The “side hustle,” has become an iconic part of American life. Fortune reports that nearly half of Americans (49%) report having a side hustle, with 34% of hustlers taking on extra work to increase their disposable income.
A side hustle is often a passion project or a hobby that you are able to monetize, like photography or crafting pallet furniture. However, it is possible to take this skill and turn it into a full-time source of income.
Keep reading if you’re ready to leave your current job and bring your side hustle up to become your main source of income. This guide can provide the resources you need.
Look for market opportunities.
Even if you aren’t sure whether it’s the right time to pursue your side hustle full time, an opportunity might come knocking. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic caused retail sales to plummet as customers stayed home and many companies temporarily closed their doors. This created excess inventory stuck in warehouses that retailers needed to get rid of. This created opportunities for some people who could buy the inventory for an exceptionally low price and resell it for a profit. (To learn more about this process, check out this guide on how to sell liquidation pallets on the side.)
All this is to say that an opportunity might present itself when you least realize it, opening the door to quit your full-time job and invest more in your side hustle.
Invest in your new business.
While you might be able to get by without a website or office space if you have a fun hobby or side hustle, you will need to invest in yourself if you want your new business to thrive. Consider mapping out a business plan and identifying costs that you need to prepare for. Do you need a van in new condition that can transport your materials? Will your customers want to buy merchandise related to your brand? Including these small details can help you get an idea of your expenses.
Once you have a realistic estimate for what your business will cost, consider getting funding from a bank loan. Dress up for your meeting, with some professional leggings for women and a blazer. This shows the bank that you are serious about getting the money you need.
Even if you have a fun and creative side hustle – like an auction curator or accessories maker – you want to put on a professional front when dealing with investors, bankers, and other stakeholders.
Create a plan to leave your current employer.
You may be tempted to quit your job today in order to pursue your side hustle; however, you need to be strategic about when you leave.
First, review your current finances to see how much you need each month to get buy. You may need to save up money until you can earn a full-time income with your side hustle. Next, start growing your side hustle. Determine the number of hours you can work on your hobby each week (typically 10-15 hours) and use this time to expand your client base and further establish your brand. Finally, set a time frame for when you want to quit your current job. This will give you a deadline to work toward.
Following these steps can prevent you from getting burned out on working two jobs while also making the transition to your side hustle easier.
Turning a side hustle into a full-time gig means you are moving from hobbyist to entrepreneur. This is an exciting time and a major step in your life. Take time to prepare for your future so you can grow your career doing something you love.