‘I only work 5 hours a week’

I was never the business type. But after losing my job as a sound engineer in 2009, I had to be creative for a living.

Thirteen years later, at the age of 39, I have built two online businesses that have earned me a total of $160,000 a month in passive income. I also recently published a book, “How to get paid for what you know. “

The first business I started was Recording Revolution, a music and educational blog that sells music production courses. The second program, which I started in 2018, teaches people how to monetize their passion, just like I did. It’s the most profitable business, thanks to online course and sales training program, as well as affiliate commissions.

Graham Cochrane started his first business in 2009. Since then, he’s scaled two companies online and now makes around $120,000 a month.

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Make It

About 2,800 people use my product and my goal is to help more entrepreneurs grow their online businesses while working fewer hours.

My top priority is spending time with my family and being able to give back, so I’ve organized my work and personal life so I can focus on those important values.

Here’s what my typical day looks like:

Morning starts slow and easy

I usually wake up at 5 a.m. – in front of the kids – because I always want an hour to myself. I’ll start with my coffee and my Bible.

After reading, praying, and journaling, I’ll make breakfast with my wife and wake up the kids. We will spend 20 to 30 minutes eating together in the kitchen before I take them to school at 7:30 am

Then I head back to my home office or do a quick workout if I’m in the mood.

Graham and his wife have breakfast with their children in the morning before discussing their schedules.

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Make It

I only work five hours a week – Monday and Wednesday

Graham spends about five hours a week creating content and managing his business.

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Make It

Once a month, I shoot a training program specifically for members of my paid community, which adds about two hours of work per month to my schedule.

I’ve never been a fan of hustle culture; I don’t believe it’s sane or wise. If you can figure out how to build systems into your business so that it mostly runs on its own, you don’t need to waste time on ongoing maintenance.

After all, what good is “be your own boss” if you work all the time?

Family time is my #1 priority

People often ask me what I do with all the extra time in the week and my answer is not the most interesting. I run errands, go to the gym, wash the car, have coffee or lunch with a friend, or read a good book. Right now, I’m reading”Live without fear“by Jamie Winship.

But most importantly, I spend time with my family. Friday is considered “date day” for my wife. We exercise, go to lunch, catch up on life, talk about the kids, and meet with our marriage counselor.

Lately, we’ve been focusing on how to better communicate when we have disagreements. No marriage is perfect, and the work I have put into our relationship has made me a better husband and father.

My wife and I never compromise on taking the kids to school together. We want to be at home while they are there. Our other non-negotiable is the family dinner. We sit down for a tech-free dinner every night. Most evenings, my wife cooks and I do the dishes. But we also eat out a few times a week.

“My schedule has two non-negotiables: “I pick my daughter up from school every day, and our family has dinner together every night,” says Graham. “

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Make It

We love going out for a walk, swimming in the pool, watching movies, or playing Nintendo Switch with the kids. By spending time together, we hope to teach them essential life skills such as sharing emotions and being kind to one another. I also want them to feel like valued family members.

We also love to travel – both locally in Florida and around the world. A few summers ago we spent a month in the South of France. And just this spring, we stayed in Puerto Rico for three weeks. Having the time and flexibility to come together to create memories like this is priceless.

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