Simply over a yr in the past, I joined the rising ranks of execs leaving salaried positions behind to take their side hustles full-time. On the time, I knew I used to be in for a yr of ups and downs and accelerated skilled progress—however I nonetheless wasn’t fairly ready for the way the yr would unfold.

Within the months since, my freelance copywriting enterprise hit six figures, so it’s protected to say my leap of religion paid off. I discovered my footing because the yr advanced, however I did study some sudden classes alongside the way in which. In case your aspect hustle is on its technique to turning into your important hustle, listed here are the issues I want I knew a yr in the past!

“Working holidays” aren’t holidays—simply take the day without work!

Once I used to dream of my freelance life, “working holidays” have been one of many important perks I appeared ahead to. I assumed it was superb that freelancers may pack up their laptops, jet world wide, and work from wherever, anytime. I couldn’t wait to start out crossing new locations off my journey bucket record—no PTO required.

It seems that it’s straightforward—possibly too straightforward—to combine work and leisure time whenever you make the foundations. This yr, I’ve discovered that working holidays are literally the worst elements of labor and the worst elements of holidays. As an alternative of the idyllic model I had in my head, I discovered that working from a brand new place largely meant my “trip” by no means actually grew to become a trip.

As an alternative of blending work and pleasure, I now want to get the work accomplished suddenly and take shorter holidays which might be actually day without work. When you’re nice at working from totally different environments and assume you’ll be able to get pleasure from your new locale throughout off hours, give it a shot and see what occurs. However if you happen to thrive on routine and like holidays to really feel like holidays, conserving them separate is best.

Lesson discovered: simply since you can work from wherever doesn’t imply you ought to!

Progress received’t at all times be linear

Earlier than quitting my full-time job, my side hustle had a number of record-breaking months in a row. It was straightforward to consider that trajectory would proceed, however it didn’t. As an alternative of constant to extend my earnings every month, I hit a plateau for the primary few months of my solopreneur journey. Later within the yr, I even had a number of of my slowest months thus far.

side hustle to full time income
A take a look at the move of Alexa’s freelance revenue

Trying again, it is smart that my progress was extra risky as time went on. Whenever you begin one thing new, each little enchancment or information increase can have a serious influence in your progress and income. However as you get extra of these small classes out of the way in which, it will get more durable to push the envelope each single month. And that’s okay! Now, I want to have a look at quarterly income as a substitute of month-to-month income to account for a few of that volatility month-to-month.

My quarterly numbers pattern optimistic, so I don’t fear an excessive amount of a couple of down month right here and there. every quarter holistically additionally helps me discover tendencies in seasonality (my enterprise is slowest in the summertime, for instance), take day without work with out my objectives taking a serious hit, and decide to progress methods that will not generate outcomes immediately. The extra risky your trade, the extra I’d suggest an extended timeline for evaluating success.

Your well-being is a enterprise asset

Whereas I used to be constructing my aspect hustle, I used to be so targeted on progress that I ran myself into the bottom making an attempt to make issues work. I had one clear objective as my end line: to earn as a lot (or extra) from my aspect hustle as I used to be bringing in from my wage. In consequence, I used to be typically working 12-hour days to hit that milestone whereas maintaining with my full-time job.

That dedication could have been high quality for a time, however it wasn’t designed to be sustainable. Now that I’ve dedicated to my enterprise for the lengthy haul, my well-being is likely one of the components that decide whether or not I succeed or not. If I get burnt out and fall behind, my work suffers—and there’s nobody else to choose up the slack. Staying forward of my very own wellness and prioritizing stability are the keys to creating certain I can present up and provides my shoppers my greatest work long-term.

My takeaway? Fill your individual cup as you attain your online business objectives quite than ready till you burn out (or attain an arbitrary success metric) to “earn” your relaxation. Whenever you run your individual enterprise, it’s a marathon, not a dash!

You don’t need to hold normal 9–5 hours

Once I left my full-time job to strike out alone, I knew that 9–5 hours weren’t my very best work schedule. Regardless of that, it felt like what I used to be “supposed” to do, so I compelled myself onto that timeline for weeks earlier than realizing I may make my very own guidelines.

I personally work greatest with one chunk of labor early within the morning, an extended break (and sometimes a nap!) within the afternoon, and one other chunk of labor later within the day. I used to be by no means very productive throughout the afternoon stoop within the workplace, so now I work that into my schedule as pre-planned downtime.

time management freelancer
A take a look at Alexa’s weekly schedule

Since adopting this schedule, I’m rather more productive than I used to be on the 9-5 observe, and I really work much less. I undoubtedly ought to have applied my very own schedule earlier within the transition course of.

Whenever you set your individual schedule, it’s essential to consider whenever you do your greatest work, what different priorities you wish to match into your day, and when shoppers may anticipate to listen to from you. If that leads to a 9–5 workday, that’s nice—however it may not. The very best a part of proudly owning a enterprise is throwing out the rule e-book on what you’re “supposed” to do altogether. As an alternative, take into consideration what really works greatest for you and your life, and arrange your online business practices accordingly.

Closing ideas

In the end, it’s been an thrilling yr of non-public {and professional} progress, and I’m not giving up my solopreneur way of life anytime quickly. However, for the yr forward, I’ll do issues a bit otherwise: take actual holidays, concentrate on quarterly progress, put money into my very own well-being, and ditch the 9–5 schedule.

If your aspect hustle is nearly prepared for the large leagues, study from my errors and implement these classes sooner quite than later. I promise you’ll be glad you probably did!

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