Create your escape plan to go full-time with your freelance business and discover how to handle your exit professionally.
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Congratulations! You’re one of the growing number of U.S. side hustlers that are wondering whether it’s worth staying in your day job. Over the past eight years as a freelancer, I’ve watched hundreds of students and clients go through this process of deciding to go full-time with their business. In this article, you’ll learn more about what to know before you make the leap and how to create a plan that will get you there.
Decide your client or revenue numbers
It’s hard to walk away from a regular paycheck, even if you’re not passionate about your job or you feel that it’s unstable. Without some specific reason to leave, like your boss blowing up at you for the umpteenth time, you’re likely to stay in your job without a clear plan.
For me, I wanted to make as much freelancing for 12 months consistently as I did at my day job before I felt confident to leave. Even once I hit that, I was still nervous to quit. I had my two weeks notice letter in my purse for several days when the company I worked for fired me. In hindsight, I was grateful to be fired, because it gave me the courage to pursue my freelance business full-time without any guilt. (And no awkward two weeks on the job with my coworkers glaring at me or asking questions I didn’t feel I owed an answer to.)
But if I could go back in time, I would have held myself accountable to those numbers and exited on my own terms. Whether it’s wanting to have three regular clients or generate a certain amount of revenue each month, decide when you’re going to judge your business as a “success” enough to leave.
Be professional, if you can
Unfortunately, parting ways with an employer doesn’t always go as planned (see my example above of getting fired before I was confident enough to quit.) Usually, it’s not worth trying to burn bridges, so avoid that if at all possible.
Be professional. Tell your boss that you’re leaving to pursue other opportunities, follow the procedures or customs for giving them that notice, and offer t
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How to Really Leave Your 9 to 5 for a Freelance Side Hustle