The Business Power Hour Podcast Interview

Amy Coats is Deb’s guest on The Business Power Hour® on C-Suite Radio. Amy is an Entrepreneur, Corporate Exit Strategist, CFO, and founder of Virtual COO Solutions & Two Week Notice Society. After 20 years in the corporate 9 to 5 world, she realized she was destined for something far more satisfying.

But it wasn’t enough for her to find her happy place in the world. She created Two Week Notice Society to empower women who feel the same way she did when she left the 9 to 5 grind and started her entrepreneurial journey. She is passionate about helping corporate women get their online businesses up and running, so they can leave their 9-5 and be the woman they dream of becoming! Her strategies contain the exact steps she followed to make it to the other side and love life all over again.

Listen to the episode HERE.

Why And How To Leave Your 9 to 5

Part of living a high vibe life means you are spending a majority of your days living out your purpose and doing fulfilling, meaningful work that brings you joy. So many people these days are just on auto pilot-punching in and punching out, and beginning to get really tired of the same old corporate grind.

Sunit interviews Amy Coats, the founder of the “Two Week Notice Society”, and they talk about the top steps people need to take when thinking about leaving their 9 to 5, and how you can be sure you will have more success than you’ve ever had before.

They also chat about the basics of starting a business, and why social media savvy is a must in today’s world.

If you have ever toyed with the idea of pursuing your dreams and starting a business that highlights your passions, this episode is for you!

Listen to the episode here.

How To Leave Your 9 to 5, Replace Your Income and Create An Online Business You LOVE In Just 6 Months!

Why do you spend ⅓ of your life working in a 9 to 5 job that gives you stress and anxiety, keeps you away from your family, and creates a better life for someone else? 😨

👉 Is checking your email the first and last thing you do each and every day?

👉 Is your boss texting and calling when you’re trying to have dinner with the family or when you’re putting your kids to bed?

👉 Are you mistaking stress and constantly being busy for feelings of fulfillment and purpose?

👉 Are you losing sleep? Or do you even remember what a good night’s sleep even feels like?

So many people are being held back and getting burnt out from their 9 to 5 job. 🔥🔥🔥

Are you one of those people?

I’m sharing my proven 4 Step Framework that I used to quit my 9 to 5 job, create my successful online business, and start loving life all over again... all in a FREE LIVE Webinar and you're invited!!!

To learn how to integrate these simple steps so you can feel confident in you life AND your business, click the image above to register for my FREE LIVE training class.

Grab your spot now 👉 

 

More Time Working Does Not Equal More Productivity

You're walking down the street and run into someone you know and haven't seen for a while, and this is usually how the conversation goes:

"Hey! What's up? How are you?"
"OMG, BUSY! I'm so busy. How are you?"
"Yeah, busy."

Why do we do this?

Why do we try to out-busy each other?

Seriously, who wins that particular contest?

Because I will tell you the secret, ugly truth about business:

More time working does not equal more productivity.

There's tons of research around this if you don't believe me. John Pencavel of Stanford University found that your output tanks after 50 hours a week, so much so that someone who puts in 70 hours produces nothing with those extra hours. {Ouch.}

Even the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that working long hours {and weird hours, like shift work} is bad for your health.

In fact, successful people understand that you cannot hustle 24/7 and expect good results. You'll make yourself sick, burn out, start missing things, etc.

A famous {or maybe infamous} example of this was when Moz CEO Rand Fishkin stepped down as CEO and publicly discussed his battles with depression and burnout as a result of the startup culture of busy. He stopped hustling so hard, and is now happier, healthier, and yes, still successful, as a result.

Why we glorify busy

I think the problem is that most of us still believe that time equals money.

Now, when you're working for a paycheck or trading hours for dollars in your business, this is, in some senses, literally true. But most people who work more than 40 hours a week don't get paid for those extra hours.

Either they don't get overtime {working at a salaried job} or, as entrepreneurs, we're doing tasks that don't directly impact our revenue.

Even if you're not trading dollars for hours in your business, the longer you work on a project {say, a blog post for marketing or even designing a new product} the relative value of that project in relation to your revenue goes down. Meaning, the longer you work on something, the less your time is worth.

