Find An Idea

How I built a 6-figure business while working full time and raising a family

4 years ago, I barely had time to take a breath.

I had a 2-year-old son, a 9-month-old daughter, and a management consulting career at a top firm in NYC.

I traveled for 3 days every week, jumping on trains, hopping on planes, and staying in hotels. When I came home, I wanted to spend every second with my children and husband.

I didn’t want to live this way anymore. I wanted to be home to help my kids with their homework as they grew older.

At the same time, I got the itch to start an online business. I loved my career, but I had recently lost 40 pounds and wanted to share my story and advice with other women. Plus, online business seemed like a way to have the flexibility I craved.

But how was I going to find the time to do it all? I didn’t even know how to get started.

So I started super small.

And within 6 months of launching my website, I made my first $10K. Today my online business, MasalaBody.com, makes more than $10K every month — plus, I still have a FT job, and my kids are now 6 1/2 and 5.



I’ve made more than $100K in 12 months

Let me show you how you can grow a substantial business while also raising a family and working full time. And how you can do it all without losing your mind.

Reframe your thinking: There are no limitations

When you’re thinking about starting a business, it’s important to have a clear vision of what’s possible. It is completely within your reach to grow a business. There is no hierarchy, VIP club, or elite education you must have to do it.

If you struggle to believe this, start studying other online business owners. When you see that these “ordinary” people — people like you — have been successful, you’ll realize you can do it, too.

I read people’s stories, I met them in person, and learned from them whenever and whatever I could.

Take Luisa Zhou, who made $106K in 4 months online through online marketing coaching at LuisaZhou.com while she worked a full-time job.



Or Emma Johnson, mom of two and founder of the site Wealthy Single Mommy, where she helps professional, single moms build a full, awesome life.

Emma has grown her email list to over 12,000 and started a podcast with guests like Arianna Huffington and Millionaire Matchmaker Patti Stanger, all while being a top writer for Forbes, Success, and other major publications.



And Bryan Harris, founder of Videofruit, who has over 80,000 subscribers. He stayed at his full-time job for a period of time as he grew his own business.



There are multiple business models, timelines, and personal stories of people growing their online businesses while being in full-time jobs. And many of these people also have kids.

Can you be one of them?

I argue, “Why not?”

You DO have time to build an online business

Although reading others’ stories is inspiring, you may still wonder: How do you find the time to grow a business, with a full-time job and kids to boot?

To start, I didn’t put an aggressive timeline on the growth of my business. I accepted that I had other responsibilities and was going to need time to develop my idea.

And, with a full-time job, I wasn’t desperate for income or struggling to get by, which really took the pressure off. I could take the time to fully flesh out and develop my business idea.

Still, I didn’t even have a spare second during my off days. I realized I needed to strategically create time to work on my business — and it’s not in the ways you may think.

Rather than “pushing myself harder,” I made four little changes that added up to hours of extra time to spend on my business each week. These changes will help you create extra time, too.

1. Prioritize your life

As much as I love going out with friends or attending meet-ups, I knew that time was better spent on my business. So decided to turn down anything that was not absolutely necessary outside of my job and family.

These activities take up more time than you realize: there’s planning and coordinating, changing plans, and getting ready to go. Instead, I poured all of this time into my business.

This was tough for me to do, but the payoff was worth it — it added up to 7 hours a week I could spend on my idea. (See how in #2 and #3 below.) Plus, I knew I would add this fun back to my life once my business was more established.

2. Take advantage of short spans of free time

With an online business, you have the advantage of being able to grow it from anywhere, unlike if you are building a brick-and-mortar business. That means you can spend any pockets of extra time you have making small steps to move your business forward.

I found the time to research my idea and audience by using free moments of 30 minutes or more I had in the morning, at night, and on planes and trains. Whenever I had a free moment, I would work on my idea.

I actually looked forward to these breaks and got excited every time I had the chance to work toward my dream.

Here’s an example of my typical work week while I was starting my online business. I like to color-code my tasks like this:

  • Blue = work meetings
  • Orange = flights
  • Green = online business work



You can see how I fit my online business activities into short pockets of time, even while I was traveling for my full-time job.

Time added: 3 hours/week

3. Rethink weekends and vacations

I spent one weekend day each week and one- to two-week “staycations” (where I stayed at home rather than going on vacation) each year working on my idea.

