How I Spend My Time So I Can Run a Business And Have a Life

It’s long overdue that we talk about our obsession with time.

This is one of the most requested topics by my team, the members of The Bold Profit Academy, and listeners of the podcast like you. So I want to share more about how I choose to spend my time in a way that allows me to have both a life and a business. 

Let me start by saying that the #1 thing people say to me is that they are exhausted. 

Beyond that, they are actually so tired that they are wound up, they are feeling wired. They can’t focus, can’t make decisions, finish tasks, sit still, give good outputs, their time spent is just not culminating in a result or something moving them forward. 

This leaves them feeling like a failure. Like they are doing things “wrong”, and when people feel like they are failing, that’s really de-motivating. 

What we really need as leaders is endurance. And that requires some level of motivation. 

We need a reward, meaning, and purpose in our lives so we want to keep going. So this idea of failing and losing motivation just won’t work. 

The way I see it, we have a massive problem in the small business space, and it doesn’t start with money, it starts with time. 

So let’s have a realistic, honest conversation about time. 

First of all, let’s talk about social media. If you follow me on Instagram, that’s pretty much the only social media I use regularly, you won’t see minute-by-minute updates from me. I use social media more for my business than personal and honestly, I don’t enjoy it overall. I don’t spend much time there updating things because I’m either working or enjoying my life. 

And I believe it should be irrelevant to you how I spend my time because I want you to spend time how YOU want, without me influencing you. 

Second, I’m going to share questions from you all and my thoughts on them and I want it to be clear that I am in no way, shape, or form judging these questions. I completely understand where they are coming from. They are coming from women who are tired, who are overworked, who hold a lot, and who are traumatized, I feel that deeply too, I’ve been there. 

And quickly, before I jump into the questions, I want to quickly distinguish between burnout and feeling exhausted or that you don’t have enough time. There are a lot of messages around burnout going on right now that we are taking in. It’s one of the reasons I try not to use it in my copy because many of us are taking all this talk about women being burnt out as fact. 

It may be true that you have burnout, it may also be true that you are taking on what others are saying is happening to you. The real key in telling the difference is if you have physical symptoms related to your burnout. We have to go off facts in addition to how we feel, and not just what’s being reinforced to us. 

Now, jumping into the questions and comments around time I often receive…

Some of the main ones are: 

  • How much time will The Bold Profit Academy take, how many hours does that take a week? 
  • I want to run a 6 figure business in under 20 hours a week, is that possible? 
  • I want more clients, but I don’t like seeing the hours taken up on my calendar/don’t have time for more on my calendar.
  • I don’t want to waste my time with sales calls.
  • How much time do I spend on my business because they are over having mentors in the hustle mentality? 

These are all time-based questions and comments I’m hearing, and they made me start to have some questions of my own: 

  • When did we start expecting results without putting in the effort?
  •  When did we start equating work with burnout and fear of fatigue?
  • How can I prove to you that when you do your most meaningful work in the world, it is healing and energizing? 

That’s what I’m teaching in The Bold Profit Academy. That is the truth that I know for myself. 

We’ve ended up in this space where we say we don’t have time as an excuse to avoid the things we don’t like in our work, to avoid the things that scare us. 

Now back to the questions and my responses to them: 

How much time will The Bold Profit Academy take?  

This is where I start to get concerned that we are looking for a certain amount of results without a certain amount of effort. But the program is meant to be flexible. You can join live implementation cycles and you have on-demand trainings. It is designed to teach you how to learn and implement in your business because that’s the one thing that will lead to sustainable success. 

You get out what you put into it. I think if you put in 2 hours a week where you are engaged in the content and come to live calls, you’ll gain real momentum. 

I want to run a 6 figure business in under 20 hours a week, is that possible? 

Yes, that’s possible. That’s possible if you dial in on your plan, stay focused on your goals and metrics, choose projects wisely, don’t get in your own way about pricing, delegate to a team you trust, set strong boundaries…in essence, all the things people struggle with when running a business. 

If you can perform at your highest level of business ownership, yes, you can do it in less than 20 hours a week. But if you are going to allow yourself to be distracted, if you’re going to enroll yourself in 3 programs at a time learning different tactics, if you’re going to try and test things, but not give them time to pay off then this isn’t going to work. 

It’s less about is it possible and more about, what are you willing to give up? What mindset, beliefs, fears, habits are you willing to stop so you can do that. 

