We all see the Instagram posts that tell us we have the same amount of hours in the day as “insert successful person here”, so you should be successful. These posts annoy the hell out of me.

I mean technically they are true, but like anyone older lecturing us about stuff we haven’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 a friend of mine, and he came up with the most depressing calendar of all time

Witness the your life calendar:

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I sure hope the Millers serve jollof!
In the last few months, if you have been reading my blog, 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?

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 house. 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 year and a half 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 can work from anywhere with an internet connection. I can even travel, and chose to work from the beach. That’s the power of an online business.

Do something today your future self will thank you for. Add 5 hours a day to move forward. You won’t regret it.