Starting a business sounds great.
But who has the time?
GrowthLab CEO Ramit Sethi stopped by the Business Insider offices to talk business, entrepreneurship, and productivity, so we asked him: What do you tell people who say they just can’t find the time to start a business?
“The time excuse kind of drives me nuts,” he said. “The classic response to this is ‘Hey, Mark Zuckerberg has time to do it.’ But you’re not Mark Zuckerberg. Neither am I.”
In fact, he says that we only use “I don’t have the time” as an excuse because we know that we can get away with it.
“What is your friend going to say ‘Actually Ramit, you do have time. You watch four episodes of Vanderpump Rules every Tuesday morning, you do this, you go out to restaurants …?’ No! Because it’s actually very politically incorrect to say ‘Actually, you’re lying to me and to yourself.’ So we say it because we know we can get away with it.”
He had two tips for would-be entrepreneurs looking for a little more time in their days:
1. You don’t need as much time as you think
Sethi points out that his businesses, I Will Teach You To Be Rich and GrowthLab, have many students who have successfully started businesses — “and I’m talking $10,000, $100,000, seven figures” — on five hours a week.
“Starting a business, finding the time, is about knowing what you should focus on, and knowing what you don’t need to focus on,” Sethi said. “So we get a lot of people who are like ‘I gotta be on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, a million different things.’ No you don’t. What you need to do is find out if you have a profitable idea, and you need to sell something and generate your first revenue.”
2. Make the time before you need it, or you’ll never find it
“What I do is I put it in my calendar,” Sethi said. “So I have writing time. Every week I need to write, otherwise, if I don’t put it on my calendar, it just gets away from me. So I block it off and it becomes a non-negotiable.”
Even if it’s just an hour Monday morning, an hour Wednesday night, and three hours on Saturday, Sethi said, “all of a sudden your calendar’s going to flow around those blocks, instead of you flowing around whatever life throws at you.”
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