Tips on taking your side hustle full time
Is your side hustle starting to feel like a second full-time job? Or maybe you’re a stay-at-home mom whose home-based business is taking off, and you want to dedicate more time to it. You’re not alone. According to a study by GoDaddy, more than half of millennials and almost a quarter of baby boomers have a side gig. Overall, 52 per cent of those with a side hustle hope it will eventually become their day job.
As a certified business coach and bestselling author, I teach women how to gradually grow their side hustle every day — so I know how scary taking this next step can be. Before you jump, hear me out: taking your side hustle full-time shouldn’t be a “leap of faith” you make because you’re sick of your day job. It should be the logical next step once you’ve proven your idea is profitable.
Here are five steps to gauge whether you’re ready:
Step 1: Define Your Why
Not having a clear why is like getting in the car without a road map. You’ll drive around aimlessly, and you might end up at someone else’s destination. So, I want you to write out why you’re doing your side hustle — and be specific. Why did you start your business, and why do you want to take it full time? What do you want to happen for yourself and your family as a result of turning your side hustle into your full-time job?
Step 2: Look at the Numbers
Determine the dollar amount your side hustle needs to generate. How much do you need to make so your family can feel good about you leaving your day job, or hiring extra help at home if you’re currently a stay-at-home parent? It doesn’t necessarily have to match the salary of your full-time job if you’re willing and able to live on less. As long as your side business is generating enough personal income for you to live on, you are ready to take the step to full time.
If you’re not sure how to determine that number, I created a Profit Potential tool to help you figure it out. After a few short questions, you’ll know the profit potential of your business, as well as how much money you need to set aside for taxes, whether you need to raise your prices or lower your overhead, etc. You can find this resource on my website at businessboutique.com/profit. Once you’ve determined this number, your next step is to put a plan in place to get there, which brings us to step number three.
Step 3: Set Goals and Make a Plan
I love this quote from Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” It’s so true. Decision-making becomes so much easier when you’ve written down goals that are specific, measurable, and have a time limit. You know exactly where you’re going so every decision is based on what will get you there.
Step 4: Get Help
When you’re first starting out, you’re the CEO: the chief everything officer. But as your side hustle grows into your full-time job, you might need some help. That might look like your kids stuffing envelopes, asking your friends to help you produce more product, hiring a virtual assistant, or finding a part-time babysitter to help at home. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to waive the white flag and ask for the help you need.
Step 5: Do It Scared
There’s never been a better time to start your own business. The annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report estimates that women are starting about 1,821 new US businesses per day, and you could be one of them. Don’t wait until you feel ready, because you probably never will. Fear never fully leaves us, and it shouldn’t. The truth is, fear is often a sign we’re doing something bold.
I want you to be wise and take thoughtful steps towards building your business. But if you’ve defined your why, confirmed the numbers, and made a plan, it’s time to stop waiting and do it scared.
• Christy Wright is the #1 national bestselling author of Business Boutique, host of the Business Boutique Podcast, a Certified Business Coach and a Ramsey Personality with a passion for equipping women with the knowledge they need to successfully grow and run a business. Since joining Ramsey Solutions in 2009, she has spoken to thousands across the country at women’s conferences, national business conferences, Fortune 500 companies and her own sold-out live events. You can follow Christy on Twitter and Instagram @ChristyBWright and online at www.christywright.com or facebook.com/OfficialChristyWright.
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