Most people spend their entire lives working for other people, grinding away at a 9-to-5 job with the promise of retirement at the end of all those years of hard work. But what if you didn’t have to? If you spend time doing a side hustle that you actually love, it can be hard to wake up for your normal job, knowing the tedious tasks that lay before you.
Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to the rat race once and for all. There are ways to escape the stress and make your side hustle your main gig. Below, we’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for turning your hobby into a full-time, lucrative business.
1. Listen to the signs you’re ready to leave your regular job
Maybe you’ve been planning on leaving your job for a while, but you’re looking for the right moment to leave. If that’s the case, here are some signals that your side freelancing hobby deserves more of your attention and time:
• Your side passions are getting more attention: Is your writing being published on major sites? Are you getting big-name clients for your consulting side hustle? It’s time to give your hobby more of your time.
• You have to turn down side projects you’re excited about because of your regular job: If you’re getting opportunities you can’t take on because of your regular job, that’s another signal you can ditch the ol’ 9-to-5 to pursue these projects more seriously.
2. Know what you’re getting into
It can be easy to romanticize quitting your day job and running off to make millions on your own. But it’s not quite that simple. Being your own business owner means that you’re responsible for a lot. Taxes, keeping track of expenses, and managing many more responsibilities – that can be a job in and of itself. Not to mention, you’ve got a business to run! That involves marketing, social media management, and much more that will depend on your specific industry.
3. Surround yourself by pros
Do you have friends who’ve made a business out of a side hustle? Do you have a mentor you can rely on when you’re not sure what to do? While it’s tempting to surround yourself with yes-men (and women) who will nod in agreement for everything you do – that’s not how you will grow. It’s important to rely on professionals who have experience who can help guide you on your path to entrepreneurship.
When you’re ready to hire, make sure you vet your applicants. One bad egg in a small business can really hurt your company. There are many ways you can go about this, like a simple online search, a credit check for hiring, or hiring people recommended by those you trust. Ultimately, an interview and some careful questions should give you all the information you need. Remember, this is your passion and you know what features to look for in an employee that can share your vision!
4. Savings are crucial
If you don’t have much money starting out, you might get lucky and immediately start pulling in revenue. Unfortunately, it typically takes a few to several months before you’ll see a profit. With that in mind, it’s important to have at least six months of savings to pay for living expenses off the bat. This will give you the financial foundation you need to focus on your business and not live off ramen for months while trying to make it.
5. Work hard knowing results won’t be immediate
When you’re getting your business off the ground, you’re going to be putting in hours and hours of work. And in return? Not a lot! At least during the first few months. The first year of running your business is crucial to your long-term success.
Another important aspect involved in “working hard” is being aware that you’re accountable for everything. There’s no boss breathing down your neck to get something done – which might be good, but it might also create a relaxed attitude that keeps your from being your best, productive self.
6. Break down your business into chunks
Create a solid business plan that breaks up your duties into a timeline and distinct projects. Week 1, get your finances in order. Week 2, set up your social media. Week 3, focus on marketing. While this is just an example, it’s very important to set aside actionable tasks to complete each week. If you simply look at a huge list of to-dos, not only will you be overwhelmed, you’re also not using your time effectively.
It’s not easy running your own business but with the right strategy, you can make the most of your side hustle and say goodbye to clocking in once and for all.