I recently was a guest on The Power of Part Time TV, an online show dedicated to entrepreneurs with a “side hustle”. The side hustle is very common, as even I was once a part-time entrepreneur. A lot of entrepreneurs have greater aspirations for their careers and hope to make the transformation from part time entrepreneur to full time CEO. So how would someone go about deciding when it’s time to make the switch?
I think first you have to make sure you have a viable business and that there is demand for your product. Of course you go into business to do what you love but what you love might not make money. That’s going to be a problem if you’re thinking about quitting your job. On the other hand, if you start selling your product at trade shows on the weekends or out of the trunk of your car and people are eating it up, then you know you may have something. Validating your business is crucial, and it’s especially important before you make any decisions with major financial implications.
Once you get some market validation and decide you want to keep going with it, make sure to get your house in order if you haven’t already. I mean your “legal” house. Register your business, apply for your tax accounts, and get legal and accounting help as needed. Ideally you would have taken care of this first thing, but that is not the case for many people. If you haven’t spent some time on this already, don’t put it off any longer. It’s a lot easier to take care of these items now while you’re still relatively new, rather than go back and try to fix a mess down the road.
As you start to see more and more revenue come in, continue to focus on growth. Eventually you’ll be asking yourself at what point to you replace your job income with your business income. On the one hand, your job will take up a lot of your time that you could otherwise be spending on your business. On the other hand, your job gives you income so that perhaps you can use more of the revenue of the business to grow. Decisions.
Ultimately you’re going to come to a point where you have to make the leap into working on your startup full-time. Yes, you’ll be losing a paycheck, but you’ll be gaining 40+ hours a week of time to devote to your business. I’m not alone in the belief that startups are a 24 hour a day job. I think a lot of people find themselves shackled to the golden handcuffs and need to break free. Do your homework and prepare for the unexpected, but then just take the leap and once you do, never look back. Have the attitude that you will succeed and enjoy what will likely be the most challenging and exhilarating experience of your life.
Now let’s hear your story. Share your experiences making the transition in the comments below!