Earlier this year, I quit my job to be a full-time freelance writer and blogger. It had been a long-term goal of mine but I didn’t always feel confident that I would be successful after quitting so that doubt held me back from a freelance career.
According to my original plan, I was supposed to be sticking it out at my traditional job until 2017 and freelancing part time, but I changed my process and it allowed me to make the leap quicker than I had expected.
I won’t keep you in suspense any longer, so I’ll reveal that the one thing I did that made a big impact on me being able to quit my job earlier than expected. I focused solely on tasks that were bringing in the most ROI and dedicated most of my time in that area.
It was easier said than done and I had to do a few things to make sure I was building my business effectively.
If you’re running a side business and you’re eager to go full-time, here are a few things you can do to speed up the process like I did.
Don’t Worry About Being a Jack of All Trades
Diversifying your income is great, but what people often don’t tell you is that the process takes times and you must go step-by-step. Trying to offer a wide variety of services can backfire if you don’t truly specialize in anything.
This is why trying to be a jack of all trades is overrated to me. When you specialize in something and do stellar work in that area, clients and customers will start to familiarize you with that service and they’ll know how to refer you to others. You can also command higher rates since you can prove your worth.
I knew my strength was freelance writing and that’s where I was making all my money from at the time so I chose to focus on that for the time being. I love blogging and want to start offering a financial coaching service but neither of those things were making me money at the time so I had to let them lie dormant for a bit while I built up a solid income that would support myself and my family.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
Comparison can be counterproductive at times. On one end, it’s great to have a massive network and be surrounded by so many successful and inspirational people. On the other end, it can be intimidating and you can start to feel insignificant when you compare yourself to someone else who is doing something completely different from you.
One of my favorite quotes is: “Don’t ever compare your beginning to someone else’s middle”.
Running a business takes so much time and effort and your work day can literally feel like a whirlwind. When you’re comparing yourself to other people, you can be inspired to do more and get some great ideas, but it can also slow your progress down and even stress you out because you can’t possibly do everything at once.
Instead of comparing and trying to mimic what other people are doing with their businesses, you can focus on what works for you and get more done instead.
Get Rid of All Your Time Sucks
Tasks and responsibilities that slow you down or eat away hours that could be used doing productive work are referred to as time sucks.
Time sucks can be anything like browsing on social media, going through spam email, or even binge watching too many television shows.
When you are running a part-time business and still working for a traditional employer full time, it’s important to minimize or eliminate these time sucks so you can get more done and focus on the tasks that allow you to earn more money.
You should track your time to identify any time sucks and choose to either outsource some tasks to someone else or schedule them into your day.
For example, I am a serial email checker. I keep my inbox open all day and check emails continuously. While this can be seen as an asset when communicating with clients, it can also reduce the amount of paid work I’m able to complete during the day.
As a result, I have allowed myself a few 15-minute chunks during the day to check and respond to non-urgent email. That way, I’m not disrupting my workflow every 5 minutes.
Summary: Make the Leap Quicker by Focusing on Your Strengths and Tasks that Generate the Most ROI
Running a successful business you love isn’t all about money, but sometimes you have to follow the money to get things off the ground initially. There’s also only so much time in the day, so you have to focus on your strengths and what’s working best in terms of ROI first to set a solid foundation.
Now that I work for myself and I know that my basic expenses are going to be covered each month because I built up my most profitable service, I can work on whatever side projects I want and establish additional streams of income.
Having a do-it-all attitude is not always the best approach when launching a business because you can wind up getting nothing done as a result. Reach your goals quicker by keeping it simple and focusing on what you do best.