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Just a Hobby? Make the Leap From Side Hustle to Full Time Gig

While the pandemic made life difficult in so many ways, it also opened a window of unique business opportunities. Factors like unreliable jobs, extra lockdown hours and low-income resources accelerated people toward a business mindset.

This contributed to the ever-increasing rate of side hustles; and a stat that might shock you: 44% of Americans have at least one side job.

These side gigs begin as passion projects, allowing people to showcase their creativity, pick up new skills and make some extra cash on the side. But then what? The side hustle evolves into a full-time gig and BAM! you’re your own boss.

Scary? Yes.
Exciting? Definitely.

But it’s also invigorating, and knowing the right tactics on when and how to make the jump can help alleviate any anxiety you might feel about turning a side hustle into the real deal.

1. Time to Get Your Time Game On Point

What’s the missing ingredient to your success recipe? For SO many, it’s time management. Most of us have a case of time management amnesia and let’s face it, wasting time is easier than eating your weight in pizza. So, to start this off right, track every single minute and identify where your day goes to waste.

Also, Cut the time suckers.

We all have ‘em. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, time-wasting activities like scrolling aimlessly on social media have got to go. Instead, redirect focus to your side hustle and watch it flourish. As someone who works with social media daily, I know the platforms well. But I shy away from them intentionally because I know how much time they can waste.

2. The 80-20 Rule: The Root of All Scaling

Ready for a life hack that outshines them all? Apply the 80-20 rule to your side hustle — it’ll change your life. Using this principle, pin down the 20% of your efforts that generate 80% of your results:

  • Productivity: Entrepreneurs often find that 80% of their productivity comes from 20% of their efforts.
  • Sales: Oftentimes, 80% of a company's revenue comes from 20% of its customers. Identify and nurture these high-value customers.
  • Marketing: 80% of the results often come from 20% of the marketing efforts. Focus on the most effective marketing channels and strategies will optimize your marketing budget and generate better returns on investment.
  • Time management: 80% of your time is spent on tasks that contribute to only 20% of your desired outcomes (or income). By prioritizing tasks based on their potential impact and delegating or outsourcing less critical tasks, you can make better use of your time and resources.

3. Take an Hour to Plan and Crush It

Everything looks easier when organized, right? That’s why it’s essential for you to take the first hour of each day to plan. No gadgets, no distractions, just your notebook and pen. Trust me, investing this time will pay off in the long run.

We discussed using the technique in a previous Vertical Drives post.

4. The Big Decision: When to Say Goodbye to Your 9-to-5

Think the time’s right to kiss your day job goodbye? Take a deep breath, and don't let fear stop you. Ask yourself this:

  • Are you crushing more with your side job than your day job?
  • Is your side hustle’s revenue consistently outpacing your day job's?
  • Do you have enough saved for at least six months?
  • Are you obsessively passionate about your hustle grind?

If you shouted “YES” to all three, then it’s game on.

5. Scaling Your Business

When you’re starting out with your full-time business, you’ll have to work not only hard but also smart. Many people think they’ll get double returns if they work twice as much on their business. Yes, time is one accelerating factor, but business organization and strategizing are equally important.

Put all your efforts into creating as much efficiency and ease as possible so you’re fully prepared when demand for your product or service increases. Outline your current work procedures, then put systems and processes in place to streamline.

Automating different processes and digitizing work can be a useful strategy, especially because there are tons of automated tools available for marketing, social media and accounting. Getting a virtual assistant might be of great help as well.

6. Build a Strong Network

Building a strong customer base and gaining support from business experts are critical components for achieving success in entrepreneurship. Networking is an excellent way to achieve this goal. Establishing solid professional relationships with satisfied customers and other business owners is crucial for navigating the complex business realm. Also, they often lead to valuable referrals.

Although entrepreneurship can feel isolating, a solid network can provide invaluable support and enable success. Networking can also be advantageous for finding business partners or mentors who bring new skills, expertise, or capital to the table.

Let’s Get It

Transitioning from a part-time side hustle to a thriving small business requires hard work, smart effort, accountability and sound business operations.

Achieving success won’t be easy, but the rewards are significant and worth the effort in the end. You won’t regret it 🚀

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