I’ve been developing a habit for some time now…
730 days to be precise.
Like many of us who have a personal project alongside our main job, I’m always looking for best practices and other guiding principles to maximize my chances of success with the blog.
The 730 day rule
About two years ago, I remember coming across a very short article that explained that you could apply this or that technique to succeed in your side business, but that in fact, there was a very useful piece of advice to follow that nobody followed because it was much simpler BUT, above all, much harder to follow over time…
Devote at least 2 years to pursuing your business idea.
Basically: “You must work on an important task for your business every day, for 2 years in a row, no matter what.”
Very simple, but a lot less sexy — and a lot harder! — than this or that social networking strategy (🤢) which promises you overnight success…
Because it takes time. And energy. And perseverance!
It made me wonder.
Reflecting on my own blogging journey, I realized that if I had stopped after even 2-3 years, I would NEVER have seen the fruits of my labor… which are characterized by several tens of thousands of CHF these days (which my “side business” brings in).
1h of focussing on the blog per day, for 730 jours
There are several types of metrics you can set up to measure your progress with persistence.
- Write 10'000 words per day for your future bestseller
- Read 50 pages every day to pass the exam which will bring you a pay raise
- Sew 200 stitches a day (I’m not into this business, but I think it sounds about right :D) so you have enough material to promote on Instagram to launch your side business
- Record 20 minutes a day for your next online course, or YouTube channel
You get the idea.
The point is to have something measurable that, you know, has a direct impact on your expertise (and therefore your success) if you reproduce it for two years, or 730 days (for simplicity’s sake) in a row.
For me, I hesitated between a word count (for my blog articles and other books) or between time spent working on the blog.
Knowing that I don’t just write…
I also reply to as many comments as I can, fine-tune the engine behind the blog, create new programs, update the forum, etc.
Rather than procrastinate for months on end, I decided to set out with the following:
Spend 1 hour a day working on the blog, for 730 (working) days in a row
That’s why I’m writing this article today because I just passed the milestone last week! 🎉
By the way, I just noticed on my time tracking tool (Toggl Track) that I only worked 54 minutes yesterday, therefore I didn’t add a +1 in the mobile app, because there is no point in cheating yourself.
Same for the Fridays I mainly devote to blogging: last week, I spent 5 hours and 1 minute preparing v2 of my stock market investment program. Instead of adding +5 to my counter, I just added +1 :)
The result after 730 days?
At the time I came across this famous article, I remember that I lacked consistency.
I also wasn’t working 80% back then, so I was looking for entrepreneurial shortcuts.
Except that, unfortunately, shortcuts to overnight success don’t exist…
And after 730 days…
Actually, while I was looking in my “Counter” app, I wondered over how many years, in reality, I’ve done those 730x 1h of focus per day…
My mobile app counter tells me I clicked +1 the first time on… Friday the 19th of December 2019!
I thought I started in 2021, maybe 2020 at the earliest…
But in fact, it’s been around 4 years since I started this routine, which I haven’t kept up many times, but which I’ve clung to each time to get back on the saddle…
So as I was saying, after 730 days of working with focus on the blog, well I can tell you that I can see quite a difference from before.
Both in terms of production, because I have published the following in the meantime (in addition to all my blog posts):
- November 2020: my book “Free by 40 in Switzerland”
- September 2021: the program “How to start investing in Switzerland (for beginners)”
- September 2022: the program “How to invest in Real Estate in Switzerland (DIY)”
- January 2023: new website design
- September 2023: the program “How to invest in Real Estate in France? (as a Swiss investor)”
… and in terms of numbers:
|Gross income (in CHF)
So, I’ll continue with my tracking app, which follows my habit of focusing on the blog for 1 hour a day, every day that goes by.
If you too are serious about any side-business idea, I can only recommend this 730-day strategy.
Especially as it’s helped me stay on track, and even with proven results.
Obviously, you need to choose an activity that makes sense for your business! And not something superficial like “creating a business card or brainstorming for a business name”. It has to be something that, on the one hand, allows you to improve, and on the other hand, adds value to those for whom you’re producing it.
And you, what’s YOUR strategy or tactic for making a success of your personal project or other side business?
PS: It’s impossible to find that article again… I just remember that it didn’t look like much, not a sales page or anything, just raw reality that felt good… if you see what article I’m talking about (it was very short, like 4-6 paragraphs at most), I’d appreciate it if you were to send it to me :)
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