I want more clients, but I don’t like when my calendar fills up.

This is similar to the above, this is really about what do you believe about your time, your money, and your work. 

I wake up every morning and believe there is more than enough time to do all the things I want to do. I believe I can have space on my calendar and work with clients, that’s what I focus on and what I create. 

I understand this is counter-cultural. This is counter to what we have been taught, but if you try saying this to yourself every morning, you will start to prove it to yourself.  

I don’t want to do sales calls because I don’t want to waste my time. 

If you have an efficient sales process, this isn’t an issue. But what gets taught a lot in the online world is tools before process. There are a lot of courses on how to sell through specific aspects of social media, email, webinars, etc. These focus on sales tools, but what’s being missed is, what is your process? Why are you using the tool you are using? What works for your personality? What do you find exciting? What are the steps you need to take? What can you use to get the results you want? 

Focusing on a process before the tools is the key here. 

And now the big one, how much time do I, Tara, spend on my business because everyone is over mentors with the hustle mentality? 

Honestly, I don’t love this question, because I want you to build a business that works for you, your life, and your goals, which is going to look very different from what works for me. But I’m going to give it to you, along with some of my rules. 

I’ll just preface this by saying I am a mom of teens, and although it’s easier now than it maybe was when they were younger, I still spend a lot of time in the car shuttling them around. And I know I could hire this out, but since they are at an age where they don’t want to spend a lot of time with me, this is some of the best time we get together, so it’s important to me and relates to some of my rules: 

  1. Everything that is important to me, my health, my family, my friends, are prioritized on my calendar before work. Work fits around the things that are important to me. 
  2. I don’t do things I hate, with very few exceptions. I’ll give you an example of an exception. I don’t like selling, but selling is what makes the rest of my life work, so I make an exception and now learn to love it. 
  3. I love paying my team. At times I’m willing to take less in my pay if that means I can pay my team to take things that drain me. This allows me to go out and be more strategic in my business so we can all thrive. 
  4. My weeks have structure. Each day is dedicated to something. Mondays are slow starts to the week and creative work. Tuesdays-Thursdays are client, business, and group calls. On Fridays, I do a 1-hour call in The Bold Profit Academy and the rest of the day is open for me. 
  5. My months have structure. The first week of the month is spacious so I can take a break or batch content if needed, for example. I know which weeks I can fit different tasks in. 
  6. My year has structure. Specific quarters are dedicated to specific things. I use what I call the EMS framework (Energy, Mindset, Strategy) which I teach in The Bold Profit Academy. It’s a framework for resiliency, for productivity, for selling, it is the pinnacle of frameworks. It means that every day I wake up and put my energy first, what can I do to fill my tank? How do I pour into me? Then I look at my mindset – what’s going on with my beliefs and attitude? Then once I address these, I take strategic action. This is how I maximize my time, I focus on energy and mindset first and then action and ideas come more easily. 
  7. I’m done by 3 pm.  At 3 I turn into mom. 
  8. I always take a break for lunch and eat something. 
  9. I don’t prescribe to be everywhere all the time, like social media or creating all the time. 
  10. I always prioritize sleep. I don’t do the 5am club, I usually start my work day at 9 or 10 am depending on what we have going on. On the days I don’t get a great night’s sleep or don’t have it in me, I do a little less, on the days I have more, I do a little more. I don’t nap during the week, but I do during the weekends. 
  11. I only sell things that excite me and that I know I can deliver. 

Additionally, I know what I want and I show up for it and I have a clear system for my money. This allows me to know if I need to sell a little more or maybe I don’t need to sell as much. I don’t have to overwork for my money because I have a system. 

I know what my goals are and I know what works, I know what converts my leads, I understand how to sell and have the skills to do so, which saves me time. 

Having shared all this, I want to share this, running a business takes effort. 

They take time. They require you to make trade-offs and decisions. Most business owners are not in command of their business, they let their business run them by not making decisions, not having hard conversations, not being clear about what they want and don’t want, not being patient, and delaying gratification. 

If you count up the time you are taking in indecision, flipping from one tactic to another, waiting for things to be perfect before you take action, trying to punch fear in the face instead of accepting it is a part of this and moving forward with it, and avoiding sales activities, you could probably cut your work time in half. 

So, no, I’m not hustling. But I am putting in a focused, consistent effort on a daily basis. I get shit done, I get results. And so can you, do what works and do it over and over again.