Finding Free Time Can Change Your Business Forever
“There are these decisions that we will make that prioritize our time and our freedom and our happiness and joy over purely money and success.” —Jenny Blake
Jenny Blake lost 80 percent of her income within the first two weeks of the pandemic in March 2020. That income came from public speaking, and it was clear that big events would not be happening for about two years. No one could have guessed the terrifying roller coaster that self-employed businesses like Jenny’s would suffer because of a global pandemic.
Besides corporate speaking, Jenny had also been running a small community for heart-based business owners. As the pandemic began, that community not only helped each other through financial crises but also provided the baseline income, support, and encouragement that Jenny needed. This also inspired her newest book, Free Time: Lose the Busywork, Love Your Business.
On this episode of “Author’s Who Lead,” Jenny and I have a delightful conversation about not working harder in your business, which can lead to burnout, but instead attaining success by giving yourself more time to think, grow, dream, and play.
The Four Horsemen of the Ambition Apocalypse
As an entrepreneur, Jenny realized that ambition can actually become a negative thing. We leave jobs working long hours for others only to still work long hours for ourselves. The Four Horsemen of the Ambition Apocalypse are money, power, fame, and control. Jenny suggests that these four things, although they may be necessary to a degree to succeed, can prevent us from creating the balance and structure we need in our businesses.
The Burdensome B’s
Jenny wrote her book Free Time: Lose the Busywork, Love Your Business for heart-based business owners. These are entrepreneurs who don’t want to manage big teams, don’t want to work alone, and don’t want to grow at any costs. They value time, meaningful work, and connecting with the right community over making money alone. Jenny says she identifies with these types of business owners because “we’re not just high net worth, we’re high net freedom.”
These business owners can become victims to what Jenny calls the Burdensome B’s: boredom with their business, a bottlenecked organization, burnout, and becoming buried in bureaucracy. Making decisions that prioritize time and freedom over just money and success can help alleviate these Burdensome B’s.
There is nothing wrong with being successful and wealthy. But as creatives and entrepreneurs, we must be careful that we don’t get burnt out in chasing our passions. “I’m not convinced that I can avoid burnout altogether,” says Jenny, because “it feels good to go all out and all in on projects.” But we must build time in our lives for rest. After experiencing a time of burnout, Jenny realized that not only did she not want to rely on only one source of income but also that she needed to create “sustainable recurring revenue and the systems and the team to support it” so that the burnout would not happen again.
Often, a person will be intuitive in their daily lives but then switch it off while dealing with their business. Jenny talks about two ways that listening to your intuition with your business can help you and your business be successful. First, she advises to only use business tactics and operating systems that resonate with your soul. What’s popular to do in your industry might work for others, but it might come across as inauthentic for you, which will lead to its own form of burnout.
Secondly, listening to that little voice inside you will help you keep going in your business and financial investments when you need to take risks or when others are telling you no. Using all your assets to run your business will help you become a “brilliant business owner.”
Be More, Not Do More
When I coach clients, I tell them that in order to be happy and successful, they don’t need to do more—they need to be more. Be more of who you are supposed to be in this world. A lot of people think that being happy and successful are mutually exclusive, that in order to earn more money you just need to work harder and longer.
Jenny believes that it’s truly possible to “earn twice as much in half the time with ease and joy while serving the highest good.” Along with allowing your intuition to guide your business, Jenny suggests that business owners look at revenue, ease, and joy as a Venn diagram to help direct your business. If there is a project that you want to do in your business, see if it fits into the sweet spot where revenue, ease, and joy meet.
Jenny’s business model of revenue, ease, and joy can also be applied to writing. If what you’re writing doesn’t fit at the intersection of these three things, you can reconsider and ask questions about your creative project.
The Book Journey
Once you’ve written a book, it’s time to decide how to publish it. There are traditional publishers, self-publishing, and small or hybrid presses to choose from. Jenny’s first two books were traditionally published. They each took three years from the birth of an idea to when the books hit the shelves. She says the biggest thing that traditional publishers do well is they bring a dialed-in process and brand. It was a dream come true when Jenny’s books were picked up by Portfolio, a division of Penguin Random House. It opened doors for her and helped ease her into getting to know other authors from the same imprint.
With the pandemic, Jenny realized that her newest book was timely and needed to get out into the world right away, and so she needed a “really entrepreneurial, agile team.” She decided to go with a hybrid press, which helped her go from idea to publication in about a year. She was also able to be more creative in the publishing designs with this smaller press.
Whether you are choosing how to publish your book or how to run your business, I want you to think about how important it is to have free time instead of busy time.
What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? Are you wanting to write a book but don’t know where to start or aren’t sure where to find the time? Share in the comments below!
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside of you that needs to be written, today is the day to start. Don’t delay—take action.
Get a copy of Jenny’s book:
Free Time: Lose the Busywork, Love Your Business