Have you been working the 9-to-5 for far too long? Do you have a side-hustle that nourishes your creativity and imagination?

For many entrepreneurs, this is how it all begins: You have a day job as a way to pay the bills, but long for the passion to fuel your fire.

We’ve been seeing more and more people starting their own part-time successes — as a way to stay motivated, engaged and, if you’re lucky, add to your income.

But what happens when the part-time passion begins to feel like it could turn into something more? The idea of doing something you love on a full time basis can be exciting and scary at the same time.

So, the real question is: how do you know when it’s the right time to take the plunge from side-hustle to full-time gig?

With ‘Small Business Month’ in full swing and the entrepreneurial trend on a steady rise, we wanted to outline some tips to consider while taking your business to next level.

Lay a Strong Foundation

Stepping out on your own can be an absolute thrill! But it also comes with its own set of risks. Take the time to construct a carefully considered plan. Get real about your strengths and weaknesses, your strong points as well as your pain points, and things to keep your eye on as you move forward.

Start by defining what success looks like to you. Decide how much income you need to generate to be sustainable, and determine the benchmark goals that will help you get to where you want. Identify where you’re going to need help, and don’t be afraid to ask for it. Then put the right systems and processes in place so you can keep up while your business grows.

Scale Up While Avoiding Burn Out

Soon enough, you’ll understand what people mean when they refer to their business as “the grind”. FACT: owning your own business can be A LOT of work — especially during the first few years when you’re working above and beyond your full time job. You’ll be putting the majority of evenings, weekends and holidays into it… but that’s okay because you’re passionate about it! (And passion goes a long way in this world!)

During this time, it can be easy to put your own self-care on the back-burner. To avoid burnout, try to find at least 30 minutes per day to show yourself some love — through exercise, journaling, reading, etc. These activities help your body and mind to recharge and refocus. By making this a priority, you’ll be stronger and more resilient during the trying times that every business owner faces.

Set Realistic Expectations While You Shift to Full-Time Entrepreneurship

By all means, dream big! But stay level-headed when it comes to setting business goals. For example, it’s probably not the best idea to come up with a business idea, quit your full time job and throw all of your money into it all at once.

Instead, do the research and come up with a realistic timeline to help you get to where you want to go. There’s a reason that you’ll come across many 5 and 10-year business plans. Sometimes that old saying “slow but steady wins the race” rings true.

Jump In!

It’s been a few years working your side-hustle, and it’s slowly become your full-time hustle. You’ve laid the groundwork and you feel confident that the time is now. It’s officially time to jump in!

You may have a little voice telling you to hold onto your steady job. When this happens, try to keep in mind that there’s never going to be the perfect time to leave. If your passion project is showing great promise, you have the proper systems and processes in place and you’re meeting the goals laid out in your plan, there’s a good chance that everything else will fall into place when you’re focusing on it full time. So… go for it! And, enjoy. You’ve worked hard to get here!

Are you passionate about your side-hustle? We’re passionate about it too. Visit your local Interior Savings branch, send us an email, or call us at 1-855-220-2580 to start the process of taking it to the next level.