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What To Consider Before Pursuing Your Side Hustle Full-Time

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Jan. 8 2021, Published 2:40 a.m. ET

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“Good things happen to those who hustle.” That’s according to American diarist Anais Nin, and if recent happenings are a good indicator, she’s not wrong. 

An estimated 57 percent of Americans are believed to have a side hustle, and during the pandemic, one in four women are turning those hustles into bona fide businesses. 

The AllBright Network found that the pandemic had proved to be a catalyst for change. For some turning their side hustle into a full-time business was the result of job loss, but for others, it was the result of having time to re-evaluate their work lives. 

Careers coach Pauline Harley believes women have become more in tune with their career visions, which has prompted many to turn their side project into something bigger.

“Many have had a chance to become more aligned with who they are as a professional,” she explains. “The pandemic has given them some space to reconnect with themselves and their intrinsic motivators to enable them to feel a sense of belonging in what they do. Many women now want to prioritize what matters most.”

What matters most for many is wellbeing and striking that elusive work-life balance, says Harley. “For many women, you will find it’s their physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health and balance they are prioritizing first and foremost. I see many women transition out of long term professions with years of experience into self-employment; this is a recurring theme pandemic aside.”

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Despite the uncertain climate, Harley says, women thinking about upsizing their side hustle into a business should not be deterred.

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The Transition 

“Transitioning into a side hustle full time is always challenging,” she explains. “If it’s consciously aligned with your values, and you have reality checked it based on your lifestyle, you will find a way and make the adjustments needed.”

There are however some things you need to consider before taking the plunge.

“Not feeling worthy of the chance to begin again is a common challenge women face when going into business, so impostor syndrome will show up regularly,” Harley warns.

Concerning yourself with what other people think can also be a stumbling block. “Asking for too many opinions from too many people will result in decision-making paralysis,” Harley notes.

You’ll also need to make sure you can balance procrastination, which can be a common challenge when being your own boss, and manage feelings of isolation, Harley adds.

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First Steps

If you’ve considered all that and you’re ready to go into business full time, Harley says your first step is to get clear on how you plan to work on your business. Her advice is to remember you’re working ON your business not IN it and to not let it consume you. It’s crucial, she adds that you “manage your energy, not your time.”

If you’re the indecisive type, Harley says it’s crucial you don’t ask for too many opinions from others as this will lead to confusion. “Model on one or two people doing similar and that connect with your value and vision for your business and then do it your way,” she suggests

Who you surround yourself with is also important. “Consciously curate your network to serve your business needs and learning instead of spreading yourself thin networking and learning nothing in the process except that you are exhausted from it all,” says Harley.

Finally, “get a good mentor you can trust and do your research well in this regard,” advises Harley. 

In Harley’s opinion, now is as good a time as any to launch your side hustle into a full-time business. “It’s like in staying home [during the pandemic] we have had breakthroughs about our careers and have arrived at a place where we want to prioritize what matters most,” she explains. 

If that sounds like you, heed Harley’s advice – and good luck! 

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