I can count the number of people, on my hand, who are lucky enough to love their 9-to-5s, more and more people are finding themselves doing something else on the side, either to add to their income or to feed their passion.
Those side hustles start to feel more and more like the real thing and suddenly these people are dreaming about running a business of their own.
Sound familiar? If you’re one of the thousands of people dreaming about turning your side hustle into a true business, you’re not alone. However, many of us leave our permanent jobs prematurely and find that our passion is now a daunting task barely scraping by financially.
Here’s a few ideas and tips so that you don’t lose your spark
How do you know when it’s time to move away from a steady, full-time position to being on your own? This is the scariest, yet most invigorating feeling in the world. I’ve found that in my job I felt drained and no longer fulfilled. The thought of rushing home and working on my side hustle brought butterflies to my tummy. However, doing something for fun and doing something as a job are worlds apart.
Most people consider entrepreneurship either unattainable or highly romanticized.
Being an entrepreneur is a ton of work, goodbye weekends and vacations for a few years !!
1. Be clear and honest with yourself about when it’s time to make the jump.
Giving up the benefits and security that come with a full-time job is scary and sometimes unrealistic. It’s also a tragedy to pause your dream until the time feels right. Ask yourself exactly what you need to have before you can make your side gig your new reality. The golden rule is to have enough savings to live for about six months without income and/or with the income you already have from your side clients. You should also have a clear idea of who your potential clients might be and how to connect with them.
2. Before resigning, brace yourself.
You are the star employee, bringing in those big deals and leads. BUT, are you in IT, Finance, Administration or HR? Yes, it’s easy to excel in a working environment with a large support structure.
Can you afford to hire staff at this stage of your side hustle? Business organization and strategizing is a huge component of success. You’ll need to limit stress and create as much efficiency and ease as possible in your daily systems. This could mean scheduling things carefully or using free software to make your work more effective.
The daily plan
Sunday’s are my strategy days, while everyone waits for Carte Blanche, I try to divide the week into days assigned to different business tasks. Don’t waste time on anything that is not generating revenue during the week.
Digitizing your work can help, too. Schedule social media posts but reply to queries within the same day.
I utilize every free tool like DropBox, LinkedIn, Facebook or Canva. This is a good thing to play around with before you quit your main job. Having the tools and processes you know work well for you ready to go when you make the switch can make marketing and finance easier.
3. Work hard and stay humble.
Your time is valuable, but as new entrepreneur you can’t treat it like currency. What I mean is, be prepared to put in lots of hours with minimal return.
Building a side hustle up from the ground requires wearing a lot of different hats. If you want your business to succeed, you have to be ready to play customer service rep, salesperson, IT and HR.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, break the work down further. Spend more time working on the day to day tasks, checking things off the to-do list. Try not to consider any task “beneath you” and take some time to truly understand what goes into each part of your business.
4. Surround yourself with smart people.
I took advice from people I probably should not have. A slight snobbish … my motto now is “Do not take advice from anyone who does not own a Bentley.” Well not literally … I have listened to the wisest cleaners, receptionists and CEOs. The moment you feel drained by someone giving you tips, listen but block it out. You know in your heart what’s right for your business.
As much as entrepreneurship can be a solitary job, especially in the beginning, it’s vital to your success to remember how others can help you thrive. Invest your time in like-minded people. Take time to get to know others and their stories and create valuable relationships. So much of success is built from opportunities or inspiration from people we know.
Find people you connect with to talk about your ideas, write about your ideas online and build a community that empowers you. Be thoughtful, take smart risks and see where your side hustle can go.
You can always go back to 9-to-5 if you feel entrepreneurship is too risky but you only have a small window to create a thriving business.