Two months of 2017 are finished! Time flies whether you’re amazingly productive or surprisingly unproductive.
January was a month of setting up 2017 for success. And February was a month of introspection. Sadly, I found myself lacking. I made this comment to my mastermind group: “I should be farther along than where I am today.”
My mastermind group agreed.
The main reason I haven’t progressed as a side hustle entrepreneur is my lack of commitment to ONE thing for an extended period. Over the last nearly 5 years of entrepreneurship (on the side), I switched my focused about every 8 months on average.
Significant Accomplishment: Choosing a niche
Momentum is created only after diligent action.
That’s why I committed my next 18 months to ONE project: Project White Coat Freedom (unspecific tentative title).
My goal is to help pharmacists create inspiring lives and careers. I will accomplish this goal by speaking, writing, coaching, and creating courses.
I will share more developments below and over time.
Current Clients: 5
I gained a new client and finished two contracts in February.
My process to grow my coaching practice is simple: coach, coach, and coach.
I aim to coach one person per week (who isn’t a client) and provide them with an excellent experience. Whether or not they choose me as their coach isn’t my decision. I know that many will say no to my service, but I eventually find the right client who is ready to rock.
Mastermind: Wake up and Hustle
This continues to be a value-add service for my coaching clients. I added 2 people into the group who are not my coaching clients. Why, you may ask?
Building a business on the side isn’t about making money fast. The most important step you can make in growing your business is growing relationships. I don’t grow relationships because I want money. I offered value to these 2 people who joined my mastermind because I know it will help them and they will help me in the future.
Side Hustle Course for Pharmacists
Five students signed up for $50. My goal is max of ten students.
I made the price so low because I want people to sign up fast. Make it a “hell yea” as it were. I’m after people who want quick wins because I’ll use their testimonies for the next round of sales.
Action Journal + Feedback
Initial feedback is coming in from Action Journal users. The feedback I’ve received thus far is: we need a weekly page to guide us throughout the week.
Loads of fun. Jared Easley and Dan Franks did a great job hosting this small and intimate experience. A cruise conference is my favorite type of conference thus far.
Add 2 Testimonials – finished
You can see Karan and Daniel’s testimonials.
Invest “more” with lending Club
I signed up for $100/month deposit a few weeks ago. Time to get serious this year with investing. You can see my portfolio performance over 2016 here.
Coach 4 people “for free”
This is a simple coaching process to grow my business. I know that about 50% of the people I coach will say “yes” to my coaching program (based on my track record). However, I don’t coach simply to make money.
I coach because I love coaching. I love helping people get closer to their goals
Gain 2 Client
Coaching 4 people should yield 2 clients based on my performance.
I love having a full practice. A full practice means cash flow and I’m more productive.
Launch the “Side Hustle Fast Track for Pharmacists” Course
I love teaching, and I love creating courses. This time (after creating 5 courses online), I’m doing things right. I presented at 2 webinars and closed 6 spots for the beta course. My goal is 10 people.
Launch new pharmacy website
I committed the next 18 months to helping pharmacist love their work (outside or inside the profession). I thought about using this website to host this, however I decided to go for a new website to build brand and authority quickly (also for SEO purposes).
Create funnel for Pharmacy Career Course at RXVIP
I joined as a partner with RXVIP. You probably never heard of this company. What they aim to do is to revolutionize the way pharmacy is practiced in your doctor’s office. Yes, a pharmacist will be your home clinic.
Our first initiative is to create courses on how any pharmacist can do this.
Imagine for a moment that you are a parent. If you’re already a parent, imagine you have this conversation with your child.
Child: Hi Mom/Dad!
You: What’s up?
Child: Could I have $100?
You: That depends. What for?
Child: An art class
You: I didn’t know you were interested in art.
Child: Yea, I think it’ll be a lot of fun. Plus, I love drawing. You know I spend more time drawing in class than taking notes. I could even try to sell what I create and save up for a car, because you won’t buy me one.