These multiple-hour blocks were highly valuable because I could really concentrate on developing my idea without work “fire drills” or interruptions.

Time added: 4 hours/week and 30 hours/2x year

4. Be more productive

Finally, once I’d done all of these things, the times when I’d work on my idea became precious to me. So much so that I changed some of my lifelong habits that I came to realize were stripping my productivity away.

I identified my most productive hours and worked during those times. That meant shifting my sleeping patterns to get to bed earlier most nights and wake up earlier.

In just two weeks, my body adjusted to waking up earlier and it became my new normal. Now those hours in the morning are some of my best work hours. I feel like I’m really getting ahead.

Time added: 6 hours/week

Thanks to these four things, I gained 13 hours every week plus one or two 30-hour staycations a year. See how that adds up?

You can gain just as much time. Start by identifying how can you add 5 more hours to your week to grow your business. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use small pockets of free time in the mornings, nights, and on weekends
  • Block off some time on weekends and/or take time from work if you can afford it
  • Decide what your non-negotiables are, and make a decision that anything else cannot be a priority while you build your business. (You can add these things back later)
  • Talk to people at work and friends when you are out so that researching dovetails with your everyday life
  • Think about when you’re most productive and shift your schedule so you can work more during those times

In less than 10 minutes, you’ll see how you can find 5 hours to free up every week. That’s 2 ½ extra work days per month. Plus, as you start doing this, you’ll find ways to free up even more time.

Knock out one goal at a time

Now that you’ve found the time, it’s easy to fall into the trap of running blindly toward your “big picture” goal, working on one random thing here and one random thing there.

This doesn’t work.

Instead of concentrating on your end goal, you want to set clear, small goals that, combined, will help you achieve your end goal. As you complete each small goal, you build momentum that keeps you moving forward and getting results.

For example, I decided to make my first product an ebook. I spent every free moment documenting recipes, taking pictures of them, and compiling everything into a book.

This project took me months to complete, but I stayed focused. With each recipe completed, I felt the momentum of creating something even bigger.



One recipe became an ebook of 35+ photographed and tested recipes

Eventually I had more than 35 tested recipes compiled into an organized, beautifully photographed ebook.

… and then I realized that I’d created the wrong first product.

After further audience research, I realized I could help people more by turning this ebook into a weekly recipe and menu plan, and offering premium coaching services.

So I took the recipes from my ebook; categorized them by breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks; and created weekly meal plans with them.

Then, instead of offering basic coaching at an hourly rate, I developed a 10-week program with more hands-on guidance and accountability. And I used the weekly meal plans as part of that.

I ended up making my first $10K online within 2 months of launching my program.

That $10K all started by documenting one recipe.

Stop now and create a small goal that gets you one step closer to your big end goal. If you need help, here are some ideas:

End Goal

Small Goal

Narrow down your target audience

Talk to people you think are your audience and ask what they think about your business idea

Create your first product

Research Amazon book reviews for feedback on similar topics and document what readers want

Launch your first product

Create a reverse calendar from the date you would like to launch, detailing each item you need to create

Write your first guest post

Research 5-10 online blogs and create customized pitches to 3 that seem most accessible

Plan a live event

Identify a date and location

These small goals may seem insignificant, but they add up as you keep accomplishing more of them. Before you know it, you’ll have your first $10K and then keep earning more from there.

Have fun building your business with family and friends

As you keep checking small goals off your list, you may become so focused and energized that you forget to come up for air. I actually had my husband remind me to stop working at times because I was so engrossed in it!

To be sure this didn’t happen too often, I made growing my business part of my everyday life. Rather than sitting in a room by myself, staring at a computer, I involved my family and friends.

My husband photographed my recipes, my kids helped me cook, and I asked my siblings and parents for advice.

It wasn’t hard, because a lot of things I was already doing. For example, one morning I was making my Healthy French Toast anyway, so I took pictures of it for the ebook.



Creating and documenting recipes was more fun when my family was involved

I also had my friends taste-test my recipes by hosting cooking parties that doubled as networking opportunities for all of us.

They got to enjoy great food and meet new people, while I got the chance to see how everyone liked the recipes and to practice telling my story. Then I used everyone’s feedback to refine my products. It was win-win all around.



My cooking parties gave me the chance to network with industry experts and other online business owners

How can you make growing your business fun for you and anyone else you include?

