How I Got My Time Back & Built a Side Business

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8 years ago, I stopped volunteering in my church and community so that I could build a “side business,” which is now my full-time job. I don’t know if I’ve ever shared this story, and I want you all to know it’s ok to drop some of the time-sucking stuff in your life to pursue your own dreams. Happy New Year!

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Build a Side Business

Eight years ago, I said, “This is the year of No. I had been silently brainstorming ideas to build a side business online for years. As the New Year was approaching, I realized I had no room in my life, in my brain, in my calendar for any of my own ideas or aspirations. I was giving away all of my time, energy, experience, and expertise to fundraising events for a local nonprofit and church committees and volunteering in those kinds of aspects. So I’ve decided I’m not doing that anymore. I made it the year of NO.

So I completed the existing commitments for the committees that I was on. I told people, “Hey, at the end of the year, I’m no longer going to be doing this. So you’re going to have to find somebody else.” I gave people months of notice in advance. I don’t think they believed me because, at the beginning of the year, they were still asking me to do things. So I prepared myself to say no to anything new that came along. I wasn’t really prepared for how many people approached me to head up this committee or help with marketing for that committee or head up the fundraising event for X, Y, and Z.

Related: YouTube vs. Blogging – What You Need to Know

I Started Saying NO

With that, I realized I had made myself way too accessible. As I said, I had two little kids – toddlers, and a kid in diapers, and I was going to church committee meetings. It wasn’t that I didn’t like being involved in doing those things. It was that I didn’t have time to do any of the things that I had in my own head. Any of the things that I wanted to do. I wanted to start an online business for myself. I didn’t know completely what that was going to look like, but I knew that I needed the space in my calendar and my brain, and the energy and the time to focus on my own stuff.

So I quit volunteering in my church and volunteering in my community. I said no to every single person who asked me to do something. Anything other than close friends and family. It was glorious! I still remember the look on some people’s faces when they asked me, “Hey, we were looking for someone to head up a committee on XY and Z. Do you think you could do that?” I can tell from the look on their face they were 100% expecting me to say, “Sure.” When I said no, the look on their face was absolutely priceless.

You Need Time to Build a Side Business

Anyway, the time and energy I had when I wasn’t spending it on other people’s visions and missions were put into starting a blog instead. I started, my YouTube channel, and an online business where I could show up as myself and teach people how to do stuff like make videos, edit videos, and make videos that make money. To say that it paid off would be a huge understatement. It ABSOLUTELY paid off. This is what I do. I would have never been able to replace my full-time income when my position was eliminated at my job. I had to say no to other people’s visions and missions eight years ago.

Why am I telling you this? Well, because every time I talk with a client, a student, or someone from my audience about why their YouTube channel is stuck, why they are not able to make YouTube videos, why they cannot move forward with their idea to start a channel, to grow their channel, to generate revenue, or to start an online business, I always hear the same thing. It’s about their TIME. There are people out there who will talk about, “Well, you do have time. You just prioritize your time, you know, in other ways.”

I think that’s true, but I also think it’s really not easy to remove yourself from the everyday things in your life that are taking your time and energy when you feel that you have an obligation to them. For example, your kids, your spouse, your household chores, or your full-time job. You can’t just be like, “I’m sorry, I don’t have time for this. I have a YouTube channel to attend to.” Right?

Set Your Priorities

I’m not a “tough love” type of coach. I am not going to say, “Well, you need to stop volunteering in your church so that you can grow your YouTube channel.” I’m not bold enough to say that. So I wanted to share this story with you here. Maybe there are things that you have obligated yourself to do, but you don’t want to anymore. If you’ve been waiting for permission to prioritize yourself, your ideas, your goals, your aspirations, your dreams, and your YouTube channel and online business, you don’t need permission, but you have it from me because I did it. It was hard at first. It then became sort of addictive to say no to people. Now I’m here, and I’ve built a business. This is what I do.

My particular zone of genius I’ve noticed over the last few years is helping people who already have their channel set up. Maybe you have 42 subscribers or 430 subscribers. To take what they have and gain extra momentum to make their channel grow even faster. So that they can monetize with ads and infuse other monetization streams like affiliate marketing or working with brands, or creating their own program or course to use to fill in and generate revenue that way. I love working with clients. In that particular area, I have a course where you can DIY, set up your channel, and get started. I have a membership community that’s in the process of being rebranded, where I have dozens of growth strategies, scaling strategies, and revenue strategies. Still, none of that is possible if you don’t prioritize it.

Start to Build Your Side Business

Most people start a YouTube channel or an online business because they have some vision of helping certain people do certain things. They have a vision of helping people with their health, their money, their chronic pain, or in my case, helping people create videos. That’s not even the purpose of my channel when I first started it, but that’s just where it has evolved. My point is exactly that. The evolution of my channel could never take place if it never got started.

So as we start this new year, I wanted to share this story with you if you want to build a side business. Because I don’t think I’ve ever shared it here on this channel. If you’re thinking about making next year the year of NO, here are a couple of strategies that can help you back out of some of the obligations you may be feeling.

Related: How to Grow Your Channel Fast and Stay Consistent

Tips for Saying “NO” to Other Commitments

First, just be prepared with what you’re going to tell people. Not that you have to give people a reason that you’re saying no or that you no longer want to do something. You don’t have to give a reason. But it feels a little bit easier and a little more comfortable. It’s less awkward if you do give a reason. In my case, I said I would focus on my full-time job and my two kids for the next year and just back away from some of the other stuff that takes up a lot of my time in the evenings. I mean, who’s going to give you pushback on that?

If you’re not sure whether you want to get out of any obligations or sort of faux obligations, just ask yourself, “Is what I’m focusing on right now going to matter in five years?” I think I first heard that question from Gary Vaynerchuk. Ask yourself, is this going to matter in five years? Is your family going to matter in five years? Yeah, of course. So don’t back out of your obligations to your family. Is your job going to matter in five years? Probably, possibly. I thought my job was going to matter in five years, and I lost my position a year and a half after I started my channel. So is it going to matter in five years? Yeah, probably. So don’t back out of your obligation to your job.


To bring up Gary Vaynerchuk again, he said, “Stop doing things you hate, so that you can focus on the things that you would love to focus your time and energy on.” If that’s creating videos, growing your YouTube channel, making videos that make money, and monetizing with multiple revenue streams, then I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad that you found me because that’s what I talk about on my blog and my YouTube channel. Also on my email list, in my courses and programs, and with the one-on-one clients I work with.

If you want my help, here is the Thriving Creator Society, the new name of the rebranded membership. 30 days to a thriving YouTube channel, my Social Video Pro YouTube for beginners course. Also, an application form for working with me one-on-one if you really want to skyrocket and gain momentum quickly on YouTube with my help. If you have read this far, thanks for being here. I genuinely appreciate you. Happy New Year!

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