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Turning your Side Hustle into your Main Hustle :: Things to do before you quit your Full-time job

Bold & Pop : Turning your Side Hustle into your Main Hustle :: Things to do before you quit your Full-time job

You’ve long dreamt of turning your passions into a career but the details on making that happen have always been a little fuzzy. Cue your brand new side hustle. The term has been thrown around a lot in today’s world, but what exactly does that mean and how can it help you turn your dream life into your real life? A side hustle is a hobby or interest turned part-time business with goals of getting your feet wet in, while also maintaining another job. For many, starting a side hustle will be just what they need to fill their passions, but for others, it may be looked at as a stepping stone at creating a full-time career. If you’re in the latter group, this post is for you. As someone who has been down this path before, something I get asked a lot is, “how do you turn your side hustle into your main hustle?” So today I'm talking about just that!

Set a Schedule

When you decide to start a side hustle, time management will be key to your success. When a solid 8-10 hours (give or take for your commute) has already been accounted for, planning your tasks for each day will become increasingly important. As you start out, sit down and take a good look at the amount of time you have available and what you can realistically dedicate to your new project. There may be 24 hours in a day, but you need to make sure to allow for adequate rest, your family and friends, and other obligations. While we all like to think we’re superman and woman, the truth is, you want your side hustle to be sustainable so that you don’t burn out after the first few months. You know that phrase this is a marathon, not a sprint? Totally applies to building a side hustle. Building a business is A LOT of work that will take some sacrifice, but you shouldn’t have to give up your whole life. Think about the big picture when you’re creating a schedule.

Something else that I think is important to mention is making sure none of the time you have accounted for your business overlaps with the time at your full-time job. When you are starting your own business while employed somewhere else, make sure you aren’t violating any employment agreements you’ve signed. If you can be open with your superiors about what you’re doing that’s great, but that’s certainly not always an option. Take the time to review your contracts and make sure you are giving 100% of your attention to your commitments to avoid any sticky situations later.

Maximize Your Off-Time

Now that you’ve identified the amount of time you can dedicate to your side hustle, it’s time to maximize your time. While it’s not always necessary to build a full business plan, I do suggest setting goals and actionable steps to reach them (both short and long-term). Then, each week try and break those goals into smaller items so that you have a clear focus on what you would like to accomplish.

Something really great about managing a side hustle while you still have a full-time job is it gives you more wiggle room to sort out some key processes without the full risk. This means nailing down your:

  • Branding, website and social media channels
  • Taking care of business licenses/accounting needs
  • Business goals and education
  • Product and service development
  • Pricing and business systems
  • Building your community

While you may want to run off to the races, now is the perfect time to really nail down your vision and the logistics while there’s a little less pressure. This will help build a strong foundation from the start and help you down the road.

Make Use of Networking Opportunities

One of the most beneficial things you can do while building your side hustle is learning and connecting with others. Do some research to find like-minded individuals and read their blogs, watch webinars, and introduce yourself — whether that’s in-person or through social media. Not only will the community you grow be a support system and sounding board for your journey, but it may also be a place where you’ll connect with future clients and customers. Just like friendships, a lot of relationships take time to develop so now is the perfect time to focus on this aspect. Here are some of my favorite places to meet others:

  • Instagram Networking: I can’t tell you how many business owners I’ve connected with just from finding them on Instagram. Consider searching hashtags to find accounts you’d be interested in connecting with and engage with their posts. Maybe you’ll also follow their blog or other social media channels as well.
  • Facebook Groups: There are so many great Facebook Groups for almost every interest and a ton for entrepreneurs and small business owners (including ours, the #BoldBossTribe!). Do a little research on some popular ones and join. You can start by watching the dialogue taking place and pop in on conversations when you have something valuable to say or have a question. Because these groups are interest based, they become a well of knowledge and potential for networking.
  • Twitter Chats: If Twitter is more your jam, consider looking for Twitter chats related to your industry. These can be a great place to meet others because it’s usually a smaller group than those you may connect on other channels, making it a little easier to connect directly.