Even if your business idea isn’t as interactive as cooking, you have to talk about it and get feedback. That means you will be engaging with others. So think how you can do this creatively:

  • Can you throw a party and make your idea the central theme?
  • If you have kids, can you practice talking about what you’re doing and see if they are excited?
  • At work, can you start a newsletter or a new group that allows you to get feedback on your product and blog post ideas?
  • At a family gathering or social event, can you ask others about their struggles, which will give you ideas on how to improve your product?

Commit to growing your online business

If you start an online business on the side, as it grows, eventually you’ll reach a decision point: Where do you want to take the rest of your life? Do you want to continue to do this as a side gig, or do you want to pursue your business full time?

For me, it happened when I hit around 1,000 subscribers and had made my first $10,000.

By then I knew I had a system that worked. I knew I could scale my business to reach thousands and, one day, millions of people. And I knew this would allow me to control my schedule and be much more flexible.

But I also realized that in order to do all of this, I needed more time to work on my business.

This was a huge decision. My entire life since I was an undergrad, I had been a management consultant. I liked consulting, and I always thought that was the path I would follow. I was scared to change now.

So I shifted my role at work to a more flexible position. I didn’t want to quit, as I did not want to risk my steady income, and thankfully my company had this option available.

I realize that not everyone has this option, but it’s worth talking to your boss to see if your company could do something similar for you.

Since I made this change, I’ve been able to commit to launching my program in multiple ways to test what works.

I went from $31K in my first year of business to over $40K in only 3 months this year. And I see my revenue increasing as I add more streams of income, learn more about my market, and continue to grow my subscriber list.



Total: $41,735 in 3 months

It’s scary to face a decision like this. It requires both mental shifts and lifestyle changes that are counter to what you’ve thought and done for years.

However, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to think through how you can keep growing your business while maintaining the stability of a full-time income.

  • Can you change your role at work or take on less responsibilities? Are you ready and in the position to quit your job?
  • Can you adjust your commute so that it is not as far? Or work from home more often so that you don’t have the commute at all?
  • Can you modify your work hours?
  • Can you hire a housekeeper and any other help so that you can offload those things from your plate?
  • What other investments can you make to free up more time so you can focus on growing your business?

You can create a successful online business while working a full-time job

Working a full-time job, raising a family, and starting an online business at the same time isn’t crazy. It’s totally possible, once you realize how to create the time.

Working on specific small goals during an hour here or 30 minutes there adds up. And if you include your family and friends, it’s also a lot of fun. Plus, you have the security of a steady income (and usually health insurance) from your job.

I’ve been able to grow a 6-figure business with a full-time job and two kids. I’ve always kept my eye on what’s possible and what I know I can achieve — and that’s what keeps me going.

I see how I’m impacting people every day now. Readers and clients thank me for what I’ve taught them and tell me how I’ve helped them transformed their lives after 5, 10, or more years of feeling stuck.



My program helped Tree find her abs and feel sexy

I have confidence helping so many people, and it’s so fulfilling, way beyond money. The fact that I’m helping real people feels amazing, and it’s a feeling I never felt with my full-time job.

It’s also liberating to no longer think so hard about whether we should take a trip to visit my parents or if we can join a family reunion in the Caribbean. My schedule is so much more flexible, and I feel like I can give my kids the opportunities they deserve to have, from learning new sports to going to camps.



Now I get to spend more time with my family while growing my business

I want to help you start your online business, too. Think: What is one way you can make more time to work on your business?

Tell me about in the comments below, and I will get back to you.

There Are 87 Comments

Join The Conversation

Great article Nagina. That is a really neat story, I respect you for fearing the unknown and trying to mitigate risk, but had to come to the point where you jumped in with both feet. For me, the best way to add time is to get up an hour earlier.

Jeff, thank you for your comment! II love your suggestion of getting up an hour early. The morning is one of my most productive times of the day too.

Thanks Nagina! You really give a clear guideline as its so hard to get things done whilst working a full time job BUT you’ve broken down clear paths as to how to start, stay flexible and scale. Thank you once again!

Nagina, I love how you do life and work!

Every time we talk, I am impressed and energized by your stick-to-it-ness. As you wove throughout your article here, it is a CHOICE. It’s an empowered choice to build the life you want.

The way you communicate shows how the energy it takes to build a fulfilling life is filled right back up with all the energy it brings. I love watching you grow and growing together!