In our individualistic culture, there's this huge drive right now to make every moment count, and part of it stems from this notion that time is money.

But you have to ask yourself: are you making your moments count for the right things? And what are you actually spending your time doing?

Why too much hustle is actually making you less productive

When we focus on the hustle, the busy, on productivity and seeking more work out of every moment in our day, we actually diminish what we can accomplish.

There's loads of research to back me up, like the study I mentioned above that showed that people who worked 70 hours a week accomplished nothing with the extra time.

There's also research that shows we're mostly actually really bad at multitasking. Every time you switch from one task to another, you lose concentration, and it takes valuable seconds for your brain to "refresh" and get back on task. That means, the more often you switch, the more seconds, minutes, even hours you lose to brain static in your day.

Even though logic seems to dictate that the more we work, the more work we will accomplish, the opposite is actually true. It's a little thing we call the law of diminishing returns.

You've probably experienced this for yourself: If you give yourself three hours to write a blog post, for example, it will take three hours.

But the reverse of that is also true: If you give yourself less time to accomplish a task, you're likely to get it done faster.

Maximize your output, not your time expended

The key, then, to getting off the busy-mobile is to train yourself to focus and do the things that are actually proven to help you be more productive and accomplish more.

Do less, better. This is a principle of Essentialism that I try to live by. It means choosing only the most important tasks and then focusing on them completely. This can be super hard in our multi-tab, apps and alerts culture, but it's vital if you want to quit being so busy.

Focus, rest, repeat. Since you're committed to doing less, better, you need to really focus on each task. But focus takes a lot of energy, so you'll need schedule regular breaks to make sure that you stay focused. This is called the Pomodoro technique, and it can really help you structure your work time to ensure you're making the most of it.

Disconnect. Especially for entrepreneurs and those of us that work from home, it's tempting and easy to be "working" all hours of the day and night. No need to commute! You can answer email from bed, from the yard, from the bathroom! {Ew.} But when you're "always" working, you're not very focused. Disconnecting will improve your focus and productivity when you're actually supposed to be "on."

Recharge. Whatever that means to you, rest is important. It might mean prioritizing sleep at night, or getting your cardio on. It might mean your morning meditation sesh or weekly yoga class. Or it might mean actually taking a vacation sometimes {remember those?}. Without regular rest, you're headed straight for burnout.

Redefine success. As you may have noticed, there's no prize for being the most busy. Stop thinking about busyness as a measure of your success {or importance!}. Instead, really think about what a successful life would mean for you. More time with family? More time for your passions? More time to give back? Focus on those metrics to feel more fulfilled.

When you change the rules of the game, anything becomes possible. I know entrepreneurs who work only three or four hours a day, or only three days a week, and are still wildly successful by anyone's standard.

That's because being "busy" is never a direct correlation to being successful. Instead, focusing on the right tasks, giving them your full attention, and then taking meaningful breaks to recharge in between is the road to not just more success, but more satisfaction.

The Secret To Staying Motivated While Building Your Side Hustle

Do you ever feel like all your hard work you are putting toward your side hustle is getting you exactly… nowhere?

It can feel frustrating when you're following all the steps to success: staying focused, dedicated and persistent. But still, after all your effort — you've got nothing to show for it. No big wins. No lasting results. And no income. You start to wonder, will I ever be able to leave my 9 to 5?

We've all had moments when it seems like our hard work isn't paying off, haven't we?

I most definitely have.

There was a time when I was building my side hustle and putting all of my effort into it (doing all the “right” things) — but nothing seemed to be paying off.

As a result, I lost my drive.

I desperately wanted to feel motivated and fulfilled and closer to giving my two week notice. But the truth is — I was massively disappointed by my lack of results.

So what's the secret to making our efforts count? How do we stay genuinely motivated, especially when it doesn't look like we're making any meaningful progress?

Today I’m sharing with you my secret to staying motivated while building your side hustle and working your 9 to 5.

Check out the FB Live I did on this, HERE.

And don’t forget, I have a free LIVE training coming up on 10/4 that you won’t want to miss! I am sharing my 4 Step Framework on how to build your Freedom Fund so you can give your two week notice with confidence, ease AND money in the bank!

 Are you ready to quit your 9 to 5 for good?

