Zoey started creating websites in her spare time. She did it to learn new skills and for her own enjoyment. When she designed a website for her son’s new charter school, she started getting requests from other local businesses to create their sites.
Pretty soon, Zoey was earning a nice side income and began wondering if it was possible to leave her corporate job. Like Zoey, you may have a passion you developed into a tiny income stream. Here are a few questions to ask to determine if you should turn your side hustle into a career…
Are You a Self-Starter?
Some people are internally motivated and driven. They do things even if no one (like a boss) is checking up on them. These people generally don’t need external motivations to reward themselves. They are what’s known as “self-starters”.
Of course, there’s a second group of people who are externally motivated. They need to know others are watching or paying attention in order to get things done. If you know your boss is never going to ask about that project, do you still get it done? Or would it languish at the back of your hard drive never to be seen again?
Self-starters make the best entrepreneurs. That’s because in your own business, no one is standing over your shoulder to make sure the task gets done. You must motivate yourself or your business won’t last very long.
Do You Want to Give Up Your Hobby?
When you do an activity as a side-hustle, there’s a certain amount of freedom. You can walk away from a project that no longer interests you. You can be choosy about which clients you work with or what offers you make to customers.
But once you move from hobby status, the game changes. Now you might stick with a project even if you don’t enjoy it because there’s a paycheck at the end of it. You might take on clients that aren’t in your target market to keep the lights on.
It’s not that turning a side hustle into a full-time gig is a bad thing. Just understand that once you make this move, you no longer have a hobby. You have a business and that means you will have to make decisions as a business owner, not a hobbyist.
Are You Prepared to Take on Your Own Expenses?
Once you make the transition to a full-time business, your expenses will grow substantially. No longer will you be working for a corporation that helps to pay for your health insurance or retirement fund. Additionally, depending on where you live and how you file your income, you may be subject to a much higher tax percentage.
When Lydia considered turning her art into a full-time business, she crunched the numbers first. Although she could handle the taxes and other costs, she couldn’t find a better healthcare plan than the one she had through her full-time job. Since she had a young daughter with a serious medical condition, Lydia opted to stay employed and run her business on the weekends.
Turning your side hustle into a full-time business can be exciting and fun. But do your research first and consider if this is something you truly want to do. You might just discover that a full-time gig is the answer you’ve been waiting for!