Sarah, thank you so much for your heartfelt comment! I so agree that the energy having our own business brings is incredible. It is so empowering to realize it is a choice. I love growing together too!

Nagina, what a delightfully detailed article! I love how you talk about how a little shift in your lifestyle can add time to your day.
You are so clear in how this brings you the productivity you are looking for!
Nice job!
N

Thank you so much! It’s so true that small tiny steps add up so much. Sometimes it’s not about pushing harder, but finding different ways to do things!

Jacqueline Lisenby

Great article Nagina! I often struggle with not getting overwhelmed with the end goal, so your technique of smaller goals will be my focus.

Zhengping Lu

Thanks for the inspiring work, Nagina! I like how your finding pockets of free time added up to big results.

My question is one of psychology – I find that after work for the day is through, I’m drained and the last thing I want to do is do immersion, write content or create a new commitment. How do you get through that tiredness barrier and just do it – despite stress at work and family issues like illness?

Great question. I have refined my schedule now where I do most of work when I’m most productive. For me I now go to sleep early and wake up early, I get so much work done in the morning before the day even starts. At the end of the day I accept that I cannot get much done, and I don’t even try.

I also do this on morning weekends and it’s given me a lot of extra time. I think accepting when you perform the best and trying to optimize your day for this would give you a lot of extra hours each week.

Zhengping

Thanks Nagina! I’ve finally got to accept I’m not really a morning person, but evenings don’t work either because of the drain at the end of the day. Hope I figure something out soon… wish me luck!

Nagina,

Beautiful article, so down to earth and practical. Thank you.

One thing I did this week was block out the time in my calendar that I work for my non online biz related clients.

Its working wonders already as I have time to perfect copy for my product launch this week and answer emails from my readers while Im not working with clients.

I love your long term commitment and the fact that you have access to one a sibiling who really knows how to give advice 😉

You trusted the system and you’re reaping the rewards.

Thank you for the tips and inspiration! Time management is a constant text and refinement process :-)

Thank you Max! I love how are blocking time out on your calendar. It makes such a difference and feels so great to be committing time to areas you want to move forward in (but which can easily get lost in the shuffle of so many commitments). Thank you, trusting the system is what made the process so much more logical and less emotional!

What a well written and really revealing article. Thank you for so openly sharing your path from idea to first month’s revenue and beyond. The way you explained how to create more time is so actionable – everyone can give up a few time wasters here and there (hello Facebook scrolling!). Your plan to make a small goal on your way to a larger end goal makes big new endeavors seem less scary. I know for me that the best uninterrupted time I can create is to utilize golden morning hours before my kids wake up. I am going to wake up 30 minutes earlier tomorrow morning. Thank you for your insight and motivation Nagina!! Here’s to a quick 3.5 extra hours in my week!!

Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment. Hurray! I’m so glad that you are waking up 30 minutes early! You will feel so amazing having that time to yourself to move your goals forward, a little at a time!

Hey Nagina,

As always, SUCH a well-written article. This is a much needed article and I love how you lay out everything step-by-step!

Thank you for sharing — And this is seriously one of the best, most detailed, and most helpful posts on how to build your business while in a job that I’ve ever read!

Thank you so much Luisa! That means so much to me. I’m really happy you think the article is so helpful. I’m so glad that I was able to feature you with the successes you had in growing your own business while in a full-time job also. It is really helpful to have others to look at that have done it.

Kenley Belony

Great article!

Practical and inspiring! Your example opened my eyes. It seems obvious but I had to be told. Yes, just 30 minutes every now and then will help built my business. I am a stay at home mom so I do have that time that CHOOSE to spend helping or chatting with friends. But now that I have a plan I know where to MAKE the time.

THANK YOU, NAGINA!

Kenley, thank you for your comment! Yes, you can choose where you spend your time, or at least some of it! I think it’s helpful to know that every 30 minutes is a step in the direction of your goal. Things start to fall into place after you do this for a little while, you start getting more momentum and it feels great!

Thanks a lot Nagina. Can you share how you kept yourself motivated before the momentum built up. Was it by thinking about your family?

Saurabh, this is a great question. Before the momentum built up I had small goals that I was working toward, for example the e-book I talked about. I also had a bigger vision of what was possible in terms of both freedom and flexibility for my family and unlimited revenue potential and I REALLY wanted that. So combining tactical steps with a vision got me started.

