Don’t Quit Your Day Job

July 7, 2021

So you have started a side hustle and are now wondering… When can I quit my job?! 

Your excitement level about this new venture of yours is like a 12/10! I’ve been there, my friend. I totally get it.

You might be shocked to hear that I never recommend quitting your day job — at least not at first! This is a highly strategic move, not to be done in haste or on a whim.

Alisha sitting at desk in front of computer

So, how do you know when to make the move? How can you be working towards turning your side hustle into your full time gig?

I share some tips on how I turned my side hustle with photography into my current full time job over on TikTok, but I’m diving deeper into these steps today on the blog!

@lishcreativeFollowing your dreams is great….until reality hits. Have a plan first! #learnontiktkok #photographytips #biztips #behindthescenes♬ original sound – Alisha Cohen

Side hustling is tough but practical.

When I first started doing photography on the side, I became a master at juggling my full-time day job with the other hours in the day. I would work before and after my “real job” to focus on photography. And let me tell you, it was NOT easy! But it was the most practical way for me to grow my side gig while also keeping up with my day job (which paid the bills).

I commuted for an hour on a train (each way!) and usually had an hour workbreak, so that was 3 hours right there that went towards my business. I also used my evenings and weekends for shoots and editing. Even though I worked my day job for 8 hours, I knew I had 8 other hours in my day to utilize and put towards my side hustle!

Use your day job as support while you build a brand and consistent client base.

Having my day job financially support me until I was ready to take photography full time was HUGE! I didn’t have to stress about paying my bills while growing my business. I knew that no matter how good or bad my photography business was doing, I could rely on my day job to support my expenses and not photography.

photo of desk supplies and business documents, including a booklet titled "growth projection"

That way, I didn’t have unnecessary stress and pressure to perform or produce income in a certain amount of time. When my photography income was consistent enough to replace my day job, that is when I would make the move!

This is super important for creatives. You don’t want to monetize your craft just yet, because it can be very stressful and even impact how much you love what you do! I don’t want that for you.

Come up with an exit plan once you have a steady freelance income. 

Now that you have been juggling your day job alongside your side hustle, it’s time to start thinking about transitioning to your side gig full time!

You want to wait until you have a steady freelance income before you make your exit. The time frame will be individualized and specific to you, but you want to be sure you have built up your portfolio and client list before saying, “BYE!”

neat spread of pink office supplies

I hope that these tips helped give you some guidance around how and when to take your side gig full-time! Growing your business while working your day job can be overwhelming, but it is worth it! 

Make sure you’re making enough money to go full-time!

Of course, the biggest part about going full-time with your side hustle is money. It’s just the way the world works! That’s where pricing your services and offers can make or break your chance to quit your day job.

As creatives, we can tend to avoid the numbers — I did! So, to help you out, I created this plug-and-play pricing spreadsheet to calculate your fixed and variable business costs. Once you use this, you’ll be able to effectively price your services and ensure a profitable business.

Get ready to quit your day job! Download the free pricing calculator here:

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