Almost every entrepreneur has had a side hustle at some point in their career. An extra stream of income can be the difference between following your passions and staying in a dead-end job you just can’t take anymore. In some cases, your side hustle could turn out to be where you want to focus all of your entrepreneurial energy. Here are some tips on making the transition from side hustle to full time job.
Many entrepreneurs have found success by growing their side hustles into their full time jobs. Before you can decide if turning your side hustle into your regular gig is right for you, you first need to understand the meaning of the term and what that might mean for your future.
A side hustle can be defined as a hobby or interest that you’ve monetized to provide an extra source of income—in addition to your regular day job.
This is a broad term, that can cover any number of things depending on your particular labor of love. Do you like to cut hair? Could your blog transform into a business? Are you a whiz in the kitchen? Can you sew, or create a special craft which consumers would want to purchase? These side hustles and more have the potential to become your full time job.
This idea of scaling a small time interest or skill into something larger is not for everyone. Before going on, you must ask yourself: do you have the resources, energy, and drive to quit your day job in order to pursue your dreams? Are you someone who is willing to risk a little (or a lot) in order to chase something that you have been day dreaming about?
The biggest risk to consider in this situation is quitting your job, potentially with no safety net to fall back on. It’s always a good idea to set aside some savings to pursue your new goal.
It is also necessary to lay the foundations by drawing up a budget for your new business. Keep careful records of your finances and goods or services rendered so that you know exactly where you stand and why.
Now that you feel ready to take the leap of turning your side hustle into your full time job, follow these useful guidelines:
One of the first and most important steps to take to grow your side hustle is building your network within your chosen community. Talk to anyone and everyone you meet in your industry. Do not be afraid to shoot someone an email or ask for a meeting, but always remember to be respectful of other people’s time.
If you are offered a meeting or even the chance to chat with someone with much-needed knowledge, do not hesitate to take it! You never know where your next big breakthrough could come from.
When in doubt, research. Now is the time to learn anything and everything there is to know about your niche.
Read every book, journal, and article written about your side hustle. If you learn better by doing, consider attending a class or a lecture. There is knowledge out there for those who wish to find it.
People are going to judge how serious you are based on your level of knowledge on your particular business venture. You will want to sound intelligent and well-researched when having conversations with others in your field.
Especially when you are first starting out, you will need to put lots of hours and dollars into making sure your side hustle startup is thriving. Unfortunately, you’ll likely have to give up any unnecessary frivolities you may be spending both time and money on.
You’ll be surprised to discover just how much money and time you can save by skipping happy hour drinks or your weekly golf game. Saving time and money is a great way to prove to yourself and others that you are serious about turning your side hustle into your full time job.
Even the best laid plans sometimes go awry, so do your best to not let your mistakes completely overshadow your hard earned successes.
In fact, research can only go so far, and your failures can be the most valuable tools in your arsenal. Put yourself out there, make some mistakes, and then move on in a better direction with your newfound knowledge.
Each bruise and scrape proves that you can withstand the tough weather of the market. Each time you get knocked down, do whatever it takes to get back up again. Always avoid making the same mistake more than once and you’ll continue to develop as an entrepreneur.
Balance is vital to anything in life, and side hustling is no exception. Not only should you believe in yourself and keep your eye on the prize, but also avoid shoveling 100% of your resources into your side business before you’ve quit your day job and invested all the way. You need to test the waters and see if your side hustle is a sustainable enterprise before you go all-in.
Things like new equipment for your gig always seems like the right way to go, but is it necessary right now? Taking on extra debt in the beginning stages is a risky idea. Patience is the key to consistent growth.
Focus instead on building your network and customer base. Once you feel that you’re in a comfortable place with your side business, take the leap, and start reaping all of the benefits of being an entrepreneur.
If there’s anything I want to include in this article it’s this–you can do this. I know, because I did.
After graduating law school I took a dead-end job that didn’t make me happy because it gave me stability and paid my bills. While I worked that job I constantly networked, wrote ebooks on legal topics at night, and spoke to everyone about how I wanted to start my own firm.
When the timing felt right, I quit my full-time job. And all those things I was doing with my spare time–reaching out in the legal community; writing legal ebooks–those things paid off. It’s why I have a successful business today. And yes, my side hustle then is now my full-time job.
Turning your side hustle into your full time job is a big commitment, but it may be the key to finding that elusive thing called professional happiness.
When your work is fulfilling, it’s easy to find satisfaction in other facets of your life. Rather than working overtime to pursue your small business on the side, take the steps to transition your part-time passion into your day-to-day hustle.
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LAWYER & ONLINE ENTREPRENEUR
After graduating from law school and passing the bar, I struggled to find work, pay my bills, and make ends meet. That's when I decided to take control of my future and start working for myself. Now, several years and a handful of companies later, I'm sharing how I launched a successful business, and how you can do it too.