Going Full Time With Your Side Business– When is it the Right Time?

Turning your side income into a full time income is arguably one of the most fulfilling experiences. The day you decide to quit your job and go full time with your side business will be a day that you’ll remember forever. For me that day is yet to come. For many of you reading this that day has long come and gone.

Today I wanted to discuss blogging. Many aspiring full time bloggers read Studenomics. I myself would love to blog full time one day (either that or become a professional beer tester).

Trent Hamm of The Simple Dollar was was kind enough to take a few moments out of his busy schedule to add a few thoughts to this project.

Me: You have discussed in the past how on top of your already rigorous writing schedule, a few times a week you go to the library and conduct massive amounts of research. Did you expect to work this hard when you transitioned to full time blogging? To go along with this, what would you like to tell any 20-something that’s interested in making money from blogging?

Trent: I knew what the work load was before I made that choice because I was already largely doing it in conjunction with a separate full time job. Choosing to blog full time basically freed up about 55 hours a week.

If you want your blog to be successful, it has to be about something you’re passionate enough about to write about every single day for years. If you can’t see yourself doing that, blogging is not going to work for you.

Me: You are a published author of one book and have another book coming out. Besides the obvious benefit of income that is derived from blogging, what are some of the other benefits of blogging that 20 -somethings need to consider going forward?

Trent: Those three areas are quite beneficial, but the biggest advantage of having a popular blog with a large audience is that you essentially get crowdsourced advice for whatever question you might have. If I have some issue I’m struggling with, all I have to do is write about it and I’m inundated with tons of suggestions, many of them good ones. I do this constantly, often doing it when it doesn’t seem direct at all.

Once again I must apologize to the get rich quick crowd. Trent’s responses must be a stinger. Quitting your job to turn your side income into a full time income isn’t a breeze. It involves more than figuring out what beach you will lay on tomorrow.

If you’re still interested with going full time with you side business, then please continue reading…

After speaking with many pro bloggers and internet entrepreneurs I derived interesting results. There were three conditions that most of these internet money makers mentioned where you’ll know it’s the right time to go full time with your side hustle:

1. When the income is high but an extra kick is needed.

According to the money makers I spoke with–You’ll eventually get to the point where your side income is producing a phenomenal income (either hovering around your current income or surpassing it) and a little more time is needed to kill it.

2. You got money saved up.

Call it an emergency fund. Call it an entrepreneur fund. Call it bank account 1029438101. Call it whatever you want as long as you have the money saved up. The one thing that I absolutely loathe about “make money” or “get rich quick” gurus is the casual tone they have with quitting your job. Yeah, you know the routine: “Quit your job to follow your passions and everything will be okay.”

Are you kidding me? Do these people not realize how scary it is to quit a job and lose a steady source of income? Having a family and bills coming in makes this process much more scarier.

I would love to promote the feel-good stories of those that quit their jobs and bounced back with an amazing business venture, but I don’t want to spread that type of thinking. That’s simply the “survivorship bias.” Unless you create the next Facebook, you need money saved up. Having money saved up will alleviate much of the stress that comes with transitioning from employee to entrepreneur.

3. Your job is interfering with your side business.

It seems like many internet entrepreneurs reached the point where they wanted to spend all of their time on their side business and their work simply became an inconvenience. I know that new internet money makers will feel the same way but there’s a one key difference– both careers should be paying you about the same amount of money. The next key point here is that you’re totally in love with one career, while the other is your temporary bread winner, but not a true passion of yours.

If your day job and your side hustle are paying you roughly the same amount of money, you could be on to something. Factor this in with the fact that both are negatively affecting each other instead of complimenting each other, you’ll know the time is right to transition to full-time with your side business.

Do you have a side income stream? If you do, then at what stage are you guys at presently?

12 thoughts on “Going Full Time With Your Side Business– When is it the Right Time?”

  1. I have a side income and I like that way things are going now.

    My main job gives me so much security, great pay and full benefits at a low price.

