“I’m so excited! I just quit my job to focus full time on my blog and YouTube channel. My wife and I have saved up, and I’m giving myself a year to make this business succeed.”
I admired my new friend’s enthusiasm, but I was disappointed that we hadn’t met before he quit his job.
“How much money is your business making?” I asked.
“Nothing yet,” he responded. “I want to grow a large following before I focus on monetization.”
My heart sank. You can’t call your hobby a “business” until it’s making money.
I followed up with, “Why didn’t you wait to quit until after you started making money?”
“I didn’t have enough time to do both. I needed to commit to one or the other, and I chose my business,” he said.
As with many people I’ve met, this man falsely assumed that more time spent working on his business would result in more money. But this isn’t true. When you’re an employee, time equals money. When you’re an entrepreneur, creativity and planning are the keys to success.
How to Scale Your Business Without Quitting Your Day Job
I’ve committed to growing my online business without quitting my day job for three reasons:
- I enjoy my job, and there are ample opportunities for career advancement.
- I view my employer as my first investor. With a day job that covers all of my living expenses, I can reinvest everything I earn from my side hustle.
- I want my business to scale. By limiting my work on the business to just 10-15 hours a week, I’m forced to create processes and strategies to maximize the use of my time.
What my eager-to-quit friend didn’t realize was that he hurt his business by working on it full-time. Without another source of income, anything he earns will go towards paying his bills rather than scaling his business.
But many side hustlers face the same problem as this man. What do you do when you don’t have enough time to accomplish everything that needs to get done in a day? Isn’t that when it’s time to quit your job?
Nope, not yet.
Don’t quit your job because your business requires more time. Quit your job because your business income has replaced your salary. When you find yourself strapped for time, start observing the tasks you do. Are any of them routine? Can you spend 10 minutes and write out a step-by-step reference guide that would allow someone else to do the same task? If yes, it’s time to start hiring.
I’ve been able to double my productivity by hiring virtual assistants and freelancers. Depending on the complexity of the task, I pay anywhere from $2-$25/hr and save myself an extra 20 hours of work every week.
I have an amazing assistant in the Philippines who formats and uploads articles to my website, creates images and graphics for my blog and social media, and provides me with assistance doing research and tracking website metrics. In the U.S., I have a social media manager and several writers who create content for my website. And, when I have one-off odd jobs (e.g., I need a programmer to fix my website) I find someone on Fiverr to take care of the task for cheap.
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All of the work my team does saves me about 80 hours a month and costs me $500. Doing the math, if my day job pays more than $6.25/hour (which it certainly does), it’s better for me to keep my job and hire others to work on my business.
Spend Your Time Working on Your Business and Hire Others to Work in Your Business
The man I spoke with was eager to quit his job to pursue his dream, and I applaud that. Unfortunately, he became a starving artist instead of a successful entrepreneur because of it.
If you have a successful side hustle or budding business idea, don’t quit your day job just yet. Instead, practice your time management and leadership skills — and learn how to make the business successful in the time you currently have available. Create processes, hire a team and automate your work. This allows you to focus on the high-level strategy of your business, rather than the daily grind.
By having others work in your business, your time can be spent working on your business. Then, one day you’ll discover that your side hustle income is enough to cover your living expenses. And that’s when you give two weeks’ notice.
Click through to read about time-management hacks from other successful entrepreneurs.
More From Our Smart Money Squad:
- How to Find Your Side Hustle Sweet Spot
- How I Turned My Business Around Without Spending a Dime Up Front
- Money Matters: How Do I Find a Good Side Hustle?
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