Leaving a secure 9-5 for the uncertainty of entrepreneurship takes guts – and a flair for the dramatic. Those who boldly walk away from comfortable jobs to embrace the freedom of becoming their own boss believe in their dreams, and are willing to risk their financial security and personal comfort for a business idea. Unfortunately, the well-meant drama of quitting a job can backfire on the most passionate entrepreneur, and leave them without a steady income, savings, or the means to pay their accumulated bills. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth noting again: According to statistics provided by the Small Business Administration, about half of all small businesses go under within their first five years – and only a third survive past a decade. It’s all well and good to aspire to entrepreneurial freedom, but is the drama really worth the risk?
The answer? Start a side hustle.
Side hustles allow entrepreneurs the chance to venture into the entrepreneurial field without losing their job security or worrying about their ability to pay their bills at the end of the month. Though many don’t realize it, a full 15% of entrepreneurs begin their business ventures while employed in a full-time position. Moreover, a side-hustler may actually have more freedom than a full-time entrepreneur can afford. As Chris Guillebeau writes in his book, Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days, “When you receive paychecks from different sources, it allows you to take more chances in your regular career. More income means more options. More options equals freedom. You don’t need entrepreneurial experience to launch a profitable side hustle.” By retaining a full-time or part-time job and pursuing their entrepreneurial interests on the side, professionals can retain by flexible and explore their ideas without sacrificing their financial security.
Below, I’ve listed a few tips for those looking to kick off a side hustle.
Work will overwhelm you if you let it. Sit down at the beginning of every week to determine what needs to be done, then plan out when you will complete each task. Set limits for yourself; don’t allow your entrepreneurial pursuits eat away at the time you need to complete your full-time responsibilities. On the flipside, always make sure that you have enough time set aside to keep your side business active. Remember to schedule time to relax and spend time away from your work; otherwise, you might find yourself overwhelmed and unable to continue productively at work.
The last thing a starting entrepreneur needs is for her business to go stagnant. Once you schedule your tasks for the week, stick to them! Otherwise, you might find yourself weeks behind and facing angry employers and clients alike.
Know Your Limits.
Entrepreneurial burnout is real. If you feel yourself becoming overwhelmed or exhausted, consider scaling back your side efforts and taking time for yourself. You probably don’t need the money from your side hustle to live – so consider making a little less for a month or two while you recover from the stress and focus on your full-time efforts. Odds are, you’ll return more productive and creative!