How to Work Only 6 Days a Month

When I wrote the homepage of my website earlier this year, I began with:

“I run a $10M online education business.”


Just before publishing, I added a throwaway line at the last minute:

“…working only 6 days a month.”

I didn’t think much of it.

But then an interesting thing happened.

Throughout this year, whenever I got emails from 7-figure entrepreneurs, they ALWAYS pointed out the same thing:

"You only work 6 hours a month in your business? We need to talk!"


This kind of response is revealing.

Seems that growing a 7-figure business comes with a cost – namely, working your backside off!

Unless you build your business right, that is.

Then you can work as much or as little as you want.

FYI -- I lied.

I said 6 days a month.

In reality it’s more like 4.

Let’s explore...


August 2018

I was lying flat on the sofa at home.

I’d been there for 10 days.

I couldn’t face working.

The thought of opening my laptop and checking email brought me out in hives.

It was my first major burnout, and it was scary.


It had been an intense year.

We had been in full-on "product creation" mode.

In June, I traveled to Japan to film our Japanese course.

In July, I flew to Thailand to film a Thai course.

In August, I spent the whole month working on a totally different product.

After each product, came the launch.

That meant more videos, emails, sales pages.

In the background, I was still writing my blogs, filming my YouTube and recording my podcast.

I was totally frazzled.

Fried like bacon at Sunday brunch.

I remember saying:

“No more. I’m never making or launching another product ever again.”

And I never did.

The Personal Brand Trap

I had fallen head-first into the classic “personal brand” trap.

See, back then, my business wasn’t StoryLearning.

It was essentially “The Olly Show”.


My ideas...

My content...

My face...

Guess who created the products?

Me, of course.

When you’re first starting in business, a personal brand gives you the advantage of being your own niche.

(People are attracted to people.)

But once you hit scale, the personal brand that served you so well at the start quickly becomes the mother of all bottlenecks.

You are needed for absolutely everything.

Even stuff that can typically be outsourced (like copywriting) is difficult, because when your audience is used to hearing your voice, getting someone new to write copy will trigger your audience’s BS meter faster than a Nigerian Prince at Christmas.

This is why so many personal brands hit a hard ceiling of growth – there’s only so much that can one human can contribute.

And I had just learned that lesson in a big way.

Anyway, back to the story…

Something Has To Change

I faced a dilemma:

I wanted to keep making new products, but I couldn’t face doing it myself.

Could I partner with other tutors to create courses in these new languages?


It was “The Olly Show”, remember?

The people demanded me!

But then, from my lamentable position on the sofa, a glimmer of an idea emerged.

Recently, we had a series of products that had proven to be very successful. These products were based on teaching languages with stories, and people loved them.

My books were selling 100,000s of copies…

Our story-based courses were getting rave reviews…

I knew we had hit on something with real potential.

We had even coined the term “StoryLearning” as our proprietary learning method.

But how could I use this to solve my current dilemma?

I asked myself a transformational question:

“What’s the really gutsy move here? What would the 8-figure version of Olly do?”


After dragging his sorry ass off the sofa (🤦🏼‍♂️), here’s what the 8-figure version of Olly would do:

  • Lean into the traction that’s staring him square in the face
  • Make "stories" our signature method
  • Rebrand the entire company to StoryLearning

Then it hit me like a bolt from the blue:

If we start selling the method, we can stop selling Olly.

After all, it's the method that’s getting people results in their language learning -- not me!

And just like magic, this would unlock the possibility of bringing in other tutors to create and deliver courses.

I had no idea at the time...

But this insight would change everything.

Thank God for the sofa!

So, This Happened…

I’ve screwed up a lot of things in my business.

I’ve made mistakes that would make a clown blush.


There’s one decision I’ve made that I’m genuinely proud of, and that completely transformed my life, catapulting the business into multi-7-figures while simultaneously allowing me to get to that “6 hours a month” that has proven so provocative on my website.

And that decision was:

Having the guts to go all-in on rebranding my entire business to "StoryLearning".

