Stop Wasting Time on Unprofitable Passions

Have you ever found yourself spread thin across too many projects that don’t bring in money?

I’ve been there many times.

When I first started my career, I wanted to try a little bit of everything. I took on various side hustles outside of my 9-5 job – building websites, selling online courses, and doing freelance writing.

It was exciting to explore new skills, but eventually, I realized I was wasting time on things that weren’t profitable.

I’ve learned the hard way that if it won’t make you money, it’s not worth your precious time.

Focusing on money-making activities is the key to growing your income and achieving financial stability.

But how do you know where to spend your time?

Here are some tips that have worked for me.

Ask yourself – will this directly result in more income?

Stop wasting your time

Whenever a new opportunity pops up, evaluate it through the money lens.

Will this collaboration, project, or skill directly translate to dollars in your pocket?

If the answer is no, or you’re not sure, it’s better to politely decline.

The clarity of this money question has helped me avoid time-wasting activities.

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Review where your bread and butter comes from

Analyze your current income streams.

Are most of your revenue coming from your day job, freelance work, or your side business?

Zero in on what’s working and maximize your time there. I once stopped doing freelance writing because I realized my 9-5 job provided 90% of my income.

Focusing solely on excelling at work boosted my earnings.

Limit side projects

I used to constantly start new websites, take on freelance gigs, and sell online courses outside of work. Some provided small profits, but most just drained my time for little payoff.

Now I limit myself to one side project related to my primary income stream. Less is more when it comes to side hustles.

Avoid pleasing people

Saying yes to others’ ideas just to be polite resulted in lots of unpaid time spent. Now when friends or colleagues suggest partnering on a project, I ask myself – will this make money?

If not, I’ve learned to simply say no. My time is better spent on profitable activities, not people-pleasing.

Prevent burnout

unprofitable business

When you’re burnt out, you’re unmotivated and less productive. Focusing on fewer, more lucrative activities prevents fatigue. I eliminated time-sucking commitments and now have the energy to excel in money-making.

Does this money-focused approach sound rigid or boring? It’s quite the opposite.

By carefully choosing where I spend time, I work less and earn more. The financial gains allow me to enjoy hobbies, travel, and time with family.

Many side projects seem alluring but provide a little payout for your precious time. Be choosy and strategic. Here are two examples from my experience:

The Trap of Passion Projects

Early in my writing career, a friend approached me about collaborating on a screenplay. We were both aspiring scriptwriters with a passion for film.

The project allowed us to flex our creative muscles outside of our day jobs. We’d meet on weekends to flesh out characters and plot lines while envisioning our story on the big screen.

After months of unpaid work just for the love of it, we finished a draft. We were proud and started pitching it to networks and entering screenwriting contests.

But unfortunately, it went nowhere. Like most passion projects, it fizzled out.

In hindsight, I put extensive time into something that had little chance of making money.

If I had funneled those creative hours into my freelance writing, I could’ve earned thousands. Now when friends invite me to unpaid creative collaborations, I politely decline. My writing time is better spent on paid journalism assignments.

The Allure of “Get Rich Quick”

Stop Wasting Time

Early in my entrepreneurial days, I was seduced by the promise of passive income via dropshipping businesses.

After watching some YouTube videos, I set up an e-commerce store dropshipping cheap products from China. I spent long hours building the site, running ads, and fulfilling orders.

But the business never took off.

After 6 months of steep learning curves and little revenue, I shut it down. The small profits generated could never justify the massive time investment.

In hindsight, that time would’ve been better spent expanding my profitable freelance writing services.

But like so many, I got lured by the allure of easy passive income online. Now I’m wary of any get-rich-quick schemes. They rarely make you money.

Be Like A Laser

Trying to do a million things dilutes your time and energy. To increase your income, you need a laser-like focus on profitable activities. Too many people spread themselves thin chasing the shiny new object.

We only have 24 hours in a day. Spend it where it counts. Align your skills and projects with your primary income streams. Keep your side hustles limited and streamlined.

By rigorously evaluating how you spend your time, you ensure energy gets poured into moneymakers, not time wasters.

Give every new opportunity the money test. This clarity of purpose will lead to greater income.

Bottom Line

At times, the focused approach feels restrictive. “Shouldn’t I follow my passions?”, you may wonder.

But you can passionately pursue projects that make money. The financial gains allow you to enjoy more of what you love in life.

Focus creates leverage. Dilution destroys opportunity. Carefully choose where your time goes. Be a laser and watch your money grow.


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