More and more millennials have a side hustle – a project that they work on in the evenings or on weekends, alongside their full-time job. In fact, a survey by Go Daddy found that half of all millennials have a passion project on the side. If you’ve been plugging away at both your side hustle and full-time job for years, it’s easy to miss the crucial point at which it makes financial sense to go full time with your side gig. We want to make sure you’re not making this mistake, so here are five signs that it’s time to turn your side hustle into a full-time job.
You’ve become better known for your expertise in your side gig
If you’re attracting the attention of employers, media outlets, clients and anyone else because of the skills and expert knowledge you use in your side gig, that’s a sign that you’ve built a personal brand that’s strong enough to create solid and steady work from your side hustle.
But this will only work for you if you think laterally. While physically doing your side gig may not pay well, consulting, speaking, writing expert opinion pieces and tutoring others on it could all bring in a sizeable income.
Be careful to not miss opportunities that will let you turn this aspect of your side hustle into a full-time business, simply because your 9-to-5 is keeping you busy.
You’re turning away work because your full-time job is getting in the way
If you’re receiving work offers for your side hustle, but you can’t find enough hours in the day to do it, it’s time for a self-audit.
Add up how much money you would make by saying yes to the opportunities you’re currently turning away. Is it enough for you to live on? If so, it’s time to seriously consider going full time with your side hustle.
While it may not be equal to the pay you’re currently getting from your full-time job, remember that when you start working on your side hustle full time, you will create momentum and get more and more work. This, in turn, will grow to bring you the income you’re currently getting from your full-time job. But you can’t do that unless you nurture your side hustle.
Constantly turning away work just as interest is starting to pick up could kill your side hustle before it hits that crucial stage.
You have a solid business idea and enough money to grow it full time
You may believe that your side hustle needs to be fully profitable before you can focus on it full time, however, that’s not realistic. Few entrepreneurs manage to hit the big time with their side hustle without first focusing on it full-time.
But we know that you need an income to survive while you grow your business; so how can you find the time to grow your business without sacrificing your steady paycheck?
A good solution is to get your side hustle up and running while in your full-time job. Then focus on saving enough money to survive on for 6 to 12 months. Once your savings hit that amount, you can comfortably leave your full-time job to focus on growing your side hustle.
If you’ve got this amount of money saved up and you’ve validated your side hustle and know it’s a viable and profitable business idea, you’re good to go.
You’ve got enough connections to work as a freelancer while you grow your side hustle
If your side hustle is outgrowing your 9-to-5, why not switch things around? Focus the bulk of your attention on your side hustle and turn your day job into your side hustle.
Going freelance is the best way to do this.
Float the idea with your current employer – will they let you work part-time or on a freelance basis?
Look through your current and past employers, colleagues and professional contacts. Are there any that you did a great job for and can confidently approach for freelance work? If you can line up a couple of regular freelance clients, you may find you can bring in enough money to live on each month, while freeing up the bulk of your days to work on your former side hustle.
(Side note, check out our list of lesser-known freelance job websites to help you get work as a freelancer.)
Your gut tells you, you can make this work
All the planning in the world cannot beat your intuition.
Sometimes you just know that you can make your side hustle into something great IF you give it your full attention.
If it’s all you can think about, you have validated your idea and you have a plan for growing your side hustle into a business, it may be time to just go for it.
You don’t have to go broke in the process. Take full advantage of business grants, loans, competitions, accelerator programmes and sponsorship packages to make sure you have enough money to grow your business and keep food on the table.
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