It seems these days almost everybody I know is working some kind of side hustle on top of their full time gig. Some people are paying down school debt by driving for Lyft or Uber. Others are delivering groceries and walking dogs for fun money while many are side hustling just to get by. Fortunately, there’s a lot of folks out there following their passions with side hustles like making crafts for Etsy, freelance writing for Upwork, or joining a network marketing company.
Whatever your side hustle may be, there might come a time when you start thinking to yourself “Can I do this full time?” There is a lot to consider before taking the leap from part time cash to full time dependence, but it’s 100% possible!
Here’s a few questions to ask if you think you’re ready to make some waves in your side hustle and go big:
Is your side hustle something you are truly passionate about?
It may sound a bit corny, but don’t we all dream of someday doing what we love? All too often we get stuck in that job that pays the bills (mostly), has mediocre insurance, and has a consistent (although not ideal) schedule. But then what do we do? We spend.
Our habits match our income and inevitably we can’t risk not having that job. Our side hustle can be a way for us to explore what we are passionate about and maybe add a little cheddar to our fiscal sandwich.
Is your side hustle progressively making more money?
Your side hustle turned out to make you some decent money and it’s consistently making a little more and more. This progression can be a great sign but be very careful that it can be sustained over time.
Are you turning down job offers for your side hustle because your full time gig doesn’t allow you the flexibility? Now, if your full time gig is getting in the way of growing and expanding your side hustle you may want to start giving the switch some serious thought.
Is your side hustle taking over your clear thought at your full time gig?
You’re passionate about your side hustle and you’re seeing your sales/revenue increase steadily. Awesome! But if you find yourself at your full time job and and all you can think of is your side hustle, then you’re not being fair to your employer. Eventually, I had to bring a little ethics into the conversation.
When you aren’t as dedicated to the job you’re doing a disservice to your employer and yourself. Less dedication will definitely lead to a less than stellar performance and that reflects on your professional reputation.
Are You Ready To Take Your Side Hustle Full Time?
Now that you’ve checked a few boxes supporting your decision to turn your side hustle into your full time gig, you have some soul searching to do. Is this really for you? Are you prepared? Are you ready to go all in?
Read the following list and be as honest with yourself as possible. By not considering these questions carefully you’ll only be cheating yourself!
- Are you passionate about it? We’ve covered this one, I’m just double checking.
- Do you have enough money saved? You should have at least 3 months (more is better) in savings to allow you the time to get things up to speed and to weather any unexpected challenges.
- Do you have a strong credit score? Having poor credit can cost you a lot of money in the long run if you need to finance anything for your business; equipment, manufacturing supplies, vehicles, etc. If you plan on taking any loans for your business the high interest that comes with a lower credit rating will cost you or you may not qualify at all.
- Are you motivated? This one is easy to say yes to, but be careful, motivation can waiver. How are you going to stay motivated through the difficult times? I suggest writing a list of what motivates you to do this. Look hard at this and decide if your motivations are sustainable.
- Are you disciplined (really, really, disciplined)? The great news is you get to be responsible for everything, you’re the boss. The bad news is you get to be responsible for everything, you’re the boss. Plan on working twice as long and twice hard as you think you need to. If you get distracted by a Netflix binge you may not want to be your own boss. Squirrel!
- Do you understand the basics of business? Having at least a working knowledge of the fundamentals of operating a business is crucial to your success. If you are an amazing graphic designer but know zip about sales, marketing, taxes, accounting, distribution channels, insurance...you may want to slow it down a bit and do your homework first.
- Are you proud? Having pride in what you do is important. Having too much pride is dangerous. You must be willing to seek the advice and resources of others. Surround yourself with professionals who know more than you do. Hire an accountant, a lawyer, a marketer. And make sure you can afford it.
Even if you're not ready to take it full time yet, print off our free Side Hustle to Full Time checklist
and start keeping track of what you need to make it happen! Just because you aren't ready to make the jump today, doesn't mean it can't happen.
One of the biggest perks to already having a full time gig is that no one is forcing you to hurry. If there are things you don’t know or understand, learn them. Don’t rush it, no good will come of that.
You have a lot to think about and only you will know if you are truly ready to take your side hustle to the next level - a full time gig - YOUR full time gig.