This is a question that I think a lot of people should ask themselves when they’re looking to make that large important transition in their life from full-time employment to side hustle, because it’s not easy.
Lots of goals and targets need to be set before taking the leap. This decision can either go very right or very wrong and the last thing you want to be doing is jumping ship and then 3 months down the line be begging for your job back.
We are currently in a time where life has felt as if it has slowed down and many people out there have had the time to think whether or not they truly enjoy their job, or if its worth trying to push that side hustle they’ve been working on.
In this article I want tell you my story and how I made the leap from full-time employment, which I might have to add was at a “dream job” to a side hustle that was only making £1,000 a month.
The job I had before making the leap was a lot of fun, I produced some great content that I was proud of and met some incredible people. But it wasn’t challenging enough, and there was no way for me to “climb the ladder” looking for promotions in hopes to enhance my career.
My “side hustle” started way back in 2010, I just didn’t know it then. This was a small YouTube channel where I would review phone cases, and cheap technology products. I did this as a hobby for years, not thinking anything of it, but slowly after many years of persistence it went from earning £50 a month, to £1,000+.
While making this channel I never thought of doing it full-time, it was just a bit of fun in my spare time in hopes to receive some free products. It wasn’t until about 2016 (I was 24) that I knew I wanted to work for myself. I was fed up of switching jobs, asking for holiday, exchanging time for money and being bored out of my brains in order to pay the bills.
So I tried starting a wide number of businesses but 99% of them failed. I honestly think in my life time I have attempted close to 100 businesses, or ways to make money. I’ve always chucked ideas at the board and hope something stuck.
I believe in doing this, failure leads to success. The more you fail, the more you learn.
It wasn’t until 2018 between jobs and start-ups that something stuck, and stuck well. This was a camper van blog I founded called Van Clan.
I started working on it daily, taking my laptop into work to sneak off to a coffee shop at lunch in order to write articles, or schedule social posts. I lived and breathed this brand for 2 whole years.
This project even got me fired from a job because it was outgrowing the companies social brand I was working for. They eventually tried to blackmail me into handing it over because apparently “what you do in your spare time belongs to us”.
They said “hand it over or you’re fired”, and that was the exact moment I said to myself, my side projects are more valuable to me than any job. Jobs come and go, side hustles do not, they’re mine, nobody elses. So they fired me.
This motivated me so much that I got a new job somewhere far more valuable, and worked on my side hustle until it grew so big that it was taking up so much of my time that i had to take the leap.
The side hustle plateaued, and I knew I could take it to the next level if I put more time into it. But the job i was at currently was incredibly fun, it was something I enjoyed and the team were awesome.
So I told myself to try and move up the ladder within 6 months, that could be a promotion, or a pay rise. If my employer did neither, I would leave.
The 6 months mark came, I worked my ass off, and I eventually emailed higher up the “chain” asking for a £4K pay rise and a promotion.
Their response was “we can’t give you a promotion, but we can give you a different job title and a £3.5K pay rise”.
Goodbye I said.
Then that’s when the adventure really started. I was the only one putting food on my table. Not my job, me.
My leap sounds pretty easy, but I can assure you I had many goals in place before I jumped and it was far from easy.
If you’re looking to take the leap from full time employment to your side hustle, I recommend the following:
- Your side hustle must be earning at least £1,000 a month.
- You have at least 3 months worth of rent/bills in your bank.
- Have made a strategic 3 month plan for continued/increased growth.
- Trust your side hustle with your life… literally.
To quickly cover these points, your side hustle MUST be bringing in revenue, they call it a “leap” because there’s something there to save you, if you have a side hustle that isn’t earning £1,000 that “something” isn’t there, you’ll land face first.
It’s also smart to have some money in your bank to keep you afloat for at least 3 months, plan for your side hustle to make £0 for a few months, and then you won’t be surprised when it does, or if something goes wrong. This also just helps you relax and focus knowing that you have a life line.
And finally, you have to trust in your side hustle and know darn well that if you put 40+ hours into a month, you can make enough to money to pay your bills.
If all of these are in place, then you’re ready to make the leap. It might go wrong, but it might go incredibly well and it will be the best thing you’ve ever done, trust me.
The reason I only say 3 months savings before jumping is because I really do feel that a little bit of pressure will force you to work your ass off. This will then show you what you are really capable of.
This worked for me, and still to this day, the first 3 months of being self-employed is the hardest I’ve ever worked in my life, and it paid off.
I landed a big sponsorship deal a few weeks after leaving my job, which led me do a lot of filming in the USA about camper van tours. I created about 30 articles and over 15 Youtube videos in a single week.
In the first 3 months of self employment I made more than I would have in a year at my old job. This was the kick up the butt I needed, and although that was incredibly lucky of me, it gave me the motivation I needed to know that I can do it on my own.
No way do I hit those kind of revenue numbers now, but I felt as if it was the big reward for doing what I’ve always wanted to do, and that’s work for myself on my own terms.
No more asking my boss for holiday to see my family, no more having to do work that doesn’t motivate me and no more making someone else money. Now I make myself money. It might not be a lot, but it feels so fucking good.