You: Har, Har. Very funny. Well, you could take that class, or you could spend more time watching TV, hanging out with friends, or getting a “real” job. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Heck, you might as well not learn how to draw. You’ll never make money from doing that. Others have tried to do that and failed miserably.
Child: But you don’t know that.
You: Trust me, I know. I’ve been around longer than you. That kind of stuff doesn’t make anyone money. I don’t want to waste money on something that won’t be worth it. If you want to go to the class, you can figure out how to raise the money yourself.
Sounds like a silly story, right? Well, after interacting with hundreds of professionals (especially pharmacists), I discovered the majority of people convince themselves that their dreams aren’t worth investing in.
They tell themselves things like,
If you wouldn’t say “screw your dreams” to your child, then why do you tell yourself that your dreams aren’t worth investing in?
If your dream is
wWhy wouldn’t you invest money for the potential return?
Is your dream so cheap to you that you’d rather buy a new TV than create a better future for yourself?
Imagine if JK Rowling spent her cash on a better home, rather than invest in an editor before Harry Potter was published.
Imagine if Warren Buffet spent his first dollars on a new comic rather than a new book on investing.
Imagine if Steve Jobs bought a new car rather than his first computer parts that later built his first computer.
Each had a dream that was worth spending thousands of dollars, and their investments paid off over time.
Would you deny investing in your child’s dream? If not, then why wouldn’t you invest in yourself?
Does hiring a business coach waste money?
I remember when I first heard the term “Life Coach.” Immediately, I judged it as a job taken by a college drop out.
One of my favorite shows Parks and Recreation has a few skits poking fun at the idea of life coaching.
Over the last 4 years of my entrepreneur journey, I hired 5 coaches.
I hired each of them to help me with aspects of my side business. But I found our discussions often turned to answering questions about my life like,
While I received valuable advice about business from each coach, I am more excited about the changes within myself. One of my clients had a similar experience, “You’d think the extra money would be the thing most people would be thrilled about, but I’m more excited about the positive mental changes. I faced my own negativity for years. I would tell myself things like, ‘No one will buy from you,’ or ‘You don’t have enough credibility.’ With Alex’s coaching, I found myself telling myself a different story. I’m hopeful for the first about my business!”
What I learned over the last 4 years of hustle, if you can change the way you think, then you can change the way you act. My five coaches helped me evaluate and change my thinking (especially all my negative thoughts), which allowed me to take faster action.
I track how much money I spent on coaches over the last four years, and how much revenue is generated from my endeavors. And if you check out my homepage, you can see how well those investments paid off. I paid coaches $125 to $400 per hour of time. But my return on my investment is calculable
Is hiring a coach worth the cost?
Perhaps a better question is, “Are your dreams, goals, and ambitions worth the investment?” or “What are your dreams worth to you?”
If your dream is not worth spending a few hundred dollars, then your dream isn’t worth much to you. Think about all the little things you buy throughout the week that give a momentary pleasure (coffee, fast food, Netflix subscription). Those dollars spent could be used on your big dream.
Imagine if J.K. Rowling thought her book idea wasn’t worth spending money on editors before submitting Harry Potter to big publishers, or if Chris Pratt didn’t pay for acting classes because his dream wasn’t worth it, or if… You get the picture.
You could set aside a few dollars every month and invest it in yourself. Use this month to buy a course to teach you a specific skill, or hire an expert to do it for you.
Don’t view your money a zero-sum game. Your money won’t be wasted on any coaching because, if you find a good coach, you will change the way you think and thus the way you act.
Anyone who tells you the path to success is clear hasn’t walked the path yet.
I won’t pretend that I have it all together, as much as my inner pride wants me to pretend so.
My greatest struggle as a side hustle entrepreneur is choosing a business model and sticking with it.
I realized that over the last 4 years, I changed my path 4 times.
I started with leadership and self-development for 8 months on the Leadership Dojo.
I did Pharmacy education on pharmacyschoolhq.org for 8 months.
I tried for 10 months to grow a self-development podcast called the 66 Day Experiment.
