First, I would like to wish all readers a Happy New Year! I hope this will be a year of satisfaction, wealth, productivity, and less work for you all! But most of all, I hope this is a year of the Four Hour Work Week for myself, readers, and anyone else going down this path.
I think the timing of reading the book meshes quite well with the beginning of the year. Maybe it’s not coincidental — picking up the book in the first place was motivated by having more time on my hands due to the holiday season (more time to read) as well as being a very retrospective time of the year. (What can I work on / improve / eliminate in the year ahead?) Regardless, I am really looking forward to making serious progress on my goals, and I have to say, reading the blogs of other 4HHW bloggers really is helping.
4HWW Resolutions for the Business
First, I have to continue working in my existing business, which is right now generating 90% of my income (the other 10% coming from investments and interest). But the goal will be to reduce the time requirement for that down to 20-30 hours per week from the 40-60 now. The primary way I plan to do that is by strategically outsourcing certain parts of the business.
One of the big parts that is consuming lots of my time is marketing some of our events and attracting attendees to a number of our upcoming events. This is something that is urgent and important (Quadrant I Covey), but not something that requires such an expensive resource as me to perform. I think this would be ideal for off-shore, outsourced resources (perhaps located close to the regions to be contacted). I’ll have to start my search on eLance.
Once that’s outsourced, the next activity is around delivery of some of the services and training, which I think can also be done through partners and other resources, leaving me to do sales and business development, my forte. But the big goal is to get the company sold in 2008. This will leave me to pursue the other businesses, which I think will be more aligned with my ongoing entrepreneurial drive, desire to enter the product business, and achieve the time (life/work) balance I seek.
More importantly, I want to start my other businesses in 2008. There are two businesses I am most interested in running. One is a Web 2.0 company that, if it actually manages to work and get traction, I could build into something with real value and potentially sell to one of the majors. The other has absolutely nothing to do with the IT industry and can potentially also prove to be very lucrative.
Oh, and I have an idea for a simple product (a fad, really) that I’d like to test market and develop a prototype. But I’ve never developed anything like it, so I need to gather some experience in doing that sort of product.
Is this too much to all be done in one year? Let’s find out.
4HWW Resolutions for this Blog
First, I want to learn from other 4HWW bloggers and hope that the community can continue to motivate me to my goals and increasing efficiency. In particular, I’m following the blogs of the Four Hour Trial (which looks very interesting – I think I might even ask for some advice!) and the Four Hour Work Week Journal, which seems to be just starting.
I will then endeavor to post what I learn about time savings, outsourcing, product development, marketing, and work/life balance. Hopefully this will encourage all to do the same.
And while this might be a long shot, I’d like to earn at least $5k in first-year revenues from the blog. This would be around $400-$500 a month in revenues, which would be from my primary revenue sources:
- Google Ads (click on the links if you are interested in what they offer!)
- Amazon.com Affiliate sales (buy they books if you want to help me out)
- Cafepress Items (buy my items if you like the designs)
- Adbrite (not quite yet set up)
- Pay-to-Blog (I’ll try that soon, and let you know how that goes!)
If each of these contributes $100 or so a month, I’ll get there.
4HWW Resolutions for MADFUN
- Restart my music hobby. I want to learn how to play guitar and mandolin (maybe banjo) as well as other instruments. I’ll see if I can get the weekly music lessons going and see how far I can get.
- Enter an MBA program. This is the big “muse”. While not a revenue-earning muse as referred to in 4HWW, it is a good investment in myself. I found a good weekend MBA program that might be suited for my particular profile as an entrpreneur. It will take 2 years, but if I can prove I can run 4 businesses, complete an MBA, have MADFUN, and still have a life, I think this 4HWW concept will be well proven.
- Continue my dance hobby. I love to dance. I’ll see if I can squeeze it in at least 2 nights a week
- Cook more at home, take cooking lessons. Home cooking is not only more economical, but also healthier than the alternatives. I love to cook, so I will make it a goal to cook as frequently on my own or find a means to outsource the parts that are time consuming (groceries?) and see if that helps to optimize the schedule.
- Leave weekends as free as possible. The end goal of the successful four-hour-a-weeker.
- Expand my contacts and personal / business network. This is all a stepping stone to the next big thing. If I can succeed on the above, I will then take my efforts one notch further.
Resolutions for Me
So, what does this all mean? I’m being quite ambitious, and some of the above may have to fall by the wayside. After all, the idea is more revenue, less time, more enjoyment, less stress (eustress, not distress, remember?). But can that be done? I’m still less than 30 days into this experiment. But 2008 is when it all kicks in.