Save Up Those Dollar Bills

While it may seem like the world is full of overnight successes, the truth is you can’t always bank on that. You might not double or triple your corporate salary in 3 months or make 10k months right off the bat. Truth bomb, we certainly didn't! Building a successful business takes HARD work and it doesn’t stop once you become full-time. If you have the opportunity to plan for your transition, do! While you have a steady income source, now is the time to build up your savings. If you are able, cut back on some of your extra expenses and stash it in the bank instead.

While it’s not the most glamourous side of building a business, money can be a big stress factor. Great when you have it and stressful as heck when you’re in a bind. Relieve some of that pressure if you can by saving up before going full-time. It may sound like a lot (and many do it with much less) but personally, I recommend having at least 6 months of living expenses saved before taking the jump. Something a lot of people don’t talk about is how inconsistent your income may be at the beginning. You may crush it one month, but the next month may be slow, or maybe a project doubles its original timeline. Not having a paycheck every week or few weeks is certainly an adjustment so having some savings as a cushion will make the process much easier.

Plan for Your Jump

So you’ve worked your butt off and you’re starting to make progress in your side hustle. Now what? When do you know it’s the right time to put in notice at your job and go full-time? The golden ticket question! To be completely honest, that’s a tricky one. My advice comes in two pieces 1.) when you have a solid amount of savings that gives you flexibility to give your business your full attention and 2.) when you hit the point of max capacity where you can no longer take on additional projects/sales without the quality of your work suffering. You will get to a point where you will max out on the time you can work on your business while working a 9-5 (and keep your sanity). By which you’ll need to evaluate if you will be able to make a living if you had more time to invest in your business, or if you need to adjust your model to do so.

Setting milestones, whether those are income or separate goals, will help you know when you might be ready to make the jump. Will that mean you’ll be 100% ready when you hit those goals or milestones? No one is ever completely ready for a big change, but all that you have accomplished will make it a much smoother transition. Sometimes life will have other plans and will push you along your path a little faster than expected too -- like our story! The key is all about planning for what you can and trusting your instincts when you have to.

Everyone’s path will be a little different, but it’s important to remember how every step forward you make now in your side hustle, will save you time and lessons learned later in your business journey. The key to taking your side hustle to a full-time business is truly passion. Give it your all, learn, make mistakes, and most important — don’t give up! Juggling multiple jobs and making sacrifices may feel tough in the short-term, but if you give it your all and learn as you go you too can live your dream life.

P.S. Exciting news! We launched a free #BoldBossTribe Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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#BoldBossTribe :: Catherine Hildner

Bold & Pop :: #BoldBossTribe Feature with Catherine Hildner Founder of Kitty Meow: A Creative Boutique
Bold & Pop :: #BoldBossTribe Feature with Catherine Hildner Founder of Kitty Meow: A Creative Boutique

Tell us your bold boss story!: 

Bold & Pop :: #BoldBossTribe Feature with Catherine Hildner Founder of Kitty Meow: A Creative Boutique

Hello! My name is Catherine and I’m a designer of beautiful paper goods with my biz, Kitty Meow: A Creative Boutique. I’m about to launch a total rehaul of my brand where you can shop stationery based on your mood. Feeling a little witty and saucy? I got you! Looking for sweet sentiments instead? I got you too, girlfriend. 

When I graduated from college with a degree in graphic design I packed up my Honda Accord and moved from Illinois to Las Vegas. I didn’t have a job but my cousin lived there and thought it would be dream job city. I worked for a bunch of years in advertising for some of Las Vegas’ hottest nightclubs and hotels. While it was a fun job in my early 20s it soon became taxing on my soul.

I started to build up my invitation business on the side and that consisted of a few lonely designs in a little Etsy shop. I hustled really hard and after about a year took the plunge to quit my 9-5. It was so freeing but scary and lonely at the same time. My husband’s, then boyfriend, job moved us out of Las Vegas to Phoenix. In the 3.5 years we’ve been married we’ve gone from Las Vegas, Phoenix, LA, and currently Seattle.

