This article is for anyone thinking about going out on their own during their career.
You may want to start a side hustle and see where it goes. You may want to keep progressing professionally but one day strike out on your own. You may be holding onto the desire to have your own business but you’re not sure what that means just yet.
I have had many coaching conversations about this with professionals, particularly those in their mid-20s to early-30s. This is a wonderful stage where you’ve gained a lot of professional experience in a relatively short space of time, and yet there’s a hunger to make something happen on your own terms.
So whether this desire to go out on your own is faint or strong, here are 3 key considerations to help your thinking.
A side hustle is a business
“Side hustle” has become a popular term as more and more people explore different ways to grow their income.
This is great as it makes the prospect of starting your own side hustle more accessible and less risky.
The flipside though is you may not approach this endeavour with a strong level of conviction.
Saying “I’m starting a business” hits harder than saying “I’m starting a side hustle”.
But that’s what a side hustle is.
Regardless of the term you use or the identity you assume, the bottom line is that if you want to start an endeavour of significance, then embrace it as a significant endeavour from the start.
If you currently have a job that pays a decent income, then making money may not be your top priority when you start your own thing.
You may instead be focused on growing a network, or creating great resources, or making engaging content.
But if you’re really set on eventually going out on your own, then you must be grounded in financial reality because getting someone to give you their money for a product or service is tough.
So the best thing you can do when you commit to a new endeavour is to set yourself a sales target – say $1,000.
Don’t get caught up on wanting your product or service to be “just right”, or having marketing material that “pops”, or figuring out the “perfect” business name.
All of these details will reveal themselves through the active pursuit of finding someone in financial need of what you can provide.
And if $1,000 feels too high, then start with a $100 target.
The first time someone gives you their money is going to feel amazing, and it will provide you with incredible feedback to go after your next sale.
How will you replace your income?
Anyone that starts their own thing should always be thinking about when this endeavour can fully support the lifestyle they have (or want).
You may ultimately be happy with your current role and simply want to explore what it’s like running your own business, and that’s perfectly ok.
But the part of you that wants to start a business will probably also love the thought of it growing to a decent size.
So if you’re going to give something a crack, you might as well keep focused on what it will take for your business to generate a level of income that’s worthwhile.
What will each client pay you for your goods or services?
What does it take to find these clients and satisfy their demand?
How many clients will you need for a certain level of income?
Framing your endeavour around these simple metrics will give you a tangible measure of success which you can consistently work towards.