‘I only work 5 hours a week’

I was never the entrepreneurial type. But after losing my job as an audio engineer in 2009, I had to get creative to make ends meet.

Thirteen years later, at the age of 39, I built two online businesses that earn me a combined $160,000 a month in passive income. I also recently published a book, “How to Make Money for What You Know.”

The first business I started was The Recording Revolution, a music and education blog that sells music production courses. The second, which I started in 2018, teaches people how to make money from their passions, like I did. It is the most lucrative business, thanks to sales of training programs and online courses, as well as commissions from affiliates.

Graham Cochrane started his first business in 2009. Since then, he has scaled two online businesses and now earns around $120,000 per month.

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Do It

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

My top priorities are spending time with family and being able to give back, so I’ve shaped my work and personal life to focus on those core values.

This is what my typical day looks like:

Mornings start out slow and easy

I usually wake up at 5 am, before the kids, because I always want an hour to myself. I’ll start with coffee and my Bible.

After reading, praying, and journaling, I’ll cook breakfast with my wife and wake up the kids. We will spend 20-30 minutes eating together in the kitchen before dropping you off at school at 7:30am.

Then I go back to my home office or do a quick gym session if I’m in the mood.

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

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Do It

I only work five hours a week, Monday and Wednesday.

Graham spends around five hours a week creating content and running his businesses.

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Do It

Once a month, I film an exclusive training for members of my paid community that adds about two additional hours of work per month to my schedule.

I’ve never been a fan of hustle culture; I don’t think it’s healthy or wise. If you can find a way to build systems into your business so they work on their own, you don’t need to spend time doing constant maintenance.

After all, what’s the point of “being your own boss” if you’re working all the time?

Family time is my number 1 priority.

“My schedule has two things that are non-negotiable,” says Graham: “I pick up my daughters from school every day and our family has dinner together every night.”

Photo: John Olson for CNBC Do It

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

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 this spring alone, we stayed in Puerto Rico for three weeks. Having the time and flexibility to create these kinds of memories together is priceless.

Radical generosity a core value

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