Are you ready to quit your 9 to 5 for good?

How to Go From Employee to Entrepreneur

I had the pleasure of being a guest on the Business Mojo and Margaritas Podcast.

Here are the show notes:

EP037 How to Go From Employee to Entrepreneur with Amy Coats

Together, we talk about:

  • Why she left her corporate gig for the online world

  • Why her first business wasn’t quite it for her

  • The advice she would give her former corporate self

  • What you need to know before you leave your day job for your dream job

  • How her dreams of social impact fuel her day-to-day

  • Leveraging the lessons and mistakes for greater impact

Whether you’re leaving your job or playing big in your business, this conversation is meant for you.

Listen to the Podcast HERE.

About Amy

Amy Coats is an Entrepreneur, Corporate Exit Strategist, CFO, and founder of Virtual COO Solutions & Two Week Notice Society. After 20 years in the corporate 9 to 5 world, she realized she was destined for something far more satisfying.

But it wasn't enough for her to find her happy place in the world. She created Two Week Notice Society to empower women who feel the same way she did when she left the 9 to 5 grind and started her entrepreneurial journey. She is passionate about helping corporate women get their online businesses up and running, so they can leave their 9-5 and be the woman they dream of becoming! Her strategies contain the exact steps she followed to make it to the other side and love life all over again.

7 Crucial Steps To Take Before You Go From Employee to Entrepreneur

Here's How to Make the Leap from Employee to Freelancer:

1.  Do You Have Health Insurance?

Before you give up your existing coverage, you'll need to have a plan for getting coverage, whether it's through your spouse's plan, COBRA, or another provider. This is one area that was difficult for me.  In full disclosure, I went without health insurance for quite some time!

If you need to look for a new provider try looking at Healthcare.gov, HealthSherpa, GetInsured, Medi-Share, or GoHealthInsurance.com on these sites you can add your age, income, and family members to get quotes from various companies. On a couple of the sites, I was able to find coverage for around $200 a month for myself. If your income is low enough, you and your kids may qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program.

2.  Do You Have a Retirement Plan?

When I switched from employee to entrepreneur, I was totally clueless about what to do with my existing 401K and how to plan for my future.

First, you’ll probably want to roll over your existing 401K into an IRA (Individual Retirement Account), SEP IRA (Simplified Employee Pension) or a Solo 401K, so that you can continue to contribute to your retirement plan. Each type of account has its own pros and cons, so meeting with a financial planner can take a lot of the guesswork out of the process. I was able to meet with one at my local bank. It took a couple of meetings to get the paperwork filled out, filed, and the account setup, but once everything was in place it’s been little to no maintenance to keep up.

3.  Have You Thought About Your Taxes?

When I started my business, I knew I had to keep track of my income and expenses (yay, for my financial background!), so I used Quickbooks Online to record everything.

While it can be tempting to save a few dollars on expenses, don’t scrimp when it comes to managing your finances. Using a spreadsheet to track your income and expenditures is not only time consuming and segmented, it also doesn’t calculate how much you owe in quarterly self-employment taxes. Using a simple online accounting system like Quickbooks to help automate, organize, and track your finances will save you time and headaches when tax time rolls around.

4.  What's Your Business Structure Going to Be?

The second part of your tax equation will depend on your business structure. As a freelancer, you can choose to run your business as a Sole Proprietor, General Partnership, Corporation, or a Limited Liability Company (LLC). Again each one has its pros and cons and meeting with an attorney or an accountant can take the guesswork out of which is best for you. It's easiest to get started as a Sole Proprietor because you don't need to have a separate business bank account or an Employee Identification Number (EIN), but I would recommend setting both of these items up. Another item to consider is when you're working as a Sole Proprietor your personal property and your business are considered one, which could be problematic if your business is sued or has bad debt. Forming an LLC provides a buffer between your personal property and your business.

5.  How Will You Stay Organized?

It’s easy when you first start out to manage your clients “in your head“ or by using a simple calendar. But once business starts to pick up and you have multiple clients, it becomes very difficult to remember what needs to be done, and when. One of the easiest ways to manage and run your online business is by utilizing Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRM software allows you to organize, automate, collaborate, notify, gather data, and track your projects all in one place — which simplifies and streamlines your business. And there is no reason to worry about price — Trello is not only easy to use, but it’s totally free and can be used on both your desktop and smartphone.

