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“I don’t have time to start a business…”

I get kind of annoyed by the constant Instagram posts saying, “You have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce/Obama/Warren Buffett.”

They’re technically true. But like an old grandma lectures her teenage grandson about stuff he hasn’t even done yet, I just roll my eyes.

OK, we could be doing more with our day. I get it! But it’s not that easy to just wave a magic wand and say, poof — now I’ll be productive.

I was talking about this with one of our designers and he came up with the most depressing calendar of all time

Witness the modern American nightmare calendar:

sad calendar

I sure hope the Millers serve pot roast!

In the last few days, you and I have been talking about starting an online business. Something that can take your skills and talents and share them with the world. The coolest thing is, once you get it up and running, it can run automatically — even while you sleep.

But I get it — there are lots of reasons NOT to do it. No idea…no time…and all the little details of setting up a website, etc.

Let’s take them in turn. Today, what if you’re too busy?

I’ve worked with tens of thousands of people to start their businesses. I’m talking about paying students who take this very seriously, not looky-loos.

And along the way, one of the most important determinants of success is:

Will you put 5 hours into your calendar?

When people say, “I don’t have time to start a business,” they’re not thinking of some smoothly organized calendar system.

They’re thinking about the vague plans with friends sometime this weekend. About how they have to clean the garage. And about how they have that pile of papers in the living room they’ve been promising to clean up for 3 months.

I get it. But until you can step out of the day-to-day and take control of your time, you’ll always be reacting to the rest of the world’s demands on your time.

In other words, you could go another 3 years responding to emails, organizing piles of papers, and cleaning your garage…and still be treading water.

Or you can decide to start at the calendar level and carve out 5 hours — just five — to work on something life-changing, like starting a business.

Maybe you don’t even have a calendar. That’s fine — no judgment. But I discovered that once I put something on my calendar, it was “my time” and I protected it.

You know why I decided to start keeping a calendar? Because I was tired of responding to the rest of the world’s demands without making time for my own.

I know this is a simple suggestion — “add it to your calendar” — but very challenging and profoundly impactful if done right.

When you take control of your time, it’s a total game-changer. No more sighing. No more piles of “stuff” you promised to do.

Just a few years ago, starting a business meant 12+ hour days at the office. It meant renting an office, hiring a staff, getting a business license, and paying lawyers and accountants just to get going. Now, we can use a simple, automated system (like an email list) to create something once and share it with the world again and again — getting paid each time, automatically — while we do something else.

I work from my apartments in NYC and SF. My team works from home, too. Or if they want to travel, they can work from the beach. That’s the power of an online business.

Here’s another example from my own life. When I took a 3-week vacation to Asia, my business continued generating revenue:

ramit thailand

I always wanted a hotel room with a pool in it

Business continued growing:

one day march 2014 revenue

1 day’s revenue during my vacation

Creating a business changed my life. Because I’m not tied to a regular 9-5 or an office, I can:

  • Work from my apartment in SF or my apartment in NYC
  • Take a weekend trip skiing
  • Continue generating income when I’m sleeping and on vacation

If you’re ready to start a business, next week I’ll open Zero to Launch, the only course tested over 10 years, with 30,000+ paying students, and in 50+ industries. Zero to Launch will take you from “no idea” to an automated online income stream.

Before I do, though, I want to show you a real-life example of how this can work.

Here’s an interview clip with the #1 “automation master” in my entire business network.

He used automation to earn millions of dollars

Jermaine Griggs is the founder of At 17, Jermaine took $70 — and over the next several years, turned it into a multi-million dollar business teaching people how to play music by ear.

Jermaine literally went from teaching music to a few kids in his own neighborhood to using systems to reach hundreds of thousands around the world.

I flew Jermaine to my NYC studio to capture his best thinking on using automation to build a business that runs even while you’re sleeping or traveling.

In this video, Jermaine shares how to craft a personalized experience so your readers feel like you’re speaking directly to them — even while you’re asleep, traveling, or hanging with friends.

Jermaine also reveals the automated systems he used to serve 300,000+ customers without a huge staff or backbreaking schedule.

How to launch and automate your online business

Learn how you can launch and automate your own successful online business — one that works on autopilot, even while you sleep — in this preview material for my Zero to Launch course.

Learn how you can set your business on autopilot