how to turn your side project into a full-time gig
Six tips to turn your passion into a full time business
Deciding to leave your full time job to pursue your passion project is not an easy decision. It can take years of thoughtful preparation and careful planning! But it’s doable. Just ask us, Jessica Camerata and Cathy Anderson, co-founders of The Blog Societies. After facing a fork in the road in our respective careers, we made the decision to leave our 9-5s to focus full time on our business. Read up on six things we did before taking the leap.
& Cathy Anderson
& Cathy Anderson
- Build your business, then know it inside-out.Make sure you’re setting yourself up for success now. Start by laying the groundwork to establish a strong foundation for your business: your brand. From your logo to your online presence, every step of the brand building process is important. But knowing your brand is just as critical. We’re advocates for our business. No one knows it better or quite like we do. And as business owners, that’s the way it should be.
- Get as much experience as possible in your current job.Don’t write off your full time job just yet. What you’re doing now is exposing you to a variety of experiences and giving you the opportunity to harness key skills, all of which will be invaluable once you make the jump. We had full-fledged careers in sales and writing when we launched The Blog Societies as a side gig. When we finally decided to dive in full time, our experiences gave us an edge as business owners.
- Figure out your finances.Do your future business justice and be honest about your financial situation. Ask yourself the hard questions. How much revenue will you need to make it? What kind of expenses should you anticipate? Will you have more than one stream of revenue? Do you have an emergency fund? We got down to the nitty gritty when it came to forecasting our business finances. We used historical data and made solid calculations to project our income so that when we were ready it was a financially responsible decision.
- Set realistic goals, then celebrate when you achieve them.You’ve heard it time and time again in your career and personal life: set short- and long-term goals. The reality is that they’re key to success, especially when you’re on the path to becoming a full time business owner. Carve out some time to think about what you want to achieve. These can be little goals like hitting publish on your new website and big goals like reaching a certain level of monthly sales. We’re big fans of writing down our goals and then displaying them somewhere as a reminder. This helps serve as a benchmark for success, allowing us to track our growth, and it gives us an excuse to celebrate.
- Give yourself a deadline for taking the leap.Setting the date is ultra important! If you don’t hold yourself accountable, you might never take the plunge into business ownership. Excuses are aplenty. The fear will never go away. But we thoughtfully considered our situations, saved as much money as we could, and gave ourselves a firm deadline. And then we stuck to it! The rest is history.
- Lean on your support system, strategicallyA strong support system—family, friends, colleagues and business acquaintances—is essential to the success of your business. Everyone needs a cheer section! But be cautious about sharing with too many. It’s easy to be swayed by the naysayers, and while it’s good to have a gut-check every once in awhile, the opinions of others shouldn’t keep you from turning your side project into a full time business. Before we launched, we were very strategic with who we confided in. It was natural to want to tell the world our big news, but we chose to only share with those we knew would support us, who understood our business and why we’re so passionate about it.