During the past couple of years, we’ve experienced the benefits of working from home and the flexibility it provides. It seems like “side hustle” is the biggest buzzword, and everyone either has a side project, or is thinking of how to start one. If you already have a side hustle, you might be thinking of how you can scale it to make it your full-time job. This is a big decision! I know several people who are currently in this process, and wanted to share my biggest considerations before quitting.
1. Know your numbers
One of the most important factors before deciding to quit your job has to be your financials. Are you currently earning money with your side hustle to support yourself? Would you be able to earn more if you had more time available? If the answer to both is “yes,” then developing your exit strategy from your current work seems like the right next step. If the answer is “no,” then I would look at your savings and emergency fund to determine whether you are ready to quit. How much money do you need every month for expenses? Do you have a little extra leftover in case something comes up? Download my free budget template to map out where your money is going every month. Looking at your finances is a good first place to start to determine whether you are truly ready to quit.
2. Set goals for your business
Another important thing to consider is your goals for the business. If you take the leap, where would you like to be in three to six months from now? How about in a year? Map out what you need to achieve to make these goals a reality and get to work! No but seriously, I think goals are extremely important if you are going from a full-time plus side hustle work mentality, to being completely self-employed. While it might sound really attractive, it is a mindset change, as you will be your boss and therefore completely in charge of time management and getting shit done. Some people may find it hard to be on their own because they are not inherently motivated to work, but when you are growing a business you cannot slack off. This is by far the biggest adjustment that you will need to make, so having clear goals to guide you will be a huge help. In my business, I recently switched to Asana to keep track of my goals, but Trello also works well for solo-preneurs.
While many side hustles start out as passion projects, turning them into full-time work requires a little extra thought in order to scale. This might mean getting some outside help to improve your website or graphic design, or getting a system in place to ensure that you are working smarter, not harder. I’ve talked before about how virtual assistants have been a game changer for me in scaling my business, maybe this is something that would benefit you as well? When you think long-term about your business where would you like to be? This might mean rethinking your pricing or the services you are offering as part of your business. It could also mean working with new tools to smooth out your business process. I realize that this advice is a bit vague, but I do think this varies depending on what your are offering. What I can share is that I am also rethinking my business at the moment so that I am using project-based pricing for my services offered. In addition, I have moved to Asana to ensure that I have a good overview over everything that needs to be completed for each project.
4. Set yourself a deadline
This might sound harsh, but it’s important to set yourself a timeframe of how long you have to turn your side hustle a successful full-time job. When I started out, I gave myself one year to see if I could earn money, if not I would go back to job searching. This might sound negative, but it’s important to put some pressure on yourself to actually make it happen. Reality is that time flies, which is why it is so important to have clear goals to ensure that you are progressing. If you find that you are not motivated enough to work for yourself, you might need to keep your side hustle as just a part-time thing while getting income from another full-time position.
5. Believe in yourself
All that being said, the most important thing is that you believe in yourself. In business ownership, mindset is everything because there will be times where you might doubt yourself and wonder if you made the right decision. A big change for me happened when I started to refer to myself as a “business owner” and fully committed to my business. I also made it a point to network with other freelancers to make sure I was surrounded by people who would motivate me. If you’re finding it hard to believe in your business while working from home, maybe you want to think about joining a coworking space to get out of your comfort zone, or maybe you should join a network to meet new people who are going through the same challenges as you. During the days where you are finding things challenging, remember why you started out in the first place. You are on the right path, keep going!
Are you thinking about turning your side hustle into your full-time work? What are your biggest considerations at the moment?