Are you thinking about making your side hustle your full-time source of income? Leaving your steady job with a secure salary can be quite scary and, when you finally do the make the move, it shouldn’t be an abrupt decision. Here are 5 tips to help you make this transition as smooth as possible.

Give yourself a deadline

Once you’ve decided to pursue being an entrepreneur full-time, you’ll need to ask yourself when you’d like to do this by. Give yourself a reasonable deadline of about 6 months to a year, so that you’re able to get yourself fully prepared for this huge change. It might also be helpful to give yourself tasks that you’d like to have completed by the end of each month so that you have a few things sorted by the time you make your move. An example of this could be doing a short course to get equipped with a certain skill, or getting a certain number of clients each month.

Keep your expenses to a minimum

Once you know when you’ll be moving, you’ll be able to work out how much you should be saving each month so that you’re not in a financial fix after you’ve left your job. Create a monthly budget that allows you to save up for your business, manage your expenses and spend as little as possible. It’s also a good idea to set up an emergency fund for times when you might not be making as much as you need to meet your monthly commitments.

Set up shop

Making sure that your business is well-equipped and that you’ve set up the basics before leaving your job, is a smart idea. This shouldn’t be a big challenge if you’ve been running your business as a side hustle for a while, but if it’s still in the beginning stages, then you’ll need to make a list of all the things that need to be sorted out - like your logo, social media, website (if necessary), and business cards. Make a list of all the things that are important for you to start running your business, and try get all of them in order before your big deadline.

Lean on your support network

Every entrepreneur needs a strong professional and personal support network. Building your professional network is all about networking and putting yourself out there. You could also look into finding a mentor to give you guidance through the process. Your personal network needs to be a circle of trustworthy, honest friends and family members who’ll be there to encourage you when things aren’t going so well, and to celebrate the big and small achievements with you.

Take the leap

Once you’ve done all your planning and preparation, you’ll need the courage to actually make the big move. You’re going to have to prepare yourself mentally and emotionally for this one, and remember to leave your company on good terms- you never know when you might cross paths with your current employer or colleagues. It’s also important to manage your expectations during the adjusting phase- entrepreneurship can be unpredictable and tough at times. Be prepared for rejection and disappointment, while hoping for the best and remaining consistent.

Leaving your full-time job to venture into the world of self-employment can be really scary, but with proper planning and support, you’ll be able to make this move and thank yourself later for following your dreams.

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