When to Turn Your Side-Hustle Into Your Full-Time Gig

business career Mar 11, 2020

Have you been sitting at your desk daydreaming about long lazy days working for yourself, calling the shots, and doing what you love? If you already started some type of side-hustle and are wondering when's the best time to turn your part-time hustle into a full-time gig, then you'll want to check out my latest segment on AM Northwest Morning Show.

 Here are the highlights for you:

  1. Be honest with yourself and assess if you're truly ready to shift from an employee mindset to an entrepreneurial mindset.

Once you start working for yourself, there’s only one person responsible for your success: Y-O-U.  Most people think when they work themselves they’ll work less or that every day will be an absolute joy, but being a full-time entrepreneur is hard work and not for the faint of heart.

First you have to determine whether you really want to do you side-hustle full-time. There may be a reason you'll exploring this creative outlet on a part-time basis. Get clear on whether or not you want this to existence 24/7.

Second, new entrepreneurs always underestimate the amount of work it takes to start a new business and what little income you'll initially receive in return.  As an employee, you trade time for money, but as an entrepreneur you trade value for money. Time doesn't initially translate into currency, because much of your time will be used to build the groundwork of your business while wearing many different hats.

For example, you'll do HR, marketing, sales, customers service deliveries, administrative work and even your own mail service.  As employees we kind of live in a bubble because when we have a question, we can walk down the hall and ask someone, or we can head to the fully stocked supply room when necessary, and if something goes wrong with our tech, we can simple call IT.

So prepare yourself and be honest about whether or not you’re a hard worker, accountable, ok with doing grunt work, and can deal with the many challenges that will inevitably come your way. 

2. Get your financial life in order.

Get clear on exactly what you need to in the bank before you can make your side gig your full-time gig. A good rule of thumb is to have enough savings to live on for about six months without income. 

As an entrepreneur, the money coming into your business is not your salary or income, but business revenue. Out of that pool of money you'll have to pay taxes, business expenses, and put aside some for profit and to pay yourself a salary. This is one of the BIGGEST challenges for new entrepreneurs.

As an employee, when you get that $5000 paycheck it's all yours after taxes. However, as an entrepreneur, once you pay out your business expenses, profit and taxes, that $5000 payment from a client can possible translate to about $100 of salary or income for you.

Remember, hours spent working on your business are NOT income generating hours, meaning you won't be getting paid for it. So, plan ahead. 

3. Hone your process and perfect your systems.

Set up and streamline your business structure, processes and systems now while you have the time. You'll want to get this critical part of your business organized and in order so it runs more efficiently once you start full-time. 

Also, be sure you create a schedule for when you’ll work IN your business (doing client/customer work) and when you’ll work ON your business designing, planning, refining your business (the non-revenue predicting activities) so you can maximize your income producing activities. Streamlining your systems will help you out a lot.

4. Get a good coach and surround yourself with a tribe of people who get your new lifestyle.

Entrepreneurialism can be an isolating experiencing, particularly in the beginning. Your friends won’t understand why you can’t go to lunch, out for drinks, or take a quick weekend getaway while you’re initially building your business.

In order to keep you from feeling isolated, and going a little crazy, find a like-minded tribe of people who get what you’re going through and can provide a source of information and inspiration.

Also, get a good coach. You'll want to find someone who has been where you’re you are and currently has a business that you’d love to emulate. It will definitely be an investment, but one that will save you considerable time and money in the long-run.


I’m not trying to dissuade you from entrepreneurial life because personally, I love every minute of it. So take this as a reality check. There are some massive benefits to building a business, particularly once you gain momentum. Most people give up, however, because they underestimate the shifts they have to make to be successful.

I know moving away from full-time employment can be scary, but it’s totally doable if you don’t underestimate the work involved or romanticize entrepreneurial life. When the time is right, you can step into your entrepreneurial dream with confidence.

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