Jaime-Lee

Wow Nagina! I love how you made so many shifts in your routine and lifestyle to maximise time to create all your successes.
It’s really inspiring how you do it all. I’m going to attempt ‘go to bed early and wake up early shift’. I stay up late and eventually get burn out when I try to back up in the evenings with more work.
Thanks for the great article!

Jamie, Thanks so much for your comment! Waking up early and going to sleep early is a huge shift that can also make you feel even healthier as well as more productive as you make sure to get enough sleep each night.

Very well written article. It is filled with very actionable steps that I can take right away and I’ve identified mine, made notes and am gonna keep you posted. Thanks for sharing, Nagina :-)

mARY aNN

Hi Nagina, what a great article. You are clear, precise and the steps you took can be translated into my own life and tweaked based on experiments and trials. I think your best tip for me was that you had a job that kept you secure so there was not deadline/timeline in moving forward with your online business, you just knew that it had to be accomplished. This is (now was) my challenge. I kept putting deadlines and then getting frustrated when the date was up and I had accomplished little (negating what work I had already done and then falling into the path of …”can’t do it right now”)

I also have a full time job a son to raise and a mother in law to care for but last two weeks, I have identified a power hour I can use in the morning and my lunch time to keep pushing with the immersion process. I am also tracking my time and seeing other ways I can block time to ensure I can get more work done. Your suggestions and stick to it tiveness is motivation for me to keep going. Thanks for this!

Thank you for your comment Mary Ann! Things can take so much longer than anticipated. That is what happened with me. It was good that I had a steady income so that I could fully concentrate on working out the kinks of my online business, testing new ideas and growing it. As long as you are working toward something and seeing some results, it feels great!

Love your power hour idea and finding ways to block time, and work toward that goal that is so possible!

Linda Brogan

I agree with all the other comments. I think it is possibly the best article on this subject I have ever read too. The little steps is my big take away. Thank you for that Nagina. Your so confident and calm when you talk too which makes me feel yes it is doable.

I’m happy to see you trying to break down these barrier beliefs that a successful business can’t be created if one works, has a family, etc. I hear that all too often when asking people why they aren’t following their dreams. Two years ago, I gave up TV along with a lot of other activities because improving myself and building my business was more important. It can be difficult to make these sacrifices, but it isn’t impossible. Also, I love how you mentioned that you can always ADD activities back in later. So many people believe their life must stay this way. So not true!

Great tips, Nagina. Thanks for sharing!!

Sarah, thank you so much. I love how you gave up TV! That is so great! Those are the kinds of things we have to look at in our schedule and decide if it’s worth us giving up our goals for. Because taking out something as small as TV can free up so many more hours every week – even though it’s hard at first. Sometimes it does not have to be totally taken out, but maybe kept in for that favorite show or couple shows, depending on the person. But even doing that frees up so much time.

I so agree that you can add activities back, thanks for letting me know that you feel this way too!

Thank you for this wonderfully specific advice on how to get it all done. I’m very inspired. My husband and I both desire to start an online business, but the thought never really crossed my mind of him taking a different position within his company (keeping the stability/insurance, etc). Excellent point. Also, after reading this I have clarified some small goals and end goals I was struggling with. Any advice on podcasting? I’m fascinated with podcasts and would love to get into it down the road. Does that add a substantial amount of time to your schedule preparing, editing, etc?

Lisa, So happy that you thought of considering the option of a flexible job option. I don’t do any podcasting myself, though I have been interviewed for some and I love listening to them every day!

Thanks Nagina – it was helpful to have it reinforced that we really can make progress on something important during short time windows. Sadly, I often tend to fall into the trap of thinking “Well, I wouldn’t get much done in 15 minutes anyway, so might as well just catch up on Facebook!”

Daniel, thanks for your comment. I agree, when you have clear to-dos it’s so much easier to work on things during small breaks. I do think having longer blocks of time is more effective but using what you have is still moving things forward. It is all about taking little steps which add up to a huge movement – and it does happen, it just doesn’t seem like it at the time!

I’m so impressed with your clarity of focus. How you were able to hone right in on what was valuable to to work on and what not. It’s so streamlined. Thank you for the detail of your journey.

Linda, wow! Thank you! For me it was that I felt that I didn’t have a choice if I wanted to build my business. I had to spend time with my family and work, and those were non-negotiables. But everything else could be taken down, and those were the only windows of time I was able to move my idea forward.