    My side job gives me play money: vacations, upgrade my computer, good weekends with my family

    I can have my cake and it eat too. I have the perfect balance

    1. I love the balance you’ve setup! That’s my current goal with my side income. I’m happy with earning extra money for fun stuff. Fun stuff in your 20s involves stuff like my gym membership, trips down south, and going out with friends.

  2. Very good post.

    One point I’d like to make is that I don’t think you need to earn the equivalent to your full-time job before going pro unless you are living paycheck to paycheck.

    It’s not unreasonable to assume that you will be able to grow your business at a quicker rate if you have more time to work on it. If your side income is enough to scrape by on then anytime after that might be ok to quit the main job since it is likely that you will increase that side income fairly rapidly and get it up to your old income within a few years.

    1. There’s never a guarantee that all expenses will go down. As you mentioned eating out is an added expense. I’m also sure that you’ll start to justify the purchase of more subscriptions and technology over time.

    2. That’s a fair assumption to make. The problem then becomes your risk tolerance. Some people couldn’t imagine living a life where their salary and raises aren’t planned well ahead of time. It’s easy for someone my age to take some risks or to survive during dry months. It’s much more difficult once you get older and the responsibilities pile up.

      Where do you feel your risk tolerance stands when it comes to quitting your full time job? Have you considered this option?

      1. Good question MD. I have no intentions of quitting my day job anytime soon regardless of how much the biz makes.

        For one thing my two little kids are at home which would make it impossible to work there. 🙂

        Secondly – at this point I want to improve our financial position ie pay off the mortgage, max out rrsps etc. Having more income obviously helps with this desire.

        I’m fine with my day job because it’s a short commute, not too demanding and people are nice there.

  3. Great article. I especially like the “survivorship bias” angle. I totally agree that there’s definitely a lot of misconceptions on quitting your job and making your side income full-time.

    I too am working full time as a mainframe programmer for a credit card company and hosting a personal finance site Rich Money Habits on the side. I love my job and I think I’m doing ok with it. My blog is just starting out so I definitely am not at the stage where I can comfortably quit my job and just focus on blogging.

    Good luck and more power to your site!

  4. I REALLY like doing both: full time job, and blogging.

    If I had to blog full-time, or on a regular schedule, I’m SURE I would be less interested in blogging. It’s all about balance.

    I’m surprised how easy it is to make money through a blog, which is why after part 1 of the Yakezie Challenge is over this July, all who are already in are going to part 2, some of it is to make 4-figures a month pretty handily.

    EVERYBODY should start a blog! It’s fun, and why not make an extra buck or two for side money!

    1. I believe the thinking here is that, “the grass is always greener on the other side.” Most of us that blog part-time feel that we could get so much more done if we did it full-time. Many that make the leap to full-time blogging find themselves to be more productive and devoted to variety of projects. Then there’s the others (probably where I would fall) that get the same amount of work done and spend time on random stuff.

      This also ties into the “making more money” equation. Once we start earning a little bit of money from blogging we feel that if we devoted more time to it, we could make more money. I am yet to see a correlation. More time on blogging usually just leads to more time on commenting on blog posts and interacting with my fellow bloggers.

  5. I really enjoy doing both. Although, at some point, I would like to be making enough money from blogging to have a viable choice.

    The reason I would like to keep my day job right now is because I have a great job. Two years ago, I hated my day job and thought about nothing, except quitting. So, I am feeling very fortunate.

  6. I make enough now from blogging that I think we could get by (barely) if I didn’t have my day job anymore. On the other hand I also have to consider the benefits and extra income I receive from my day job. My wife has some pre-existing health issues that would make getting health coverage outside of my group coverage at work unaffordable. Plus I enjoy my day job and it’s really nice being able to have basically two full time incomes – one from blogging and one from the day job. It’s amazing how much faster you can save when you’ve got 3 full time incomes in a family!

    1. As one of the bloggers that crazily chose to post at least once a day, YES, burnout is a worry.

      As long as I have scheduled posts for at least two weeks in advance, I’m going to keep it up though. If it ever gets hard, I might have to scale back to 3 or 4 posts a week…but so far, so good. 🙂

      I figure that it would be really hard to get burned out on something I’m slightly obsessed with though. LOL.

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