In the last post in this series, I detailed the events that led to my wife and I becoming the directors of Academic Mindset. After many failures in building a sustainable side hustle, I had finally found the path to a real opportunity. I had no idea where that path would lead me, but I knew that with the help of the Zannetti brothers (CEO’s) and the backing of a successful business, this idea had life!
What followed was a very quiet, humbling six months. Anala and I dove headfirst into the world of business. It all seemingly hit at the same time. Even with the solid support group around us, we almost crumbled…
It wasn’t that any one task was difficult. It was that we were trying to do every task possible. For that six month stretch, Anala and I created an entire curriculum and an ebook for teachers to go along with it. We designed a method to deliver 1-1 coaching, group coaching, teacher PD, and digital curriculum. Through that time period, we were also making tons of posts daily on social media, while blogging and sending email blasts to our growing list.
If only our personal life slowed down for this process. No such luck! We had a newborn child, Anala and I were both finishing our PhD’s, and we were both teaching (me full time and her part time). We had set a pace that seemed impossible to hold and the stress was setting in. Every minute of our day was planned and following that plan would only help us achieve the bare minimum needed for the day. Multitasking became a critical skill to our survival.
We had several conversations on what to do. Should we give up on this mindset program? Should we slow it down and set smaller goals? Are we in over our heads?
The answer came as we discussed our priorities. Many deep conversations led us to the conclusion that we wanted to build a side income that could get us out of debt and help us live a comfortable life. We knew that a steady side job would never have that potential, as it would always be an hourly pay scale with no opportunity to grow. We wanted to grow.
Sometimes, you have to eat dirt and just dig in to create lasting growth. That was our decision. We worked day and night for that six months. We gave up partying, keeping up with the latest movies, and having days where we didn’t set an alarm clock. We maintained a disciplined, rigorous schedule, allocating all extra time to the creation of this new program.
If you are starting your side hustle, here is an important point I want to stress. *We did not stop having fun* We were not miserably working and dragging through it. The excitement for this opportunity led to many dinner table conversations of how to design our curriculum. We would take our baby to the park for a brainstorming walk. We learned how to enjoy each other’s company while working and moving forward as a family. Every aspect of our relationship grew as the side hustle grew with it.
Yes, time was tight. But our passion and potential were unlimited. We made the time work for us and kept calm, patient, and consistent over that six month period. Our relentless pursuit paid off.
Here are six things that six month grind gave us:
- An opportunity to fail and make content that did not resonate with anyone
- A laser focus on building something huge, without blowing it off and forgetting where we left off at
- Practical experience on how to build a program from the ground up
- A quick introduction to a wide variety of tools and resources
- A building confidence in the work and effort we put in to the program
- Closeness in our marriage for seeing an incredibly challenging goal through from start to finish, with a product that we can still look at with pride.
At the end of the six months, we were staring at a fully functional program. Yes, it was a gigantic sacrifice in terms of our scheduling and effort. However, it gave us an e-book (which was revised and turned into a full length book), a solid 1-1 coaching program that still brings in clients, and a curriculum which is still used and continuing to sell at higher rates every year. We didn’t just have a momentary good feeling to show for it. We had a real program that has lasting power in today’s educational landscape.
This became known as the Six Month Success Sprint. We took a relatively short time in our life and dedicated it to learning a new set of skills. By putting our heads down and living in (and finding joy in) the process of growth, we were able to quickly pass our failures and mistakes to create a meaningful, powerful program.
Here’s what we learned from our Six Month Success Sprint…
- It was easy to overcome challenges when staying in a sprint. We didn’t have time to slow down to overanalyze every difficulty or allow it to become bigger than it was.
- We did not feel like we lost any time when we were done. What we had built together meant more than anything we could have done with the free time.
- We developed and practiced habits that stick with us to this day. The way we schedule, multitask, prioritize, etc. were sharpened and brought to new levels.
What could you do with a Six Month Success Sprint? If you put your head down and refused to slow for half a year, could you make a year’s worth of progress? Could you build something entirely new? Learn a skill that you always wished you could learn?
Share this article on your social media pages and tell the world what your Six Month Success Sprint will look like. What do you plan on building, and why? Make sure to tag us for a shoutout! Keep building and growing.