Do you work full-time but have a side project you’re passionate about? Have you dreamed of growing that side project into a profitable business that empowers you to walk away from your current gig? The idea of striking out on your own is exhilarating, but many people are understandably overwhelmed by the question of how to get there. It takes time and hard work, but it is possible to turn your side hustle into your dream job. Here’s how:
Determine Your Benchmarks
Start by answering a few key questions; How much money do you need to generate each month before you can leave your current job? How much do you need to invest in your business to get it to that point? Approximately how much time will it take you? What elements do you need to put in place to set yourself up for success? Use your free time to do some homework and research the answers to this.
Find a Mentor
You will likely discover that you need help finding those answers, as well as the answers to many other questions that will arise as you work to grow your side business. Turn to experts, such as business consultants and accountants, who can provide help. A mentor is another invaluable resource for a budding business owner.
There are several organizations that specialize in helping small business owners find the right mentor, but you may not need to look that far. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your existing personal and professional networks. Choose someone who has been through the process of building a business and understands your strengths and challenges. A mentor can help keep you accountable, show you how to overcome obstacles, and encourage you when you’re feeling low.
Build a Client Base
Once you’ve laid the foundation, it’s time to start connecting with clients. Don’t let the part-time nature of your business hold you back — client relationships lead to referrals, and referrals lead to revenue. If, for example, you’re working on turning your Amway business into a full-time job, set time aside every week to connect with your existing clients and make new connections. Building a list of clients may take time, but with regular care and attention, your efforts will yield impressive results.
Protect Yourself From Burnout
Building a business while working full-time can mean long hours and late nights. However, it’s important to find a healthy work-life balance. Schedule time to do things you enjoy, from exercise to downtime with the family. Avoid the temptation to keep working until your head hits the desk. In the long run, pacing yourself and avoiding burnout is more productive than pushing yourself too hard.
Celebrate Incremental Success
Quitting your current job may be the goal, but there will be lots of smaller successes along the way. Find ways to celebrate every accomplishment — launching your website, executing a marketing campaign, connecting with a new client. Share each success with the people around you to let them know their support is paying off. These small celebrations are also an opportunity to step back and look at how far you’ve come. Giving yourself credit for the minor achievements will help keep you motivated.
Take the Leap
Ask anyone who has made the transition from side hustle to a full-time job and they will tell you there’s no such thing as the perfect moment to jump. Focus on the big things. Go back to the questions you asked yourself at the start. Check in with your mentor. If the foundation is in place and you’re hitting your financial benchmarks, it’s time to spread your wings and fly.
Starting your own business always involves risk. Even the most successful entrepreneurs have stories of ventures that had floundered.But by planning ahead, putting in the time, and taking care of yourself along the way, you’ll put yourself and your business in the best possible position to find success.