Really great article. I love how specific you were about how you found the time to work on the business in different ways, and that you realized that you could always add social events back in once you had gotten your business going. I also think that something that a lot of us struggle with as we build our businesses is what exactly to do with those 30 minute-1 hour chunks of time so really breaking the big picture goals down into smaller chunks is really helpful too. Thank you for this great article!

Thanks so much Jen! For those 30 minute or small chunks of time, I think it’s helpful when you have 1-2 focuses you are working on at a time, so you can just pick up where you left off when you have that time. Of course, more time is ideal but sometimes that’s all we have!

Amazing post Nagina, thanks!
There’s bunch of helpful advice. For me the best is “Take advantage of short spans of free time”. I’m always guilty of wanting to have a perfect conditions to work on the side biz – like being out of distractions in a quiet place, have a ton of energy and be motivated, or whatever. The big problem is that I always think the task I’m about to do is tough. But in real the only thing is just to start. When I start (often set up timer to do one pomodoro) it’s actually easy. I get into flow and “just do it”.
I need to get more of that even in 15 minutes – pick an action and just start.

Thanks so much Matej! It took so much for me to change a lot of these habits, especially my sleep and tv-watching schedule, but I did. You’re right, we make tasks bigger than they have to be. I like to pick one or two focuses at a time and then keep working towards finishing that so it’s easy to pick up and leave off. Thanks again for your comment!

Love it, Nagina!

I especially love that you emphasized the importance of focusing on one thing. There is so much noise about multi-tasking nowadays that we are actually led to believe that’s how someone should do work… but as Ramit’s audience, we all know that is NOT TRUE. Deep focus is the most important step you can actually take if you are short on time.

Thank you Celina! Yes, I agree that focusing on one thing at a time simplifies moving forward in building anything, and then you can finish so many things, just right after another. It’s very satisifying to complete something, have the momentum and then keep going.

Thanks for sharing these great inspiring examples of how we can have it all and eat our cake too! Loved those questions/suggestions at the end!

I found this information super useful, especially the part of breaking down a big goal into smaller, more achievable items. We all know this, but the examples you gave of asking people who might like your product, or checking Amazon reviews were really helpful. Thank you!

Hi Nagina, thanks for sharing your journey! I’m interested to know how much time you spend with your kids, husband and family and the things you do together though.

My biggest concern with growing my business now is that if I focus on my work, I seem to neglect the time with my baby. And even if I’m playing with him, I tend to still be thinking about it. It’s hard to strike a balance and I don’t know where to start.

Sharon, great question. I have every afternoon cleared from 5pm – 8:30pm to spend with them, and then we spend the weekends together also. I go to sleep soon after they sleep and then wake up early before they are awake so I maximize my time.

I also do ice skating once a week with my kids and husband, play softball with my husband and play with my kids at the park every Saturday, and do lots of fun family get togethers. I see them MUCH more than when I had a high-stress corporate job.

I look at spending time with my family in terms of quality and not quantity, and when I’m excited about my life it translates to positive energy to my kids. Let me know if this helps.

I usually sit at my desk during my lunch break. I use this time to surf the web – catch up on World news, check social media – I can definitely use this time (about 1 hr) to get some small things done in creating/furthering a business.

Jacklyn, so true! Yes, you could create a small goal to work toward and then use this time to do it. Once you have completed one goal, it is very motivating and you can build on top of that.

This may be the most helpful article I’ve read on starting an online business. There is so much great content out there–but most of it assumes that you don’t have kids and/or don’t have a full-time job. I’m a lawyer and have two young kids, so most of these approaches don’t apply to me. Thank you, Nagina, for addressing this gap in the online entrepreneur conversation. Super inspirational and helpful!

Erin, wow, thank you! Yes, there are so many topics to consider when you also have kids. Personally, I feel more motivated than ever after having kids because I want the freedom of my own business even more! Good luck in your efforts, it’s so possible to develop a scalable business.

Thank you so much for writing this. I’m about 1 month into ZTL and I’m at the point where I’m trying to find the Burning Pains of my Target audience. Reading this will help give me the boost to prioritize my life, especially the hours in my day! I will break things down into small goals now. Expecting to just launch a product in a few weeks is unrealistic and becomes a burden when you don’t hit those expectations.

Jesse, So great that you’re in ZTL! Yes, you can launch a product when you break it into small actionable goals and that way you will have the opportunity to think more about what’s involved and a realistic timeline – and you will be able to manage your expectations. You can do it!

