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If there’s one thing that bonds people in the modern-day it’s the side-hustle. Everyone seems to have a side-hustle these days. From Etsy shops to art stores, web design to freelance copywriting, sustainable swimming trunks to children’s books – side-hustles are now more common than colds. In fact, a recent study shows that just over half of all millennials are busy with some kind of side hustle, and two of the most standout reasons for this is a) to keep pushing a long-held passion or b) to boost their income.
Of course, that’s not the only reason people are running a sideshow. From our experience, another majorly massive motivator is all to do with people wanting out of their 9-5. One of the most desirable things for people these days is to leave the grind behind and start working for themselves doing something they are genuinely interested in. Most people know that it’s not easy and that there needs to be a serious investment made into their side-hustle, but knowing they might be able to eventually make it their full-time gig is enough to keep pushing on with it. The trick is knowing when you’re ready? Knowing when you’ve got far enough to turn your side hustle into your full-time money-maker, and with confidence.
That’s what we’re going to delve into.
Having recently sat down with a few entrepreneurs who made a success of their side-hustles, we learned what it took to finally take the plunge. So, without further ado, here’s how to know you’re ready to drop your mindless career and run with your passion-project:
- Your Financials Look Good
Like we said at the beginning, there are a million types of side-hustles in a thousand different industries. But one of the things that joins them all together on the hunt for success is, no matter what side-hustle you have taken up, your financials need to be ready before you can take the leap. The problem is: no one makes a bunch of cash right from the get-go and, for some, it’s an investment or a loan that really gets things going. That said, your aim should be to have at least a few months rent in your bank account, a good credit score and some savings you can fall back on. Once you have this, you can confidently take the plunge knowing that you have some cash behind you to keep pushing your side-hustle in the right direction.
- You’re Getting Attention
For almost every freelancer, grabbing the spotlight and shining it on your work is a battle like no other. You know you need to gain some attention for the work you have completed on different projects, putting your collaborations up on Instagram and putting up spec work online. The issue with this is, it’s you forcing people to look. It’s necessary, but it’s not enough to make you take the leap. What you want to know is that your side hustle work is starting to gain attention. You want to see your passion projects start to become a talking point where people contact you about this or that, or your work starts to get online likes. That’s where the Instagram and Facebook thing can really help. There are so many examples of people that have put stuff out on Instagram, kept up at it, learned how to market themselves through these channels and turned their passion into a full-time gig. That’s what you need to do. You need to sell your passion. Then, when you start noticing that these passion projects are turning into paydays of some kind – job offers, commissioned pieces, repeat clients etc – the feedback on your customer satisfaction tool is a great read and your online following is growing, you can rest easy in the knowledge your side-hustle is ready to become full-time.
- You Motivate Yourself
Going from an employed person that has to be somewhere at a certain time to a freelancer that relies on your own get-up and go is one of the toughest transitions anyone can make. All of a sudden, once you start working for yourself, you become the only person responsible for your success. There’s no team, no support, no backroom staff – nothing but you. That means you have to become a super-self-starter that’s proactive, you need to know how to best motivate yourself, when you work best, what sort of routines keep you grounded and moving forward and what sort of rewards keep you focused. And only once you have all this sussed out will you if you’re ready to go full-time with your side-hustle. Ask any entrepreneur that’s made it on their own and they’ll tell you the same thing: sure, talent and creative ideas are essential, but they’re nothing if you don’t have self-discipline or that motivation to succeed. As such, nailing this side of the game is so important before you try and take it full-time.
- You Have Business Acumen
Let’s get one thing straight: If you don’t know how to run a business, success is going to be a whole lot harder for you because, after all, you’re trying to start a business. That means getting clued up on all the mistakes and pitfalls out there, knowing what your overheads are, how to keep costs down, the art of pricing your products and services, who your target audience is, having a well-thought-out growth plan, knowing how to market yourself in the big bad world, and what trends are currently taking off. All of this stuff falls under the banner of “business know-how” and the better you can get clued up on it (and that means your market as a whole), the easier the whole full-time transition will become. It will be less knowing if you’re ready and more, “wow, I’ve done it!”
Taking a side-hustle and making it your full-time gig is no easy feat. But it is easier than ever before as proved by the number of people doing it. The trick is having the confidence to know when the time is ready. That’s all.