By Andrew Neitlich

New Year’s Wish For You: In 2006, work hard to be lazy

By Andrew Neitlich

Here is a New Year’s wish for all self-employed Sitepoint readers:

Work hard in 2006 to be lazy in 2007.

What does that mean? Some of you already know. Some of you don’t have a clue.


Too many of you are working too hard to continue to work hard. You are working with clients, doing it all yourself, building nothing with lasting value, failing to put systems in place. So your life is destined to be about constantly chasing clients, working for clients, and chasing new clients. This is a recipe for a decent living, but not for achieving your most ambitious financial goals.

Instead, work hard to stop working so hard. Work on your business. Put automatic marketing systems in place. Get known as a “go to” professional in your field, a guru if you will, so clients come to you. Develop repeatable products and solutions, so you make it once and sell it thousands of times. Create income-generating websites that you own, and that you can “set and forget.” Build a network of experts/contractors/employees that you can hire onto projects for you.

Work all of next year, really hard, on doing the above. Then in 2007 you can start reaping the rewards of this strategy. You can start getting a bit “lazy,” as revenues come to you and you have a business that’s worth something.

Lazy doesn’t mean complacent. It means you have incredible sources of leverage, thanks to smart business practices. So you make lots of money even if you don’t spend all of your time with clients. And you continue focusing on building other sources of leverage, while improving existing products and processes.

Have a prosperous New Year!

  • Sola

    Needed this. Thanks.

  • prophp

    Thanks indeed!

  • Read my mind exactly. I’m already putting together my plan for 2006 so that I can achieve my (quite ambitious) financial goals and hopefully by the latter half of 06 or the first of 07 I’ll be able to take time out to do some things that I can’t do at the moment.

    Thanks, Andrew.

  • hopefully that exactly what we’ll get done in the new year. Good advice and defo the kind of goal i set for myself.

  • hehe .. thats why I put my crmecado site together. Work hard in 05 to be lazy in 06. Well thats my new years resolution at least :)

  • webnology

    Great post Andrew. I recently told my colleagues I will leave them at the end of 2006 (as a kind of joke), but I will try it, by building a website that generates income for me, not by building sites for new clients over and over.


  • I’m starting right away by going on vacation for 3 weeks!

  • LinhGB

    Great post. That’s my current aim. I don’t think I can be “lazy” by 2007 though. :p Thinking 2008 earliest.

  • dekadem

    Thanks for your inspiration throughout the year! I wish Mr. Neitlich and all SitePoint admins and reades have a healthy, lovely and successful new year!

  • We are in the process of doing exactly what you mentioned. Why make your clients money on the web when I can do it.

  • Darren Campbell

    That post seems to confirm what I have been thinking the whole time. Interesting.

  • Jason Batten

    Interesting post. Christmas Sunday – I’m back to work Monday :)

  • Anonymous

    This is exactly my plan for 2006. I will continue to create websites for customers (although i’ll be taking a slightly different approach to that now), to raise money for other projects, and to keep cash coming in until other projects have taken off.

    My ultimate goal, however is to build up a network of income generating sites, which will require little maintenance.

    I wish all of you a very merry christmas, and a happy & prosperous new year!

  • You read my mind Andrew – I’ve been talking about this with friends and colleagues for months. My plan in 2006 is to work hard on internal projects (instead of client projects) and take a few big client projects to pay the bills. Hopefully those internal projects, which consist of a few e-commerce sites, information sites, and some offline ventures, will pay off and 2007 will be a much more relaxed and enjoyable year than 2005.

  • DesignOweb

    I worked hard this year for a plan to get business even if i am away (or lazy) for next year 2006. I have done lots of efforts to be associated with my regular clients to do marketing for me. I want to leave “marketing” and be lazy (lazy means the same as explained above in the article). I want my partners or clients do marketing for me. For me doing marketing remotely (virtually presence through net) is more harder than physical presence.
    I appriciate Andrew for this nice article. I know it will help a lot to all of you. BTW, why not we all get assocaite with each other ;) Rakesh, DesignOweb

  • codeninja

    I too needed this and would like to encourage everyone else reading this post to ignore it and continue along in your money and time wasting ways so that there is more business for me :)

  • I think this is excellent advice. If we don’t automate or focus on residual income streams, we’ll all be working into our graves.

    I’ve been trying to develop a residual income stream for years and automate my online operations for years. Hopefully it’ll allow me to take time away from the computer one day…

  • Anonymous

    Working hard is an illusion to each persons perception of reality. The real question is what do you want to create from your work, money, sex, power, ego or the real key is intent? So people work really hard but to others they are lazy? Whos right? Its all an illusion you create?


  • a developer

    thanks much Andrew. this is a real New Year greeting/wish. appreciated. Happy and Prosperous New Year! -muthu

  • Jagadeesh Tata

    Good Posting Andrew Neitlich…

  • Anonymous

    Create income-generating websites that you own, and that you can “set and forget.” Any ideas???

  • One of the things that I have been working on is this same system. Every company I have gone to needs one of these types of “systems.”

    Make the system and re-use it…over and over and over again.

    Good post Andrew, and your entry just confirms I’m on the right path.

Get the latest in Entrepreneur, once a week, for free.