AMY PORTERFIELD: “You can have a really amazing personal life, full of white space and downtime, as well as a thriving business, where, of course, you put in the time and you put in the work, but you don't need to work yourself to death.”
INTRO: I’m Amy Porterfield, ex-corporate girl turned CEO of a multi-seven-figure business. But it wasn't all that long ago that I lacked the confidence, the budget, and the time to focus on growing my small-but-mighty business. Fast forward past many failed attempts and lessons learned, and you'll see the business I have today, one that changes lives and gives me more freedom than I ever thought possible, one that used to only exist as a daydream. I created the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast to give you simple, actionable, step-by-step strategies to help you do the same. If you're an ambitious entrepreneur, or one in the making, who's looking to create a business that makes an impact and a life you love, you're in the right place, friend. Let's get started.
AMY: Well, hey, there. Amy, here. Before we dive into the show today, we have some exciting news. As of this month, Online Marketing Made Easy is officially part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. Something we love about the HubSpot Podcast Network is all of the inspiring shows that are dedicated to helping professionals learn and grow, especially online entrepreneurs. If you love our show and want to check out other shows like us, we definitely recommend checking out the Goal Digger Podcast and My First Million. Check out all of these shows and more at hubspot.com/podcastnetwork.
Hey, there. Amy, here. Welcome back to another Shorty episode on the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast.
So, there's this book I love. It's called Rework. I kind of, at this point, look at it like an oldie, but a goodie, and I've gone back to it many times. And I typically go back to it when I want to restructure something or change things up or shake things up. It's just a really great book to remind you that it doesn't have to be difficult all the time, and there's different ways to go about making your business work. And the chapters are short and to the point, and I just absolutely love the book.
Well, I kind of see these Shorty episodes a little bit like that, where if I could offer you a quick hit of advice based on what's worked for me or where I've messed up in my business so that I can help you get to the finish line—or I shouldn’t even say finish line, because we're entrepreneurs. We're in it for the long haul—so I can help you get to those big, bold goals that you've set for yourself faster and more efficiently, then I've done my work here. And so I was just going downstairs, taking Scouty out for a walk, and I thought, “You know what? When I get back, there's something I want to share with you. Just, like, in a quick episode, something that I feel that I did wrong over the last thirteen years and what I would do differently,” because every time I get interviewed on somebody's podcast, almost always I'll get the question, if you could do it all over again, what's something that you would change or do differently? And the one thing I know, that's crystal clear to me, that I would do differently is I wouldn't have hustled to get to where I am today.
Now, I actually don't take that lightly, because before—I've been thinking about this for, like, a year now, and I haven't been teaching a lot about it—because before I decided that I wanted to share that with you—again, I've been thinking about it for a while—is that I asked myself, could I have built this multimillion-dollar business over the last thirteen years without hustling? And what I believe to be true is in the first few years, it's going to take some hustle. I do believe you need to hustle in the first few years. I think you say yes to more things than you say no to, just to try them on for size, see if they work for you, get a sense of what works and what doesn't. I think you need to experiment more. I think that those first two years-ish, maybe three, are typically the most difficult. And a lot of people are working a nine-to-five job or a corporate job of some sort and doing a side hustle, or trying to do a full online business and work a nine-to-five job at the same time. You usually have your feet in two different places, if not more, and it's hectic. Okay? So I'm not talking about, let's say, those two first years of building your business.
However, once you start to see some traction, once you start to figure out the best way for you to make money and make an impact, and you start to double down on what's working, which I think is the best thing to do coming out of those two years, I believe the hustle can stop, to most degrees. Like, there might be a little here and there, but I believe that you don't have to work your life away in order to create a very successful business. And the thing is, I did work way more than I think I needed to.
And I've talked about this on the podcast before. I was raised by a dad that believed—he was a firefighter. And most firefighters in California, I don't know if this is true elsewhere, they typically have two jobs because you work twenty-four on, twenty-four off, and then you get four days off and six days off. It's a pretty good set up. And so my dad's days off, he had his own business doing air conditioning and heating. Like, blue collar to the bone—and this man believed that if the work isn't hard and you kind of hate it, then you're not working hard enough. True story. He's also the guy who believes that if you're on time, you're late. So he's got some rules, and his rules served him well. He did well in life. He's financially stable, very successful, retired now, living in a beautiful home in Arizona with my step mom, and his life is good.