I did coaching for side hustlers for the last 8 months.
I know those months don’t add up to 4 years. That’s because I distracted myself with shiny objects (distractions) in between projects.
These businesses generated awesome revenue, but money is easy to make. I could do just about anything and generate a profit.
My burden is knowing that I’m at a crossroads as my next step as an entrepreneur. I could do so many things, but I am not 100% confident in a single one. Plus, if I choose a new path to walk, a new niche if you will, then I question myself by asking, “When will you give up on this endeavor? When will you grow tired and shift your focus on a new topic?”
I don’t know the answer yet.
But that’s okay. There is no success roadmap. My wife reminded me today that Edison failed 1000 times before finding the right filament for the light bulb.
I may have “failed” 4 times, but that doesn’t mean I can’t succeed in the future. Plus, those failures did make money!
There’s hope for you if you feel the same as me. You may not be sure what to do next. But what I do know is this: take one small step forward to the next idea.
Someone once told me that they didn’t like Star Wars: Rogue One because it took the realism out of Star Wars.
I responded with, “Well, I think audiences thought the same thing about the Hobbit trilogy. I mean, who believes that dragons still exist?”
Unrealistic opinions are everywhere about popular culture, politics, and movies; and now it’s time to tell you about my opinions about gurus’ advice on starting a coaching business.
Many experts claim you need to do things such as…
attend a coaching university
receive a coaching certification
obtain coaching from the certified “best” coaches in our industry
I totally disagree.
While I think those ideas above are helpful, I believe they slow down becoming a coach.
The fastest way to learn how to be a coach, is to coach.
Winston Churchill once said, “I love to learn, but I hate being taught.” Humans were built to learn trial by fire rather than in the lecture hall.
Could you imagine if schools tried to teach how to ride a bicycle?
They would start off with identification of bicycle parts. Then move to memorization of the history of bicycles. Afterword, you would need to write a dissertation on bicycle theories. And only after you completed your final paper, could you then ride a bicycle.
I would give up on that system.
That’s why I recommend all side-hustlers start coaching for free at first. Why? Experience, gain testimonials, and learn what you love and hate about clients.
A coach in essence helps a person achieve their dream or goal. If you have a goal, then you’re human, a coach can help you achieve it. All clients care about are the results you can bring to them. Clients don’t care about your certifications. No clients ever ask me for my certifications (which I don’t have). Rather, anyone can experience my service in a complimentary session, then decide if my service is valuable to them. My slogan is “Build your successful side-hustle on the fast track,” because I know that I help my clients get to where they want to go faster.
Observing my clients results showed me that I can help people get what they want. I don’t need a certification to start coaching. I saw over the years my clients were achieving their goals quicker than they ever had achieve goals before.
Coach until you can’t handle the amount of people banging down your doors. I always am coaching new and interesting people, but I have a limit of how many clients I can handle (8). Never stop sharpening your skills.
“Ooh, that sounds like a great idea.”
How many times have you been distracted buy a new shiny idea? Too many to count, right?
I found myself constantly distracted when I started my entrepreneur journal. I loved new ideas. They became my cocaine.
Online gurus enticed me onto their lists, and further distracted me with offers for their course. And the funny thing is I felt like I was accomplishing a lot by buying a course or pursuing new ideas. I felt like I was going to learn so much and intern this would make me a lot of money.
The truth is that all of it was distractions.
As a side hustle entrepreneur, you’re working for yourself. No one has expectations from you other than your clients. It is easy to allow yourself the free time to work on things that are new and shiny and fun.
Ways people use shiny objects
Shiny object syndrome is a symptom of the real problem. We use distractions as an escape from the stress of doing work. Here’s why people avoid doing work and chase shiny objects:
Avoid fear of completing a project
Avoid the fear of failure
Avoid the fear of success
Avoid the fear of rejection
These fears create stress and anxiety and lives in our lives. When we have this stress we look for a way to distract ourselves to relieve the stress. One of the best ways of distractions is the shiny object syndrome.
