I’ve been telling a little white lie for the past five months. I don’t think it’s time to change my name to Pinocchio, but I do think it’s time to come clean.
I tell people that I went full-time freelance in June 2016, but technically that’s not true. Additionally, I kept a side hustle that I work at about 16 hours a week. It’s steady money that I know will get deposited in my bank account every two weeks. While freelancing has a lot of benefits, it can be feast or famine out there sometimes.
Knowing when to let go and fully immerse yourself in your business isn’t always crystal clear. It’s scary to fall into uncertainty. It’s scary to take a risk on yourself.
I quit my full-time job in June because I knew that my heart wasn’t in the work, and there was a hard ceiling on the money I could earn there. At that point, I had been freelancing for awhile already and had clients I regularly worked with.
I knew I could make close to my full-time income with freelancing only, and with my side hustle thrown in, my income would barely shift. Diversifying your income is a powerful barrier to becoming broke.
Knowing this was a huge help. I also had already checked off big financial goals for the year before I took the plunge. I had maxed out my IRA and I had saved up for a vacation I was taking in the fall. At the time, I had no major goals in front of me. This made walking away from steady pay easier.
All these factors combined told me it was the right time to walk away from my full-time job. But when is the right time to walk away from my side hustle?
The right time for me to leave my side hustle seems like it’s quickly approaching. I’m making more money hourly from writing than I am from my side hustle. I’m getting paid regularly. If this keeps on for a few more months, it’ll be time to make the leap.
There’s no checklist that applies to everyone. The time to take a chance is the time to take a chance. Poetic, right? It sounds silly, but you’ll know when you need to focus on you. If you find your side hustle becoming a distraction from your real work, you know it’s time to leave. If your freelancing income overtakes your side hustle, you know it’s time to leave. Even if your side hustle makes you miserable, you know it’s time to leave.
For me, I know that I have a savings buffer, steady client work, and a desire to grow into the world of writing. My side hustle is in the food service industry. I don’t feel passionate about that. I don’t want to spend any more time growing in that direction.
Ask yourself what you’re willing to struggle for, and what you’re willing to give up to get it. That’s where you start when you’re trying to figure out when to take a chance on yourself.