When I decided to write my first book Rich Habits I literally had only one to two hours every morning available to me. I was running a CPA firm and had just started my financial planning practice. Plus I had three youngish kids.
One of the many things I learned from my Rich Habits Research on Self-Made Millionaires was that 65% had started their successful businesses on the side, while still working full-time.
So, I decided to take a page out of their book, when I decided to write Rich Habits.
The only available time, for me, was in the early mornings, including Saturdays and Sundays. So, every single day I got up between 4-5 am and wrote for one to two hours, did 30 minutes on my StairMaster and then headed off to work. At around 8pm, I would head back down to my basement and devote another one to two hours to writing my book.
It would take me eighteen months before my book was finally published.
Rich Habits would go on to become a #1 Amazon Bestseller in 2013. More importantly, Rich Habits provided me with the morning writing-routine I would use for all of my subsequent books.
As it turns out, the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study were not the only entrepreneurs who built their successful businesses on a part-time basis. Many very well-known millionaires built their successful businesses in the early morning hours:
Koppelman is a screenwriter, novelist, director and producer. He is the co-creator and co-producer of the huge hit Billions. He also was the producer for the Illusionist, one of my favorite movies, and the co-writer of Rounders and Ocean’s Thirteen. Koppelman co-wrote Rounders with a bartender friend of his in the early mornings. He and his friend spent two hours every morning writing that screenplay before they both headed off to their full-time jobs.
Hosseini wrote The Kite Runner in the early mornings before he went off to his full-time job as a doctor. His book was so successful, Hosseini was able to retire from medicine to write full-time.
Grisham, author of numerous blockbuster books, wrote The Firm and A Time to Kill, in the early mornings before heading off to work as an attorney. The Firm initially failed as a book. Grisham stored over a thousand copies of The Firm in the trunk of his car. he eventually threw them into a dumpster. His agent suggested he write another book. So, while still working full-time as an attorney, Grisham wrote A Time to Kill. Instead of pitching the manuscript to traditional publishers, the agent sent it off to someone he knew in Hollywood. They loved the story and decided to turn it into a movie. The Hollywood executives asked the agent if Grisham had any other books. The agent sent them The Firm. When word got out that Tom Cruise signed on to the movie, The Firm quickly sold millions of copies.
Gendusa, CEO and founder of Postcard Mania, started her business on the side, while working full-time. Postcard Mania now employs more than 200 employees and brings in more than $40 million a year in revenue
You’ve probably had a Famous Amos chocolate chip cookie at some point in your life. Amos is the founder of those Famous Amos cookies. It started out as a hobby. Amos was a full-time talent agent for the William Morris Agency. In 1967, Amos left William Morris and moved to Los Angeles, where he struggled to set up his own personal management company. Burdened with the debt of his failing business, Amos began to take comfort in baking chocolate chip cookies. Using a modified recipe of his Aunt Della, he opened his first Famous Amos cookie store on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles in 1975. Within months, Amos had opened two more West Coast franchises, and the New York-based Bloomingdale’s department store began selling the his Famous Amos chocolate chip cookies, turning him into a household name.
There’s no set formula for becoming successful. Every self-made millionaire is different. But I can tell you from my research that success leaves clues.
One of those clues is consistency.
All self-made millionaires go at it every day. They are consistent and persistent. Even just one to two hours a day can turn your dream into a successful business, if you develop a daily routine and stick to that routine, day in and day out.
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, Effort-Less Wealth, Change Your Habits Change Your Life, Rich Habits Poor Habits and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”