Nagina- What an absolutely fantastic post. You and I are in total agreement that is can be done. Moreover, I believe starting a business while you have a day job is the BEST way for mid-life entrepreneurs to balance risk and reward. I would love to interview you on your experience. I blog about mid-life entrepreneurs and recently wrote a book about it as well (“Never Too Late to Startup” on Amazon).

Rob,

Thank you so much! I so agree that starting a business with a day job is a very smart strategy. I would love to hear more about your blog and interviews. I will get in touch with you! Thanks again.

Hi, thanks for this article. I think I’m going to try waking up 30 minutes to 1 hour earlier to work before I start my day. I’m not a morning person, but I know by the time I get home from work, I’m finished. I also like the idea of focusing on smaller goals to achieve a bigger end result. It’s really easy for me to overwhelmed by what I feel like I’m not accomplishing in a certain time-frame, but I think this method will help. Thanks for the reality check!

Folusho, love that you are focusing on waking up a bit earlier plus focusing on smaller goals. Those are very impactful and you will move forward faster just by doing those two. Thanks for your comment.

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Hey Nagina

Your article is so inspiring – well written, and broken down in chunks one can absorb and understand.

What knocks me on the head – and something I’m going to focus on now – is setting specific mini goals. It’s easy to get lost and discouraged thinking about the vastness of one’s end goal. Thanks for reminding us of that.

Something I want to ask you – when I have a small pocket of time do work on my online bus during the day, I find it particularly challenging to switch my head from my main business to my online business, and back – especially the going back (to reality) bit – I get so absorbed with what I’m doing and find it difficult to step away from that and focus again on my full-time work (or even my family, sometimes).

How do you do it, or do you not have difficulties with that?

Thanks for the super article1

Thank you Mia. When I have something on my calendar for a certain amount of time, it makes it easier. So, if I had a work meeting, I would know I only had a certain amount of time, and I would do what I could in that block of time.

Also, I try to do a lot of work that requires creativity when I don’t have any interruptions; for me blog posts, content / product creation, media pitches are things I like to do in the morning so I can get into it. Then there are things that don’t require as much creativity – maybe checking social media, replying to emails, or researching info – which I do in those short times. So you can break out the types of work that you can do quickly and doesn’t require as much mental effort and do those during those short times.

Your write ups made me felt like I am doing the right thing. I run a software blog and makes more than I earn from the sales of Video Tutorials.

It’s been an awesome journey. Still work full time.

Thanks

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Nadia Khan

Hi Nagina!

I am sitting here in tears from reading your article, because I feel so overwhelmed and have been wanting to start an online business, and have so many ideas, but time gets me. And your article is truly inspiring and so well written, nothing hidden, a recipe to make my life work the way I want it to. I have a full time job, and I have 4 children and a ton of ideas, but tired from life and not getting anywhere, meaning my goal to being with my kids and being my own boss, financial/enjoying life freedom. My job is good, in a tech savy enviroment (so its very interesting), but Im unsatisfied with life. I want more time with my husband and kids and its just not happening. I am determined to make it work this year, get out of this rut, but thats what I said last year. Im eager for change. Thanks for sharing and writing this article!

Nadia, Thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. I so identify with you, it can feel so overwhelming and it’s frustrating when you have so many ideas burning inside! I was also driven by wanting more time with my family + unlimited income potential.

I so encourage you to take my “Take Small Steps” advice, because things do not happen overnight, but when you take small steps toward one thing, it becomes something bigger later, and then soon can grow into something unbelievable. Though you can’t go from A to Z in one day. . .you can get there by taking one step at a time. You can

I’m not a mom yet, but I found this article super helpful. Thank you so much Nagina. I totally loved the way you broke it all down into bite sized pieces.

how much work is it to deliver value on a high value sale.
Is it about tweaking the process for each client or spending personal time with them ?

Hey Nagina!

Fantastic interview! I loved that you touched on the more emotional side of running the business. Sometimes it is so easy to get focused on the strategical and tactical part of your business and accidentally neglect other parts of your life.

I particularly love the part where you talked about the importance of immersion and how you should always be doing immersion strategies. It is something I am starting to learn as well, you don’t just do it once and write it off! Also, love the extra details about coaching and how it actually helped you launch your group consultation course eventually. Clearly the $8,000 detour works quite well. :)

Also, thank you so much for answering my question about reaching out to influencers. It is as what Ramit have said as well, you guys are all human, so sometimes it is important to reach out to you guys in the sort of manner that validates you guys as well.