6.  Do You Have Peace of Mind?

One of the biggest stressors for new entrepreneurs is lack of money. Unless you've gone through my Thrive Without The 9 to 5 program and you’ve learned and implemented my strategies to replace your income BEFORE you give your two week notice, you'll probably be starting out from scratch — no clients and no income. To help alleviate some of this financial stress, it's wise to have an emergency fund. Again, I work with my clients to alleviate this stress.  Experts usually suggest having 6 months worth of essential living expenses (rent, food, utilities, etc) in your savings account. During this time you'll also want to modify your budget to cut out non-essential spending while you're ramping up your business. You may also consider doing some side tasks to bring in a little extra money.

7.  Have You Found a Tribe?

Making the switch from employee to freelancer requires a huge change in your mindset. But not only that, you'll need people who understand your new world; which often your spouse, family, and friends don't quite understand because they work in a traditional work setting. Be sure to find groups, organizations, and like-minded freelancers to connect and network with. Your tribe will be invaluable when you have questions, need advice, or just someone to vent to. Be sure to join the Two Week Notice Society Facebook Group by clicking here.

Conclusion

Making the leap from employee to entrepreneur can be a scary endeavor, but once you start planning and executing your dream, you’ll become more at ease with the process and lifestyle. Just keep placing one foot in front of the other, and whatever you do, don't give up. You got this!


How To Make Time For Your Side Hustle (While Working Your 9 to 5)

I get it. It’s difficult to balance a side hustle with your 9 to 5 job. Believe me, I know. I’ve been in this situation a couple of times. First when I was working full time as a Financial Controller and running my online business on the side. And now I have 3 online businesses that I juggle.

Throw in a social life, maintaining your home, looking after your kids, or general life commitments, and it can seem like too much to take on. The rewards a side hustle can bring like more freedom, extra money, etc. make it all worth it though.

The key is to make sure that the negatives don’t outweigh the positives.

Here are my tips to help you make more time for your side hustle and stop you from burning out.

Keep your why at the front of your mind

Having a clear understanding of why you’re taking on this extra work will help you to figure out if the extra time and hassle are worth it.

Every time you’re tempted to slack off, remind yourself why you setup your side hustle in the first place. Do you need the extra money? Are you trying to start your own business so that you can be your own boss?

Is your why a strong enough reason to keep going? Having a strong reason for adding a side hustle on top of your 9 to 5 will make waking up early, working through your lunch, and working on evenings and weekends more bearable.

I completely understand how tiring it is to have a full-time job, and how you don’t always feel like working when you get home. When I was working full time as a Financial Controller, I also had my Virtual COO Solutions business on the side. Too often I let a bad day at work stop me from working on my online business when I got home. All I wanted to do was wallow in self-pity. I regret not pushing through and putting more work into my business as it made me very happy and boosted my income every month.

Choose top 3 priorities and focus on getting them done

You don’t have superpowers! If you try to do absolutely everything on your to-do list, you’ll most likely fail.

Consider which 3 tasks will bring the most benefits to your business and focus on them. Make a note on your computer or invest in a paper planner and write down what your top 3 priorities for the week are. I find that writing them down on paper makes me feel a lot more accountable and makes me more likely to complete them. If I make a note on my computer, I can just move it to the next week like nothing happened. It doesn’t have the same guilt factor.

Too often people (myself included) waste time on the wrong things. Choosing the tasks that will benefit your business the most will ensure that you’re still making good progress even if it’s a little bit slower than you’d like.

Set goals and track them

You gotta have goals! Otherwise, it can be difficult to figure out what to focus on. Having goals will help you to stay motivated to keep working on something even when you don’t feel like it. It will help you to stay focused on what you want to achieve and stop you from getting distracted by shiny, new things. You’ll also stay accountable because you took the time to think about and write down your goals.

It’s important to track your progress regularly so that you know if you’re on schedule to achieve your goals. It’s easy to forget about tasks you should be doing when you don’t check in every now and again.

Make the most of any spare time

You have more free time than you think you do! Every spare second can be put to better use.