However, I believe that I can have a different kind of life and still be successful. So I've had to unlearn some of these things that I was raised with as a child about working hard and working long hours and very little rest and making sure that even though it's hard, it's worth it, and that means you're worthy. Like, so much I had to unlearn. And what I believe now and what I have seen from some of my peers, mentors that I very much respect, is that you can have a really amazing personal life, full of white space and downtime, as well as a thriving business, where, of course, you put in the time and you put in the work, but you don't need to work yourself to death, you don’t need to work late, late nights, you don’t need to work weekends in order to have a very successful, profitable business. I actually think the people that are the most strategic and the smartest find the way to not work, work, work, work, work, but still have a thriving business and enjoy what they're doing and make an impact.
Now, about thirteen years in now, I work four days a week and so does my team. You guys know I do a four-day workweek. I read the book Shorter, absolutely recommend the book, and I learned how to turn my five-day-plus-some-weekends business into a four-day business, except when I'm doing a big launch. I need to be practical. So there's a few weeks that I'll have to work Fridays when we're in a launch, which we don't launch that much, so typically we're working a four-day workweek. And my business is still thriving. My employees are happier. I am happier. And I think just as important is that we are more streamlined and efficient and more mindful with how we spend our time. Is this a good use of time? is a question that we ask regularly. Does the customer care? is another question we ask regularly, meaning are we just making more work for ourselves? At the end of the day, does the customer care if we add three more pages to this PDF, or if we shorten it down to make it easier to go through? Or do we really need all these extra videos in this digital course? Or can we make it easier for ourselves and for them? Like, the questions we ask allow us to work smarter.
And I also had to take a leap of faith. So here’s what I want to say. I only want to make—just talk for a few more minutes. I want to make this a short episode for you. What I want to share with you is that it did take some courage for me to say, “Okay. We're going to do it.” When I decided to do it, I looked at my team, my leadership team, and said, “Maybe this is a bad idea. Maybe we wait. Maybe we're not ready.” And thankfully, someone on my team said, “I think it's time to shake things up. Let's just go for it and see what happens.” And so we put a system together. We put a plan. I don't do anything without a good plan, and I learned that in the book Shorter. But we put a plan together, and from there, we got to work. And although it wasn’t incredibly easy right from the get-go, it was easier than I thought. And I'm so glad I took the leap of faith and said, “Wait a second. Can I do this differently? Can I actually enjoy more of my personal life while still making an amazing business profitable and enjoyable? Is there a different way?”
And the reason I felt so compelled to run up to my office and record this episode for you right now is I'm here to tell you that it absolutely is possible for you to work less hours. It absolutely is possible for you to do a four-day workweek if you want, and it absolutely is possible to create a thriving, profitable, impactful business without working tons of nights and tons of weekends and being exhausted all the time from your business. I know it is possible, and I want that for you.
And so the only point of this podcast episode was to say, try it on. Think about it. What might it look like for you to actually work less hours in the day but be incredibly profitable and do amazing things? How could you work smarter, more efficiently, more effectively while still really enjoying your life? Because I feel as though I'd be doing you a disservice if I continue to teach you strategies and tips and tricks and funnels and email marketing and webinars and courses if I didn't also say, “And hey, by the way, let's make sure you enjoy the process, and you take some down time, and you walk away from it. Enjoy your family, enjoy your life so that all the hard work actually is worth it so that you can have a beautiful life by your own design.” I know you can have that, I know I could have done it differently, and I just had to take that leap of faith while also putting together a plan. I like both. I like a leap of faith and a plan. I think that's where the magic happens.
So I don't know who needed to hear this today, but maybe it was you. Maybe you need to reevaluate how much time you are putting into the business, and maybe there's a different way that will bring you a whole lot more joy, but also a really profitable business. So if you want to make this more actionable, I did a whole podcast about what it looked like to move to a four-day workweek. I'll link to it in the show notes. But even before you go there, just think about it. Just think about changing it up a bit and what that might mean for your happiness, because I’m all about you having a super profitable, badass online business, but only if you enjoy the process. And I think I made some mistakes along the way that you don't need to, so I'm here to help you sidestep those mistakes from the get-go so that you can get to those big, bold goals a whole lot faster, more efficiently, and with so much more enjoyment.
All right, my friends, thank you so much for tuning in. On Thursday, I'll bring you some more entrepreneurial goodness, so make sure to tune in. Until next time, have a wonderful day. Bye for now.
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