Now, onto getting that premium client so I make that call worth a 3:30 AM sleep time!

Awesome webinar, Nagina! Thanks so much for answering my question. I learned so much from you. I need to talk to people one or two steps ahead of me in the same niche to find out what works and what not. I love that you gave me a different perspective on 1-on-1 and group coaching. I always thought coaching will take too much of my personal time but now I think it’s a great opportunity to get to know my audience in depth. It will also help my immersion process. Thanks again and I look forward to reading more articles from you. :)

Alison May

Hi Nagina,

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences on the webinar. I found it so helpful. Some of the key takeaways that resonated for me :

#1 Cut out dead time in the evening. I totally understand. I do nothing productive after 10pm but LOATHE going to sleep. For me going to bed is harder than eating right or exercising.

#2 Quality not quantity. I love this idea of embracing quality time and not feeling guilty about it. Also the idea of your recreation time being about building lifelong skills (e.g. ice skating) or self-maintenance (e.g. exercise). If I can similarly include my family and friends in these pursuits, then I am onto a winner.

#3 Small goals – what can you do in 30 days or less? If I can do the small stuff but be consistent I can do it!

Thanks again

Alison

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Thank you, Nagina! I attended the event today where you shared your experience building a successful online business and I just wanted to capture a couple of key takeaways I had: (1) Set small goals for yourself to keep your momentum going when growing your business. Even if the goal ends up being off-base from what you intend to create in the future, the sheer fact that you are working on and towards something helps you continue to clarify your business goals and achievements. (2) Make sure you get validation and feedback from other people (influencers, potential customers, etc) regarding the content you are creating. Do not fall into the trap of believing you know what’s best for your audience without consulting them and getting feedback. — Awesome stuff, Nagina! Thank you again for sharing your journey with us!

Hi Nagina,

The webinar was awesome and jam packed with tons of insight and useful tips that I can start applying right away! I loved it…thanks for doing it.

Being a father of 2 young kids – one thing you said that REALLY resonated with me is Quality over Quantity (when you talked about spending time with your kids.)

You mentioned that spending time with them, just hanging out doing nothing is not really better than spending quality time with them teaching them things that they’ll never forget..like how to ice skate.

I loved this mindset and I’m definitely going to start looking for more ways that I can spend more QUALITY time with my kids, as opposed to just checking off the box saying “I spent some time with them today”

One question I had was:(actually it’s a two part question)

During the time when you were starting your business(imersion, creating first piece of content, getting website up) – if there was a night where you couldn’t get to sleep early because your kids wouldn’t go to sleep (or something unexpected happened during the day that resulted in you staying up a little later than expected) – how would this affect your plans for the next day?

would you still get up early and work? or would you re-adjust?
and if so – how did you re-adjust your plans?

//
Second part to the question:
Because you have specific limited time to work on your business, how did you feel when something like this happened?

did you ever feel irritated or frustrated because you couldn’t get something done during that time?

Again, thanks so much for all the valuable info!

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Hi Nagina,

Thanks for opening up about your day to day while building an online business. It is very powerful to have a real life example and knowing that many of us could use some of the lessons learned too.

Listening to the webinar made me realize that I also may be spending too much time in front of the TV to “relax” when I could change to another kind of relaxing activities and reorganize my day so that I am more productive for my online business.

I also liked the part in this article where you mentioned you used the short spans of free time to continue advancing. I used to think that if I had some free time I could not advance much so I would go and check some emails or surf the web, but after seeing your results I am definitely reconsidering on changing my behavior!

Thanks again!
Patricia

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Thanks for sharing your insights and story- I’m in a very similar situation as a consultant with two kids. Your walkthrough is a great template for me- shifting my waking hours, turning spectator sports time into business time, and eventually reducing my hours at work are all great next steps.

Thank you Nagina for this great post!

I am a full time college student with goals to build an online business and came across your story. Your article is God sent and inspiring to me more than you can imagine.

I will save this post for daily affirmation.

Thank you for sharing a step-by-step guide on how to organize a schedule early on, but more importantly sharing that you need change your mind. I totally agree on this one because you do not want to back pedal when the challenges come.

Thanks again! Keep more post coming. Do you have an youtube channel?

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