I took many steps to expand my business in 2009 and ultimately triple my income, and one of these steps was affirming this three days a week work lifestyle.
Think about your life and your business. Affirm and explore and decide on what lifestyle you want to have while balancing everything there is to balance. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs who were like me many years ago, working six days a week, up late at night, not taking vacations. A lot of us are in business for ourselves because we didn't want a boss. But we find that we've traded one boss for a worse boss - ourselves!
One of the things I really needed to do was to affirm what kind of lifestyle I wanted to have. So I did some soul searching and asked, is this three days a week work schedule for me? Maybe I should be working more - maybe that's what's going to help me increase my income.
I realized that working more was not the answer. The answer was that I needed to be smarter. This included questioning the way I was doing things and running my business. It led me to get some needed help for those tasks all businesses must deal with. It led me to think smarter about my approach and how I was selling (and charging for) it and completely overhaul many aspects of what I was doing. Because I need - and want - to stick with my three days a week schedule.
So affirm the kind of lifestyle you want to have and take the steps to make sure you can have it by designing your business to fit your lifestyle. For me it wasn't trading hours for dollars anymore.
This may require steps that can feel like taking big risks, including:
1. Saying "no" to low-end, smaller clients or projects that take a lot of time with little financial reward.
2. Hiring help (virtual assistant, bookkeeper, cleaning service, etc.) even if it appears you can't afford it right now.
3. Raising your prices and/or creating a leveraged group program (or a high-end exclusive program). HINT: This is only limited by your ability to own and communicate the value of your expertise.
4. Hiring a mentor that has achieved the goal you have (even it appears you can't afford it right now.)
5. Slowing down and/or taking a break from the day-to-day of your business in order to steer the ship in a new direction.
For most of us out there, we didn't go into business for ourselves so we could work 100 weeks and never take a day off. We're doing it to have a certain kind of lifestyle. Are you living the lifestyle you want?