How to Tell You’re Ready to Leave Your Day Job to Pursue Freelancing Full Time
Transitioning your side hustle into a full-time job can be equal parts scary and exciting. In this week's video, I talk about the key things that you need to reflect upon before making the decision to leave your day job so that you are set up for success. In addition to the financial implications of such a move, I also go into the mental and emotional aspects too.
So, you have been freelancing for a while but you are not sure if it is time to leave your day job and pursue freelancing full-time. As someone who has been there, it is one of the scariest aspects of owning your business and honestly, it's never going to be an easy decision to make. I had that decision made for me because I was fired from my position and had to go full-time immediately with my freelance business. In hindsight, it was a huge blessing because I tripled my revenue in the months that followed. Deciding whether or not it's appropriate for you to leave your full-time job and pursue freelancing involves thinking about a couple of different factors.
Consideration #1 - Are you Financially Ready?
So, the first one is financial. Are you generating enough money on a monthly basis where you could replace or exceed your day job income? Now bear in mind that you'll also have to be paying for taxes, you'll have to pay for your health care and any other benefits that are provided by your position. However, you'll be able to cut back a little bit with some of the commuting expenses and probably you are able to eat at home and have a reduced cost there as compared with going into the office and going out for lunch and things like that.
So, definitely you would want to have a financial cushion. In an ideal world, you'll have a couple of months saved up of expenses to make that transition easier for you. However, I have done it without any cushion at all so it definitely is possible if you find yourself in that situation. But you have to be really diligent. So, the first question you got to ask yourself is the financial one. Am I ready to do this? Am I ready to completely create my own pay check?
Consideration #2 - Are you Disciplined Enough?
The next one is all about discipline. If you have been running your freelance business for some time there is a good chance that you already have the experience in being self-disciplined and meeting deadlines. It becomes even more important when you run your own business and you're the only breadwinner bringing home that bacon so you must be able to be disciplined on a regular basis. Because a freelance business is tied to you generating revenue and if you slack off or you think that you can work one hour a day and generate what you are making at your day job, you are likely to find that that's going to be a huge challenge and you are going to end up really frustrated and down about working for yourself. That is the second thing to consider when contemplating whether or not you should leave your day job.
Consideration #3 - how important is it for you to have co-workers around you?
The third thing to think about is how important to you is it to be around other people? For me, I didn't feel like I needed to have that co-worker experience or be around someone all the time in order to feel fulfilled. I liked working by myself; I was in fact better working on projects when I was by myself. So, that was the third way that I knew that I could make this happen.
Consideration #4 - Are you happy where you're at?
The fourth sign that you should start thinking about leaving our day job is if you are really getting aggravated at your day job. Perhaps in the past you just had general complaints or your co-workers got on your nerves every so often. But now that you see the potential of your freelance career, they're driving you completely crazy. The co-worker next to you who hums all day now is grating on your nerves every minute of every day or perhaps you are sighing and feeling aggravated as you get out to go to work every single day. That is a sign that you are feeling more passionate about your freelance business and might do better off working for yourself.
So, something to keep in mind as you think about making that transition because it is lonely to be a freelancer and in particular, a writer, because you don't need to have a lot of phone calls on the books or a lot of meetings with clients so you want to be sure that you are comfortable with this slightly more isolated lifestyle. You might want to work from a public place a couple of times a week or join some networking groups etc. in order to really start to push yourself out there and to get comfortable with it.
Consideration #5 - Does the prospect of freelancing full-time excite you?
And the final reason that it is time for you to leave your day job and pursue freelancing is because you are ready to take that next step. There is this inner knowing that comes with having built your business for some time, seeing income replicated month over month and really feeling like you can make this work. And it is not something I can describe any clearer than that but you will know it when you feel it. You are no longer excited by your day job. You are willing to take that leap of faith and you are excited to see where you go with freelancing.
Now I have got some other videos and trainings about what to do if you want to stay in your day job and whether or not that is possible as well, so check that out. But if you are looking to scale from doing this part time to doing it full-time, it's completely possible. It was the best thing that ever happened to my business and I am so grateful honestly, that I had that experience because it pushed me to expand my freelance business exponentially. I would love to hear questions you have about making the transition from freelancing part time to full-time.
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