Here’s what happened:

  1. With the business now selling the “StoryLearning Method”, we were able to 10X the size of our product range, bringing in outside experts to create them.
  2. Not only could I stop making products myself, I didn’t even have to oversee it – we hired a Head of Product to project manage everything.
  3. Quality control was handled with detailed guidelines for how to teach with the StoryLearning method. Anyone could follow them.
  4. Emails and sales pages no longer had to be about Olly, but could explain the benefits of the method instead. This meant that other people could write copy.

In short, we could now:

Create, launch and deliver new products without me having to be involved at all!

Who manages the managers?


I promoted a long-term member of the team to COO, so he could oversee all the new operations we’d created.

With the time I had freed up, I turned my attention to the mess that was our finances:

  1. I hired a finance assistant to establish proper processes for invoicing and bookkeeping
  2. I hired a new senior team to recreate our chart of accounts, aligning it to business activity
  3. We re-organised our P&L and established proper management reporting that I could actually make decisions from

(This was all paid for by all the extra products we were creating! See how one thing leads to another?)

All this allowed me to get my head out of day-to-day finances, and make better decisions on a monthly or quarterly basis.

No more of the dreaded “bank balance management” that plagues so many entrepreneurs.

Things were looking up!

I Have Nothing To Do!

Everything I described above took around two years to put in place.

But by the end, I’d gone from “King with a thousand helpers”, to a professionally-run operation with all major business functions properly resourced:


Did you notice anything missing from the chart?

That’s right…


There was a moment a couple of years back, when I woke up and realised…

“I’ve got nothing to do!”

Perhaps 5-6 days a month I’d do something in the business.

Attend management meetings, answering emails, etc.

But it might only be a couple of hours.

If I totalled up everything I did, it might be 3-4 full days.

Even my YouTube channel, only took me a couple of hours a month, because I had built out a full production team.

In the end, I realised:

I've written myself out of the business!

My role had become more of “celebrity endorser” than CEO, and this is precisely how a personal brand can scale to bigger things.

How to Work 6 Days a Month

If you're inspired by this story, and would like to reclaim a bit of time for yourself, then here's how to get it done:

  1. Codify your method - However you help people currently, give the system a name and codify it such that anyone can deliver the result.
  2. Sell the system - Stop selling “you” and instead start selling the system you’ve designed, plus the benefits people will enjoy after using it
  3. Rebrand - Complete the transformation by rebranding the business with the method at the heart.
  4. Replace yourself in content - Find new faces to represent your brand and begin to transition yourself out of your content (see our second YouTube channel as an example)
  5. Build a management layer - Put competent people in charge of the three business functions: Operations, Marketing and Finance. Then, put someone in charge of them (this is the integrator or COO role)
  6. Hold onto the things you enjoy - Make sure you know what you actually enjoy in the business and don’t give that up. (See the warning later.)

And Bob’s your uncle…

Your time is now yours.

You’re welcome!

Now, before you rush off and go on a rebranding rampage, a word of warning…

I used to think that “doing less” would be the secret to happiness.

Having written myself out of my business, I can tell you that it’s not.

A void needs to be filled.

And you can fill that void in a healthy way… or an unhealthy way.

I’ve since learned that the secret to fulfilment in business is:

"Do more of the right kind of things."

But I think in order to get there, you probably DO have to go through a period of doing a lot less, so that you can understand what it feels like and rebuild with the right balance instead.

Right now, I’m working a lot more than I used to, for that exact reason.

But enough of this already.

I’ve just arrived at my hotel in London and have to take a cat nap before heading out to the first of many parties in the glorious festive season! (Isn’t it great?)

Oh, and so you know…

I’ve also decided to take December off, so you won’t be receiving any newsletters for the rest of the year.

I do hope you’ve enjoyed what I’ve written in 2023.

It really has been a lot of fun.

If you’d like to reply and tell me what’s most resonated with you, I’d enjoy that.

And if you have any entrepreneur friends who you think should work a little less, go ahead and forward them this article.

But until next time…



CASE STUDY: Blueprint Of A $10m Online Education Business:

  • Business model blueprint
  • Product ecosystem
  • Team structure
  • Evergreen sales strategy
  • And much more

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