Transition from side hustling to full time freelancing

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You’ve been willing to start freelancing for some time but it never feels like the right time? You feel like you’re lacking a knowledge and practice? You don’t know where to start and how to deal with it? Let’s take a look at how you can transition to a full time freelancing now!

The transition from an office life to a full time freelancing is a big step! For some, it really might feel like the mission impossible. But, to be honest, it’s actually not. The most important thing is to take the first step! That’s exactly why I’m here. Let’s start, shall we?

 

MY BACKGROUND STORY

After graduating from high-school I traveled for a while without a big clue where I’m going and what’s my plan for this life in general. When I got back to Latvia after traveling for a while, I started to work as part-time PR manager/graphic designer in this art class studio that offered me plenty of options and actually I should say that only because of this job I am where I am today.

Although it wasn’t truly an ”office job” and it wasn’t full time, it gave me my weekly income that were trustful and… well… weekly. I always knew what I can expect, how to plan my budget and what I can afford. Later on, my side hustle came in – my own design and PR projects. And there were more and more each month. Great!

But how to balance my incomes and plan my budget now?

At that time, I was planning to travel more and start living the digital nomad lifestyle – travel while being on the road. The whole budget planning wouldn’t be as hard if I wouldn’t make this big transition in my life. So I had to get my story straight and understand what the hell will I do with all this!

Further on, I’m giving you an insight in how I got on the right track, left my “office job” and started freelancing full time because, hey, you CAN do that as well!




PLAN

1. SAVE

No surprises here. You should get some savings and by “savings” I don’t even mean plenty of money. All you need is some safety money. The meaning of the safety is very different for many of us. For me, this amount is equal to three-month living without any doubts about income. So even if some horrifying-lack-of-job period visits my schedule, I’ll be prepared for some vacation!

2. MORE THAN ONE SOURCE OF INCOME

It’s definitely not super safe to work with only one client even if this client is paying your bills. We all know that. But there is some other side of this part of the plan. More than one option as in more than one field to work in. For me, that was graphic design and PR. For someone that could be design and editing. For others – whatever is your call, be it a completely different or somehow related to your field. Even if you prefer to do one thing and believe in “being the master of one craft”, you should prepare some other skillset, some other option. It’s not bad to know more! And you never know when the need to use the other skill to get the roof over your head will kick in.

3. PASSIVE INCOME

Advice old as the oldest Freelancer book… Prepare some passive income! I can’t be very useful in this one since I don’t really have any of myself, BUT I have ideas and whenever the time will come, I will make them happen. Whether it’s your e-book or some designs on Etsy… The subscription fee for your newsletter goodies or Stock photo ‘market’ – prepare something that will always be there, even if it doesn’t make a real difference, you never know when it can be truly useful!

P.S. You can read more topics about Passive income over here

But.. what else besides money is important to be kept in mind when leaving your office job and becoming a full time freelancer?

PRODUCTIVITY

Ability to schedule your own way to success is truly important in freelancing (or running your own business, whatever you prefer). Previously I’ve written about How to get your work week done in 2 days and Start doing instead of planning but there are plenty more topics to look through. How to get rid of daily distractions? How to get out of bed before lunchtime? I had to get my way through these questions and made somehow pretty productive daily life, but whenever you’re just starting out – pay a lot of attention to this!

ORGANIZATION

So far you had your boss who told how things need to be done, but now it’s on your own. How you will handle your clients, how you will manage your service offers, invoices, payments, schedules and… well… everything. Find what works the best for you! I would suggest to check out a variety of app options that could help you manage your Invoices and Tax information, schedule things on Buffer or Hootsuite (read more about which one to choose here).

Here you can read about some more apps I like to use for Organization (and next step as well).

SANITY

Freelancers tend to be willing to work-all-the-time! And I’m not kidding. Take a look at freelancers around you. The ones who are seriously into the thing they’re doing – are seriously into that. And it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is. BUT although most of them somehow manage to stay sane… And how is that possible with this amount of work? In a variety of ways.

Once again – you can use any of apps that can help you. For example Inboxpause. It will stop your e-mails for coming in. Do you have an urge to check your mail all the time? Put this on and there will be nothing to see! Forest will motivate you to leave your phone alone. And there are tons of other similar tricks to try out!

Although, you can do things in the good old way – by taking some time off. But I have to be honest – at some point, it will seem like mission impossible. If your mind is melting and things are not happening, you just have to. Run, read, cook – whatever is your call. You have to take off some time for yourself. That’s a must for a successful business!

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Projects, contract job or whatever your prefer. It’s still a topic and now it always will be. How will you get your projects? Do you have trustful clients with great referrals? Are you offering your service “manually” or looking for remote jobs through a variety of search engines? What will you do when you’ll be tired of that? Any other options? Never forget to think further than your horizon expands. There will always be more!

 

I’ve also opened the enrollment for my online course “Ready… Set… Start freelancing!” Make sure to check it out if you’re just getting into freelancing! 

What hardships are you experiencing while transitioning to full time freelancing? Let me know & I’ll be happy to help!

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, I love this post! I took my side hustling of writing full-time last year after saving and, well, being thrown in at the deep end. I realised quickly that there are a whole load more things to worry about than simply finding money – but that’s all part of the fun, right?!

    • I can only agree with you & after all that’s the main part – to have fun while doing what we love!

      Have the best luck in creating what you believe in, Lizzie!

  2. Great Post! As a freelancer my biggest struggle has always been trying to switch off and get away from work. I always have new ideas and things that I want to do. Often this keeps me up at night or wakes me up early in the morning. Meditating and actively forcing myself to do something distracting like play sport or watch a movie has helped a lot.

    • Thank you for your nice feedback!

      I can only agree with you – pushing yourself towards actually NOT doing the job, is pretty rough! But somehow that’s actually the best part, right?

  3. "productivity tips that doesn’t work", seriously? Please please correct this awful grammar mistake… Jeez, if you want to be a writer, start with proper language.

    • Thank you for noticing my mistake!

      Although I should add that I’m not trying to be a writer, I’m just enjoying the blog writing.

      Have a lovely weekend!

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