First, evaluate your time. Identify what your other commitments are so that you can see where it might be possible to carve out some time for your side hustle. What hours do you need to be at your day job? Do you attend any exercise classes? (I wouldn’t recommend cutting these out to make more time because exercise is an important part of self-care and will help prevent overwhelm.) Are you part of any clubs or committees whose meetings you need to attend?

Once you’ve identified where you have some free time, block out specific times to work on your side hustle. Don’t just say I will work on it on Saturday. Say I will work on it on Saturday from 10–4 and don’t make any other plans for this time. Commit to it! Treat your side hustle like it’s a job that you have to attend. This is especially important if you hope that your side hustle will eventually become a full-time job for you.

Don’t cut out all social activities. It’s important for your mental health that you interact with people and also take a break from working all the time. However, you may need to cut down on your leisure time if you want to see quicker progress with your side hustle.

Other ways to make the most of any spare time include doing some work while you commute (if you take public transport) and working during your lunch break. However, for your own health, I wouldn’t advise working through your lunch break every single day as you’ll become exhausted and overwhelmed.

Batch your tasks

Trying to do too many different things at once will overwhelm you and make you want to quit. Every time we become distracted, we waste time trying to get back into the zone after the distraction has passed.

Try batching your tasks, e.g., spend one evening cold emailing new clients, spend another evening setting up your social media strategy, etc. This involves concentrating on similar tasks that require similar resources, meaning you’re not jumping from one task to another and back again.

Batching your tasks allows you to focus on one thing at a time so that you’re less distracted and become more productive.

While multitasking can be distracting and can lead to a decrease in productivity, sometimes it’s ok if it’s not a task that requires intense concentration. You could promote your business on social media on your laptop while watching your favorite show on TV or listen to an educational podcast while tracking your income and expenses for the month.

Automate your processes

To save time, automate any tasks that you can. You can schedule your blog content, email newsletters, and social media posts. Your website platform should allow you to schedule your blog posts days or weeks in advance. You can also schedule emails or set up an autoresponder that automatically sends out a series of emails once someone signs up. I use ConvertKit to automatically send out a welcome series of emails to new subscribers before they go on to receive my weekly email.

If you post on social media regularly, you can use scheduling apps like Buffer, Hootsuite, Tailwind, or MeetEdgar. It might take you an hour or two one evening to schedule everything, but then all of your social media is done for the week. Of course, it’s important to also actively engage with people on social media but having all your posts go out automatically will save you a ton of time, and it means that you won’t skip a day when you don’t feel like it.

Starting a side hustle while working full time is one of the most challenging things you can do, but it’s so rewarding. It will allow you to earn extra money, pay down debt, be creative, be your own boss, and learn new skills. The rewards are endless! It takes a lot of hard work to balance the two, but if you really want it to work, you can make it happen.

Ready to quit your 9 to 5 and start working on your side hustle full time?
 

How I Quit My 9 to 5 And Replaced My Income In 6 Months!

I had the honor to be a guest on Lorna Poole’s Financial Freedom Podcast. We had a great discussion about how to leave your 9 to 5 job.

Here are the show notes:

Find out how to quit your 9-5 and create the life you want with the income to support you. Amy has walked this journey and shares with you exactly how to do it.

About Amy Coats

Amy Coats is an Entrepreneur, Corporate Exit Strategist, CEO and Founder of Virtual COO Solutions & Two Week Notice Society. After 20 years in the corporate world, she realized she was destined for something far more satisfying.

She created Two Week Notice Society to help women get out of there 9 to 5 job and start there entrepreneurial journey. Her strategies contain the exact steps she followed to make it to the other side and love life all over again.

Show Highlights

  • Amy shares her story of quitting her corporate job. Find out how Amy got enough income to do this.

  • The fear of change when we decide to make our move.

  • What to do before you quit your job so your business will succeed.

  • How to scale your online business?

  • Effective ways and mindset to get income in six months.

Amy’s Gift For You

Join my FREE 5-Day “5 Steps To Leave Your 9 to 5 Job In 1 Year or Less” Course where I’ll walk you through the process of planning your exit, creating and launching your online business to an eager audience (even if you don’t have one yet) and how to replace your income. Go here to grab yours…bit.ly/twns-course