Risks involved with a shiny object syndrome
Chasing new ideas feels good. There’s a thrill of learning a new way to grow a business. It’s like opening a new toy on Christmas day. If you played with many Christmas presents, then you’ll know that the magic fades.
When you’re working on a new project, or watching a new course, or reading yet another blog post, you trade momentum for short-term pleasure. The beginning of any project has the most resistance to the flow state (a place where work is finished easily and without distractions). A significant amount of time is required to learn new things. And it isn’t until about halfway through a project that you realize how to accomplish things faster. That’s when momemtum kicks in.
If you’re always starting new projects, new courses, new blog posts, then you lose out on any momentum gained.
It’s like if you were to invest a thousand dollars every month into the stock market for one year. Then after five years you decided to stop and invest in the real estate market and stop investing in the stock market. Overtime you may make money in real estate, but you lost all your momentum in the stock market, Because the real return doesn’t come until decades later when the compound effect takes over.
Shiny object syndrome kills the compound effect
Here’s how to overcome your shiny object syndrome.
Make the commitment right now to deny the pleasure of looking for another new idea. Deny yourself the immediate gratification of buying a new website domain. Deny yourself the pleasure in order to put in the time to work.
Every week I create new ideas that sound so fun to me, but if I immediately work on them, they will distract me from my important work. New ideas distract me from accomplishing my goals. So, I created a simple system that keeps me from pursuing shiny objections.
I write any new idea immediately on a sticky note and place it on my “new idea white board.” Then on Fridays, I’ll review all my new ideas and think them through. I may even seek away to validate if it’s a good idea. But Friday is the only day that I’ll review my new ideas
I wait till Friday because Friday is when my resistance to my difficult work is at it’s highest. But I don’t have any resistance to work on my new projects because they’re fun to think about. It’s fun to spend time thinking about how to try new Business idea.
Saying no to yourself is possibly the most difficult thing in the battle for willpower. But unless and you are able to crush your resistance, you will be beaten every time you have a new idea. Make the commitment today to delay gratification in order that you can finish the work that’s most important right now.
I want to share with you a trend that drives me mad: internet marketers that provide “the proven path to make money online.”
Before I dive into this, let me share a hypothetic situation with you.
Today marks the first day of your flight school. You are glowing with joy and excitement as you embark on completing a life goal. You wished to fly airplanes for years, and now you finally have the chance to learn.
But, there’s a dilemma: you must choose your teacher today.
This teacher will influence your skill and survival as you (hopefully) soar the skies.
How do you know which teacher is the best? Let’s look at their history.
Learned how to fly ten months ago
Excited and likable
29 flight experience
Learned how to fly ten years ago
Reserved and calm
400 flight experience
You’ll notice as you reviewed the criteria; you probably didn’t care about their age, personality, or even if they are good at teaching.
You want to know their experience + cost. And more likely, you choose Teacher 2 based upon experience.
There’s a significant difference in knowledge between the two teachers. The second experienced more failures and successes than the first teacher.
You choose the second because your livelihood is at stake.
Your money is on the line. You don’t want to waste it on some newbie teacher that may get you killed.
Luckily, flight instructors are not selected this way. However, choosing a teacher is more difficult in the online world of entrepreneurship.
New online marketers easily convince aspiring entrepreneurs that their methods are the best way to make money online.
Prime example: podcast coaching. In the last three years, I observed more podcasters (with one podcast experience) become podcast coaches. They may launch a course or offer podcast services just because they have a little bit of experience.
Pointing this out isn’t a negative judgment against new online entrepreneurs. I’m on their side! I’m glad to see entrepreneurs taking action.
This post is a wake-up call for everyone else: know the experience of anyone before you pay.
You pay for experience.
Don’t expect a 30-year-old who has experienced some success after 1-2 years to provide you “the proven path to success online.”
Reach out to successful students to find out the value of any entrepreneur. Don’t believe a one-page sales letter from an expert with “7-figure monthly income”.
Do your research before you invest any money.
Please, don’t be fooled.