Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Job: What to Know and How to Do It

Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Job: What to Know and How to Do It

Going from side hustle to full-time web designer was one of the best things to happen to me over the years. But knowing when to quit your job and become an entrepreneur or freelancer is difficult and often times scary. In this blog post, I share with you what I wish I would have known and what I learned from turning my side into my full-time job.

Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Job

Turn Your Side Hustle Into a Full-Time Job

Let me guess, reporting to someone every day and doing exactly what they tell you to do regardless of whether or not it lights your soul on fire was getting old. So you started your side hustle with the dream of making it a full-time business one day.

After all that Googling and YouTubing, you finally felt ready to launch your business and take on clients in the evenings and on the weekends. Getting those first few clients was an amazing feeling because you were choosing who to work with and you were picking what type of work you wanted to do.

But all of your research didn’t prepare you for what would happen when you started working almost every waking minute. It didn’t prepare you for when you no longer had time to cook dinner or hang out with your friends. You’re at a point where you can’t continue with the way things are right now but you don’t know what to do next.

I’ve been there before and this is what I’ve learned about turning your side hustle into a full-time job.

How to know when it’s the right time

There’s no specific amount of time you need to balance your side hustle and a full-time job. Some people spend years balancing their 9-5 and side hustle. Other people quit their full-time job before they even start their side hustle (I just assume those people are oozing confidence). Personally, I spent 8 months working my full-time job and then doing client work in the evenings and on weekends.

I gave myself the goal of 1 year. After 1 year I would either take the leap and turn my side hustle into a full-time business or I would stop the side hustle and start looking for a remote 9-5 position. (Because I had already told myself I would start traveling more.)

Around 7 months into juggling both, I landed a pretty big eCommerce client in my side hustle. That client gave me part-time hours, around 20 hours a week whenever I was ready to quit my 9-5. It was awesome but on top of that, I had another client with 5 hours a week and another client with random work that needed to be done.

Work my 9-5 and 30 hours a week on my side hustle? Not a chance. I like my sleep too much for that. Work my 9-5, 20 hours a week on my side hustle, and increase the hours for the eCommerce client when I was ready to leave my 9-5? Well… when would I “be ready” to leave my 9-5?

That’s when I knew I either needed to quit my 9-5 or quit my side hustle.

There comes a time when you can’t balance everything without burning out, going crazy, or becoming a hermit crab who never leaves their home. So if you’re at that point where burnout seems quite possible, a breakdown is in the near future, or your friends and family can’t remember what you look like… it’s time to decide.

9-5 lifer or turn your side hustle into your full-time job?

Prepare Ahead of Time

If you’re one of the small percentages of people who decide to be a 9-5 lifer isn’t an option… yay! Now it’s time to prepare to turn your side hustle into your full-time job.

The first thing I did was look at my current clients to figure out if I could increase the number of hours I work for them (because I wasn’t fully committed to being a web design studio yet) or if I could raise my prices.

Next, I figured out how many more hours, clients, or projects I needed to take on each month to hit “full-time”. You could do this for an income goal as well. For me, coming out of corporate and having that corporate mindset, it was easier for me to plan based on hours than an income goal. (But that’s changed since then.)

After I knew how many more hours I needed, I figured out where I would find these clients. At that time I was on some freelance platforms so I knew I could apply for projects there. I also commented on A LOT of Facebook posts to find one-off projects.

The last thing I did was plan what days and how many hours each day I was going to work on stuff for my current clients. Knowing that I had a plan in place for finding new clients and a schedule in place for working with my current clients, I felt more confident to take the leap.

Be Confident + Take the Leap

It’s tough but at a certain point, you just have to take the leap. So I did three things.

  1. I called my mom and told her about my plan. I’m married and an adult but I still find comfort in knowing that my mom thinks my plans are a good idea.
  2. Picked the day I was going to give my two-week notice. When I called my mom I knew I needed an exact date I was going to quit my job so I could tell her my full plan. So I picked a date, said it out loud, and made it feel like it was written in stone.
  3. Planned what I was going to tell my boss. I wasn’t comfortable explaining my business at that point so I knew I needed to figure out exactly what I was going to tell my boss. I ended up telling him and his boss that we were planning to travel the country with no end date. It was much easier than explaining that I had been working myself to death for the past 8 months.

Then I took the leap. When the day came to give my notice, I sent an email (long story and definitely not how I wanted to give my two-week notice but sometimes you have no choice). And when my last day at my 9-5 came, I looked at the plan I had created for myself and I stuck to it.

Seems to have worked out pretty well for me so far!

So if you’re at the point where you either need to take the leap and turn your side hustle into your full-time job or accept the fact that you’re a 9-5 lifer, figure out exactly what it is that you want to do, and then go for it. Make a plan, follow it, be confident, and take the leap.

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