It’s often said, if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work.
People who love their work are envied by those who trudge to the workplace dreadful about what the day might bring.
Do you have a side gig that already makes you some money? If you often wish you did a different job, pay attention: Your heart might be saying to focus on your side gig and push to make it your full-time career.
Your starting point
Starting from square one in any profession is challenging. If your side gig already makes you money, even if the earnings aren’t much, see if you can evolve from a hobby into a full-time source of income.
But if you’ve never made money that way, you’ll need to do a lot of research. Seek people who are successful at what you want to do. Ask them how they started. Query them about the good and bad sides of the profession. Dig out the real story. Help them define their paths so you might follow.
You may want to up and quit your job to pursue your dream career. To bolster your chance of success, you must be practical. Consider important factors like how much you’ll have to pay for health insurance and set aside for taxes.
Your transition will have fewer hiccups if you already have money to sustain you while you get your new career rolling. Experts recommend three to six months’ worth of expenses plus your existing savings account as a good start. Consulting with a CPA or financial planner is also smart.
When you leave your current job to pursue your passion, do so on good terms. While it might be appealing to burn that bridge so you have no option but to succeed, it’s best to keep your options open.
Know your worth
Unfortunately, there are many workers so eager for work, they accept compensation that’s far too low for what they do. Don’t fall into this trap. Working for “exposure” or taking on a project that pays hardly anything so the client can “get to know you and your work” is a slippery slope.
Find out what professionals make doing what you do and don’t accept anything less. Networking with other people in your desired profession is a great way to find out what you should charge.
Figure out what your hourly rate is. When presented with a project, figure out how many hours it will take you to complete. This tells you how much you should charge.
Learn to say no
This may feel counterintuitive, but resist the urge to say yes to every gig that comes your way. While it is important to acquire new clients and build your reputation, it’s even more important to deliver what you promise. You can’t do that if you have too many things going on and become sloppy.
Go forth boldly
Once you pursue your side gig as a career and position yourself for success, put all your effort into gaining solid clients who pay on time and give you repeat business.
When you realize you finally do what you love, enjoy your success and mentor others who want to do the same.
After all, it won’t feel like work.