I'm a firm believer that making a living shouldn't just be about dollar signs, but rather, making your living a lifestyle that you love. Easier said than done, I know, the rent won't pay itself. But I'm betting a lot of you out there who aren't 100% happy in your job have a side hustle that you'd like to eventually make a full time reality? If you're feeling ready to take the leap, make sure to read our tips below.
Setting Financial Expectations
The first (and most obvious) is to have a financial plan in place—and I'm not just talking about paying your bills for the next six months. Do a deep dive into the numbers of your business and give yourself a forecast for the next few years. Can you get off the ground on your own? Do you need an investor? After being laid off from my first job out of college, I thought I could take my side hustle full-time. A business planning course brought me to this hard realization: If I wasn't willing or able to invest in myself, who would want to invest in me? Being an entrepreneur is all about risk taking (and I know lots of people who started out with just a few hundred bucks), but make sure you give yourself a chance to think through those risks before diving in.
Be Ready to Outsource Tasks
Sure, you might kill it on the creative side, but do you have a plan in place for the actual business side of things? Once you make that leap to full time entrepreneur, you might find yourself spending more time on marketing, social media, accounting, website maintenance, etc. which is why a lot of small businesses actually fail. It's important to strike a good balance between the beauty and brains of your business. Outsourcing tasks might be hard to do (financially and mentally), but in the long run it will actually help to grow your biz by allowing you to focus on your passion.
Learn From Your Competitors + Fellow Entrepreneurs
Embracing #CommunityOverCompetition is so, so important when starting your own business. Taking your side hustle full time can be a scary thing! Get your networking on my friend. Talk to other entrepreneurs in your industry and even those not in your industry, but who have successfully made their side hustle a full time reality. The support, knowledge and advice will come in handy because there WILL be ups and downs. Don't be scared to reach out to your role models either—the worst that can happen is they don't respond! But most times, you'll find that fellow entrepreneurs are willing to lend advice and you might actually make life long friends in the process.
Get to Know + Engage With Your Audience
In today's entrepreneurial world, it isn't just important (and professional) to have those social media buttons active on your website—it's crucial to actively engage on social media and get to know your audience. This means investing time and effort in getting to know your readers, users, clients, customers, admirers, etc. Whether you are providing a product or service, there are real people inviting you and your passion into their lives. Get to know them... ask questions, provide incentives or giveaways, reach out, comment back, start a hashtag, repost. Don't have the time? Here's where that outsourcing comes in!