.

I can swear though, that there's something weird with most people that hit the gym at this time.

Without having conducted an actual survey myself, my estimate is that most of them are completely jobless and/or "income-less" or at best, they tremendously suffer at their jobs. The sad thing is that they're not willing to do anything about it.

Here's a funny dialogue that took place a few days ago while I was asking to use the leg press.

Me: Morning dude can we share the press?

Average gym guy: Sure man, no problem.

While we were standing there, we started to chit chat.

Average gym guy: Screw it man, I'm so tired I can't move a finger. They have been killing me at work. During this last week, I've only slept like three hours a day.

Me: Jesus man, what are you doing for a *living*?

Him: I work at an oil production factory as a warehouse worker. I carry a lot of heavy boxes and my shifts are completely random. I may even work in the morning one day and at night the other day.

Me: Ummm, sounds hard bro, but at least you're paid well right?

Him: Well...yeah kinda, more like $1.100 per month for about 8-9 hours a day, six days a week. What are you doing for a living?

Me: I publish books on Amazon in ebook format.

Him (scratching his head): Sounds interesting, is that profitable? How many hours you work on that?

Me: It pays okay, about x4 or x5 an average worker's salary here in Greece, and I invest about 1.5 hours a day on average.

Him: ugghhh, sounds nice, but is that even a real job? Sounds like you're selling thin air. Anyway, how can I learn more?

Me: Give me a friend request on Facebook and visit my page projectbebest.com where I explain everything.

...Never heard of him again.

Well, although his loss is greater, I kinda feel bad for him, because I'd really like it if I could help one more individual escape financial mediocrity. But enough about that.

Debunk the hourly rate myth

Today's post isn't about escaping mediocrity, but learning - or should I say unlearning - to link your time spent on a business with the final outcome.

The figures I told the guy were 100% true. During the last 3 months, my average occupation per day on Kindle Publishing averages at about 1.5 hours a day. That means that some days I might invest 3, 4 or even 5 hours, and some others none.

Counting in the total revenue of this month (I estimate it to be around $4k) and divide it by 45 (total hours worked on Kindle Publishing this month) will give us an average of almost $89 per hour.

july06 kdp icome-projectbebest

The above screenshot shows my royalties analytics this morning. On the left, you can see the amount of money I made yesterday (until 24:00) and on the right, the amount I have already made today while I was sleeping. The $31.68 have already been earned before I even log into my Mac.

What my friend above fails to realize is that in order to earn more, you don't necessarily need to put in more hours.

On the contrary, your goal eventually should be to unlink the amount of money you earn from the hours you put in there. The reason is simple. Scalability!

Imagine the scenario, where in order to make $50 more, I should work let's say another hour (like in most linear professions). That way even after 10 hours a day, my theoretical maximum would be $500 per day. Not too bad you might say.

With a first look, I would agree, although not bad, doesn't mean desirable. If you're thinking like me, then you should always want to maximize your hourly rate finding ways/income streams that scale.

So for example, next month my Kindle Publishing income will go a few hundred dollars up but I won't have to put any extra hours in there.

How's that even possible?

Step #1: Choose a business that scales

As I've mentioned before, traditional job models have many innate scalability issues.

In order to separate your working hours from your revenue (as weird as it may sound), you'll first of all have to choose the correct type of business.

If you wanna make it, you cannot choose to be a clerk, a cook, a warehouse worker and essentially every other type of worker that trades precious time for a few bucks. Even most cases of store owners fall under the same non-scalable category of businesses.

If you're not sure in the beginning whether this business can scale or not, try to always keep this rule of thumb in your mind when you'll choose your next business:

  1. There should be a need for the product you want to sell.
  2. Your business should be Internet-based (i.e. not brick and mortar).
  3. You should start by selling non-physical products (ebooks, subscription services, courses, SaaS, etc.)

Step #2: Become an expert in your business

After you have chosen a scalable type of business, you should give your full focus on that. You should become a true expert at what you're selling.

A moto I love from eofire.com is the F.O.C.U.S principle. Follow one course until success. Simple yet powerful.

Achieving the results I mentioned above, didn't happen overnight. It took me almost 2 years of effort and experimentation to make myself earn $89 per hour. I've studied countless hours about design, copywriting, marketing, sales psychology, etc.

What my friend from the gym (and most people) fail to see is that, besides these 1.5 hours per day I put on KDP, I spend almost my entire day studying, reading, working on other projects and improving myself in any way I can.

I hardly have any downtimes within the week. I always try to maximize my productiveness any way I can.

If I am on the beach, or on the treadmill, I'll listen to some podcasts, while I am eating, I'll watch one of my favorite entrepreneurship shows or at least a documentary. Before I sleep, I will always read for about an hour. Every day!

typical pomodoro distribution
A typical Pomodoro distribution

Here you can see, how I typically distribute my Pomodoros during the day. Like I said before, not all days are exactly the same, but more or less you can get a general idea.

typical pomodoro schedule

And here you can see, how I invest my hours. Note the use of the verb "invest" and not "spend." This is why I truly believe that these hours are an investment on me and my future.

The key point of step two is to learn your business the best way you can and prove that your business model works in low scale conditions.

What I tried to do when I started with KDP, was to learn what my audience wants. What kind of covers I should design, what headlines/titles to put together and how to create an efficient Facebook ad.

Step #3: Scale the damn thing

After you prove your model is working and the ROI is positive, it's only a matter of scaling.

But not a scaling of your hours worked, but rather of more content, marketing, etc.

After a couple of months that I have proven that my model works, all I had to do was to put out more content, increase my marketing budget and have a general overview of the whole process.

My business is now at a point, where the more content I put out there, the more the revenue increases. The more I spend on marketing and promotion, the more traffic I send to my books, ergo, the more sales I make.

Moreover, since I don't write the content, and I can always increase the money I invest in marketing, I can safely believe that this business can scale tremendously.

So to answer my initial question.

Don't be victims of the classic trap, of how-many-hours-you-work-per-week. It may seem like I work about 10 hours a week on Kindle publishing while making $1k, but the truth goes deeper than that.

If you want to achieve similar results as well, here's your 3-step plan:

  1. Choose a business model that scales.
  2. Become an expert in your business.
  3. Scale your business up.

To my knowledge, Kindle Publishing is among the few businesses that can scale up that fast with so little capital.

If you wanna start with Kindle Publishing as well, here's an extremely analytical guide, I've put together for you.

If you really think about it, time is the only asset you cannot buy. So stop trading hours for money today.

You don't have to live like the guy from the gym for the rest of your life. Make the wise decision, build an online business ASAP and secure your financial freedom within a few short years.

*As a final note, because you often ask me what is the exact methodology I use, the authors, the designers and the exact promotion techniques I utilize in Kindle Publishing, I decided to put together a thorough program, in which I explain in every detail (videos, scripts, resources), the exact same method I use to get these results.

In case you are interested, this is the program I have put together. Thanks!