For those of you that follow along closely, I don’t think it’s a secret that I am now blogging full time and working part-time at the hospital (PRN, so 4 shifts a month). More on that later because that was definitely a stressful decision. But today I want to talk about how to turn your side-hustle into a full-time job. Everyone’s experience is different but these are some of the steps I took and my best advice on the topic!
My first piece of advice is to try and be patient. I totally get how it is when you have a passion project and you love doing it day in and day out–so much, that, you just want to quit your full-time job to pursue your passion all day every day. Because after all, how are you supposed to grow your side-hustle if you don’t have the time to really pursue it?
I hear you.
But, unfortunately in the real world there are bills to pay and when you start your own business, all of the sudden your health insurance is gone, you don’t have paid vacation, you don’t have a steady paycheck, and you don’t have a 401k anymore. Leaving your full-time job to start your own business sounds super exciting, and it definitely is (well, can be), but it is also fucking scary. All the perks of your 9-5 are suddenly gone, and you need to have your shit together before you jump ship.
So tips on how to do that.
My first piece of advice is to set aside time every day to work on your side hustle. In the beginning, especially, it’s not pretty. You’re going to have to sacrifice time with friends, watching your favorite show to unwind after a long day, sleeping in on Sunday’s, etc. Granted, not every moment of every week has to be a sacrifice but know that sacrifices are going to have to happen if you truly want to turn your side-hustle into your full-time business. At the end of the day, the more time you devote to your side-hustle each week, the quicker it will get you to your goal of going full time (in theory).
However, remember that things don’t happen overnight. I worked full-time at the hospital for 3 years, and the days that I wasn’t working a 12-hour shift, I was pretty much working a 12-hour shift at home working on turning my blog and brand into what it is today. There were so many days I wanted to leave the hospital sooner but I knew I needed to be patient, keep my head down, and keep hustling each day! Remember, that there are no quick fixes–things that are worth having take work. So you have to know that even though it’s going to take a lot of time and effort, that the end will be worth it.
That said, here are some things I did during those 3 years to help me make the transition.
First, scale down your hours slowly (if possible). You don’t want to go from working at 40 hour work week at the office to all the sudden working full time for yourself. As a nurse, a standard work week is 3-12 hour shifts. I did this for the first year I worked as a nurse. Then going into my second and third year, I scaled down to work 3-12 hour shifts one week, and 2-12 hour shifts the next. Then after being there for 3 years, I scaled down to work 4 12-hour shifts a month. Scaling down to the 4 shifts a month was a big decision because I knew I would lose all benefits and that was one of the biggest weights on my shoulders. So before taking this last step, there were a few other things I did that I would definitely recommend.
Second–have 6 months of expenses (minimum) in savings. If shit hits the fan the day after you quit your full-time job you don’t want to be in panic mode. You want to know that you have money to hold you over for at least the next 6 months.
My next piece of advice is to make sure that you and your spouse (if this is applicable) are on the same page and have an understanding of how your life may change when this transition happens. Stephen and I were in a unique position because he is in school full time and my income is our only income. So for me to work full-time as a blogger was definitely something we had to discuss and that I needed his emotional support with. Disclaimer–Stephen encouraged me to take my blog full time a year ago, he has always been supportive. But as a sole income, I wanted to do everything in my power to set us up for success beforehand (enough savings, signed contracts in brand deals, ideas on my own products, etc). My point is, as many “highs” as there are as being your own boss it’s not all glamorous and can get stressful. So before leaving your full-time job behind, you and your partner need to be on the same page.
All in all, remember that even though the days can be long, and that starting your own business is scary, it IS possible. Show up each day, put in the work and I promise that things will happen for you!!
Any other questions on this topic feel free to drop them below! xxC