How to Transform Your Side Project into Your Only Project
A golden retriever, 2.5 children, and a white picket fence might be the crowning achievement of your personal life. But in your journey to professional fulfillment, being your own boss is the real dream.
If you’ve already launched a successful (or even a moderately successful) side gig, there’s good news: the gap between dream and reality may not be the Grand Canyon you thought it was. Your dream may be much, much closer than that—a mere crack in the sidewalk.
Turning Your Side Project into Your Only Project will hold your hand through each step of the process, including figuring out if your side project could be a viable full-time gig, networking, and even eliminating distractions as you work for yourself.
You might find yourself saying, “Networking? Eliminating distractions? Those are entrepreneur challenges! I’m not an entrepreneur!”
Well, guess what? Your side project says you have ambition, skill, and a burgeoning client base full of customers who believe in your talents.
It’s time for you to believe, too. It’s time to turn your side project into your only project.
When you start thinking about a ‘project’ as a business, everything changes and great things can happen.David Hauser Co-Founder and CTO of Grasshopper
There’s an entrepreneur right now, scared to death, making excuses, saying, ‘It’s not the right time just yet.’ There’s no such thing as a good timeKevin Plank CEO of Under Armour
Testing the Waters So You Don't Sink
Figuring out if your side project could work doesn't entail an audit of your life. Instead, you only have to answer one important question: can this work? To get your answer, your first step is to stop treating your side project like a side project – and more like a business. This will help you determine if it has the following signs of life:
- Successful word-of-mouth marketing
If your side project doesn't reflect these signs, you may not be ready. If you’re ready to go, don't quit your day job just yet. First, it's important to organize your business and financial plan. This will require you to write an executive summary, draft a budget, conduct market research, and brainstorm your finances.
It's also important to create deadlines for yourself. When you do eventually quit your job, you become your own boss, and it's super easy to lose focus. Deadlines will help you stay accountable.
You've done it. You're now self-employed. Breathe easy because we share real, practical tips for getting your new business off the ground. In addition to the fun stuff like drafting your business plan, you also have to think about essential business items like accounting software, health insurance, and business loans. It's not the fun part of starting your business, but getting it right will put you in the best position from the get-go.
It’s important to get started with marketing your new business right away. Effective marketing and networking can secure your new full-time gig. Effective ways to market your new business include:
- Word of mouth marketing
Successfully marketing your brand will help get your business to the point where it can run itself. That’s why it's important that you take great care when building your website and creating social accounts.
Your website should attract customers and let them know you're a business they can trust. Likewise, you want to brainstorm your social strategy so that it helps you build a community; not just use it to blast your products and services.
Tips to Keeping Your Biz Afloat
Being your own boss awards you with the freedom to work at your own pace. At the same time, there's the challenge of staying motivated and productive. That's why we've included a few tools that will help you run your home business, including:
- Mailing tools
- Phone system solutions
- Virtual meeting solutions
In addition to the tools you'll be working with, you also need to think about WHERE you'll be working. If your kitchen table isn't ideal, you have options such as co-working spaces or renting an office. Both have pros and cons so be sure to do your research first.
When your business takes off and starts growing at a rapid pace, success can start to feel more like stress. There are too many customers to call, too many requests to handle, not enough time for family and more. Stay calm! In this guide, we also cover ways of dealing with your enterprise's growing pains.
Taking the Next Step
Turning your side gig into your full-time mission isn't easy. But this guide will help you with every part of the process; from deciding whether your side-gig will be successful to balancing work and life when you do get your business to success. So what are you waiting for?