All those moves and 2 baby girls later we are looking to settle back in the Midwest really soon. It’s been really challenging to juggle new cities and babies, but I am so grateful to be able to take my business with me wherever we go. It’s a piece of me and I’m damn proud to work hard for something I can call my own.

We're all about bold boss moments, tell us about one of yours!: 

Bold boss moments? Oh wow! I feel like I’ve been living in a constant of bold boss moments in the past few months. After the birth of my second babe in under two years I told myself it was time to make it big or take a step back from my business completely. I felt like I was being a bad mom and bad business owner. My husband decided to take severance from a job after 14 years because they wanted us to move AGAIN and we finally said no go. I wanted to use this gift from God of him being home with our girls to really see if I can make it happen for my beloved Kitty Meow Boutique. 

I took the plunge and hired the business coach I’ve been dreaming about, Bonnie from B is for Bonnie Design. I pulled the plug and made the investment on an awesome new website with Rachel from Intentionally Designed. After attending TradeShow Bootcamp I’m looking to launch into wholesale and made the investment in custom product photography from Bethanne Arthur Photography. I’ve been designing up so many new invitations and greeting cards, making connections with other creatives, doing collaborations, planning effective copywriting, and so much more. I’m even taking new head shots with Danielle Motif Photography to replace the before kiddos pics I’m currently using. My new website even has an education page that highlights my passion to share my smarts with other creatives and be a speaker at Creative events. 

For once I’m being strategic about all my planning and not flying by the seat of my pants. I should have done all of these things “the right way” years ago, but live and learn I guess! The fancy new Kitty Meow website launches on June 6th and I’m so proud to show the world a piece of who I truly am! I’m done being afraid or thinking people might not care. I care! And I’m ready to put it out there. I hope you'll celebrate with me and check it out!! 

What advice or words of encouragement do you have for the Bold Boss Tribe?: 

Just go for it! It’s scary but you don’t have to go it alone. Find your people and lift each other up. Life is too short to not do the things that get you fired up. What gets you fired up might not fire up everyone but that’s absolutely ok! Your audience is out there. For real! Go find them right now. 

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

P.S. Exciting news! We launched a free #BoldBossTribe Facebook Group and would love for you to join us! Come on over!

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2018 Harlem EatUp! Website Design

Bold & Pop : Harlem EatUp! Squarespace Website Design

Last year we were so lucky to have the opportunity to redesign the website for the Harlem EatUp! food festival and we were equally as lucky this year to help them make some tweaks and get everything in tip top shape before the festival's fourth year operating! 

The Project:

The Design:

While a huge chunk of this project was updating the site with this years events and participants, we also made some design adjustments to help make it a little more user-friendly and highlight their main events. Here are some of the adjustments we made this year: 

  • Removed the colored overlay from banner images to give a more crisp, clean look
  • Integrated a new ticketing system that would be embedded into the website
  • Created a testimonial banner on the homepage using reviews from past attendees
  • Created a graphics grid on the homepage to highlight each event type with additional information on that event when a user hovers over the graphic
  • Created landing pages for both their Dine-In Series and The Stroll
  • Created a dropdown for the events in the navigation 
  • Integrated an interactive map in conjunction with their founding sponsor, Citi

Here's a look at how it all turned out: 

Bold & Pop : Harlem EatUp! Squarespace Website Design

One of the main events during Harlem EatUp! is The Stroll. This actually has 3 sections and the Harlem EatUp! team wanted to make it very clear what was included in each section. Because of this, we created their landing page as an index to highlight the difference between each section.

Bold & Pop : Harlem EatUp! Squarespace Website Design

We also created a different landing page for all of the events so visitors could easily see the events by date as well as the most important info like the chefs and pricing. 

If users click on the category buttons on this page, they will then land on the landing page that we built for each of these particular events.

Bold & Pop : Harlem EatUp! Squarespace Website Design

A few design and functionality changes and we had a whole new site for the Harlem EatUp! team! We really liked the improvements in usability. Festival attendees will now be able to more easily find tickets to the dinners they are interested in or information on The Stroll as well. And of course, it was a pleasure working with such an amazing team! 

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