Very few people are fortunate enough to find a “9 to 5” that they thoroughly fall in love with. And with the major boom in digital retail, technology, and crowd-funding, it is easier than ever to turn your hobby, craft, or idea into a side hustle.
But what happens when that side hustle starts to feel like the real thing? How do you pinpoint the moment when your grandiose dream becomes reality? How do you know it’s time to take the next step, and what does it take to become an entrepreneur?
First thing’s first: Beat the self-doubt.
Do not listen to that little voice in the back of your head telling you it’s impossible. It will say that it all has to be perfect or that you need to get your ducks in a row before you begin. If you believe in your business and yourself, then others will too.
“The hardest part about making a move on that first, blind step is always pushing thru the negativity. Not necessarily in yourself – but in all of the what-if’s. The riskiest part in my transition was always always boiled down to guaranteed income and steady work. But by the end of the day, my mantra continued to be (and still is) “you can get a job anywhere if this doesn’t pan out.” – Jessi Knipe, Owner of LovelyPixels
But be realistic…
Pick the right business for you. It goes without saying that you should feel passionate about your work. If the money runs dry, the only thing that will feed your business is the hunger you have for the project. You are going to eat, sleep and breathe it – so make sure it’s something you love. Ask yourself: What will excite me and motivate me to get up and keep going?
Build your savings and don’t quit your day job just yet. Chances are good that you will not draw a salary for the first few years of your new business. Have a six-month cushion (at least) in savings to pay your bills, and learn how to manage your money. Try the Mint app to track your finances!
Finally, scale your business the right way. With growing access to peer-to-peer crowdfunding and venture startup funds, it’s easy to get glassy-eyed and fall for temptation. You don’t need to inject a ton of money into your business immediately. In many ways, our investor-backed culture glamorizes and blindly encourages it. However, slow and organic growth is often the best because it’s stable and keeps your business in check during those crucial first years.
Make a plan.
We all love the story about the entrepreneur who quit their job in a manic moment with nothing more than a bucket of luck and a stroke of genius, who found success with their own business. However, most companies do not start that way. By-and-large, successful businesses are cultivated through careful planning. Entrepreneurs work quietly behind the scenes laying the groundwork before launching their new career.
Stay motivated. Continue to hustle. Find your community. The most valued asset any soloprenuer can have is a tribe of other self-starters and entrepreneurs that fuel the fire.