by Caroline Castrillon, Contributor,
Would you like the financial confidence to live your dreams? I think I hear a resounding, YES! Many Americans are finding that freedom and fulfillment through the development of a side gig. A new Bankrate survey revealed that nearly half of working Americans (45%) report having a gig outside of their primary job. According to another study sponsored by SunTrust, a whopping 81% of people in the U.S. who currently have a side gig are interested in taking it full-time. In Susie Moore’s book, What If It Does Work Out?: How a Side Hustle Can Change Your Life, Moore identifies three essential elements to achieve side hustle success: you love it, you’re good at it and people will pay you for it. If you have those three necessary ingredients and want to turn your side gig into a full-blown career, here are some valuable tips.
Analyze your finances
Analyze your current living expenses and determine how much financial runway you will need before you make the transition. Ideally, you will be able to live off your savings plus the income you are already earning from your side gig for at least a year. It would also be beneficial to forecast how long it will take for you to create a full-time income from just your side gig. Don’t forget to factor in other expenses to grow your business, like marketing costs.
Create a timeline
According to the British Psychological Society, you’re 91% more likely to accomplish something if you give yourself a deadline. Create a detailed plan with specific dates to hold you accountable. Once you decide that it’s the right time to make the transition, stick to your plan! You may also consider working with a coach or mentor during this time to help you cross that all-important bridge.
Starting any business requires hard work and patience. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Make sure you choose a side gig that you’re genuinely passionate and excited about. The more passionate you are, the easier it will be to get your project off the ground and turn it into a viable business. No matter what entrepreneurial path you choose, there are always ups and downs. Just like a marriage, the more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it. Persistence is the key.
Recognize that you can’t know everything
Many people, especially if they’ve worked in a high-powered corporate job for a while, have an “I got this!” attitude. After all, if you can manage multi-million-dollar budgets at the office, how hard can it be to snag ten consulting clients? Wrong! Becoming a successful entrepreneur means being a life-long learner and checking your ego at the door. Be prepared to talk to as many people as you can (who know more than you do) about different aspects of running your business. Don’t hesitate to reach out to coaches and mentors. You may even consider joining a mastermind group to get the input to take your company to the next level. The more humble, persistent and committed you are, the more likely you will succeed.
Just do it
Ultimately, you can do all the planning in the world, but if you don’t take that initial step, nothing is going to happen. You need to feel the fear and do it anyway. There is no perfect time, and most people don’t start with their entire business planned out. In fact, many entrepreneurs will tell you that they didn’t necessarily have a business plan when they started. The goal is progress, not perfection.
Transitioning from a side gig to a full-time business could be the best decision you ever make. Just make sure you go into it with eyes wide open and a realistic attitude.