“I only work 5 hours a week”

I was never the entrepreneurial type. But after I lost 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 together earned $160,000 per month in passive income. She also recently published a book called How to Get Paid 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 passion, like I did. It’s the most lucrative business, thanks to sales of online courses and training programs, as well as affiliate commissions.

Graham Cochrane started his first business in 2009. Since then, he has expanded two online businesses and is now making nearly $120,000 per month.

Photo: Jon Olson for CNBC Make It

About 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 set up my work and personal life so I can focus on those core values.

This is what my typical day looks like:

Morning starts slow and easy

I usually get up at five in the morning – before the kids – because I always want to take an hour to myself. I’ll start with coffee and the Bible.

After a bit of reading, praying, and writing a diary, I’m going to make breakfast with my wife and wake the kids up. We’ll spend 20-30 minutes eating together in the kitchen before I drop them off at school by 7:30 a.m.

Then I go back to my desk at home, 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 talking through their schedule.

Photo: Jon 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 running his business.

Photo: Jon Olson for CNBC Make It

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

I’ve never been a fan of bustle culture; I don’t think it is healthy or wise. If you can find a way to build systems in your business so that they mostly work on their own, you don’t need to waste time doing ongoing maintenance.

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

Family time is the number 1 priority for me

“My schedule has two non-negotiables,” Graham says. “My daughter picks up school every day, and our family eats dinner together every night.”

Photo: Jon Olson for CNBC Make It

We love going out for walks, swimming in the pool, watching movies, or playing Nintendo Switch with the kids. By spending time together, we hope to teach them basic life skills like how to share feelings and be kind to each other. I also want them to feel valued, family members included.

We’re big on travel too – 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 put these types of memories together is invaluable.

Radical generosity is a core value

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