Driving To Work | How To Use Your Commute As A Business Tool

Driving To Work | How To Use Your Commute As A Business Tool

The Road To Freedom

Every morning and evening I drive for about an hour to and from my day job at a software startup. People ask me why I haven’t left my day job yet to pursue my side hustle full time, and my answer has always been stability.

I’m a single mom and workaholic, but I’m also a life-aholic. I’m not a regular 20-something who can sacrifice by living off of ramen and chips in a studio apartment to pursue her dreams. I’m a young, single mom and I have a responsibility to my son to provide a stable, healthy life for him.

My day job gives me the stability and peace of mind to be the best mom I can be right now, so I’m stayin’!

Obviously running my business full-time is my end goal, but I'm willing to wait until the time (and my finances) are right. Nothing wrong with a little waitin'!

So in the nooks and crannies of my 9-5, and during my commute, here’s what I do to maximize my time.

 
driving-to-work
 

I drop my son off at his preschool between 6:45 and 7:15am and then I hit the road to get to work by 8 (I work 8-4). On my commute, I either do one of three things:

  1. Podcast
  2. Meditative Brainstorming
  3. Record my thoughts (think out loud)

Podcast

One of my mentors recommended Freakonomics Radio to me a long time ago and after that I was obsessed with podcasting. My favorites now are Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield, Social Media Marketing Happy Hour, TED Radio Hour, Social Media Marketing Podcast with Michael Stelzner, and many others.

Podcasting Tip: Listen in the car and then reread the show notes online when you get to work or on your lunch break to help you retain what you've just listened to. I'm a very visual person, so when I do this I tend to hold onto the knowledge better. Most podcasters have a dedicated webpage or blog post for each episode for this very purpose. A lot of them also offer downloadables in exchange for joining their email list!

Meditative Brainstorming

If you're like me, still working your 9-5 and building your business on the side, you're probably constantly thinking about your side hustle 24/7. In the car, at the gym, in the shower... it never stops. It's enough to drive ya crazy!

So what I like to do is dedicate my commute to what I've dubbed "meditative brainstorming" at least once or twice a week. Since my route doesn't change, I don't have to focus too much on how to get where I'm going, which frees up some of my mind for wandering. I don't listen to any music unless it's meditation music or classical music and I try to clear my head, realize where I am right now, think about where I want to be, and then connect the dots for how I'm going to get there.

Half meditation, half business brainstorming. It's pretty freakin' sweet. I never get out of the car after one of these sessions without at least two action items for the day and these are typically the days I'm most productive (even with regular meditation on the other days!).

Record my thoughts (think out loud)

Since I can't write my thoughts down while I'm driving, I use the app SmartRecord to record my voice when I have an idea I want to come back to. I've realized that sometimes when I have an idea and don't think it all the way through, when I say it out loud it sounds so silly. As a creative I have SO many ideas, 90% of which are crap, so this is an easy way for me to filter through my zillions of ideas to find the golden ones that are going to stick and benefit my business or my audience.

How are you spending your commute on the road to freedom? Let me know in the comments :)