Full time. That seemingly elusive, but constantly whispered goal on every creative’s lips. I’ve rarely met a creative who doesn’t have this goal in mind and for good reason! Working for yourself really is THE BEST. If you’ve hung around here for a while, you know I don’t like to sugarcoat the reality of being your own boss, but the flexibility and freedom that comes with going full time in your business really does bring so. much. joy.
But before we dig into it, I need you to know that you can absolutely do it! It’s really possible, and it can happen quicker than you might think!
BUT going full time doesn’t just happen.
It takes work, planning, and intentional spending.
Already full time? This is still for you! Consider these steps a check-in on the health of your full time biz or a little help to reaching that next big financial goal!
Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase
STEP ONE: CREATE A PERSONAL BUDGET
In order to have your business fully support you, you need to ask the question, “How much money do I really need to live?” It may seem simple, but SO many have never sat down and looked at all the things they need to pay for in order to survive.
Creating a personal budget is the first step in making your full time goal clear & concrete.
This is goal setting 101, friend! Abstract goals are really difficult to reach. It’s great to say, “I want to go full time,” but that doesn’t tell you what it will take to get there. It’s much clearer to say,” I need to make a $5,000 a month salary to go full time.” Now you’re getting somewhere. Now you can actually see the finish line! GET IT!! 💪🏼💪🏼
Creating a budget is really just telling your money where you want it to go. The easiest way to get started is to find out where all your money goes in a month. Once you’ve tracked all your spending, you can see if you are able to make any changes. What do you really need and what can you get rid of? Maybe you don’t actually need $5,000 a month, but $4,000 month. See?! Your goal is already that much closer!
When I went full time, Mark and I chose to make a lot of spending sacrifices so I could bring that finish line just a little closer. And it was so worth it to eat out and drink Starbucks less in order to go full time!
It’s a logical next step, right? Once you know how much money you need each month on the personal side, it’s essential to know how much money you need to make in your business to cover that and your business expenses.
In order to cover all your business costs, first you need to know what those are! You’ll need to list out your overhead expenses (aka: operating expenses) along with the expenses you only incur when you get a client. It’s super important that you think of every single little thing you spend money on from the pens on your desk to the domain fee for your website to equipment upgrades to educational investments. The list can be long…write it all out!
**One book that has been life changing for me in the financial side of my business is Profit First by Mike Michalowicz. I may have no idea how to say his last name, but this book is genius and helped me to double my salary and save for 3 months of maternity leave in less than a year! No joke, y’all.
STEP THREE: START PAYING YOURSELF MONTHLY
This one’s pretty simple. 🙌🏼 Once you know how much money you need for your personal budget, actually start paying yourself! I don’t recommend making random withdrawals whenever you feel like it. Rather, start paying yourself the exact same amount every month. So, if you’ve allocated $12,000 a year for your salary, pick a day every month and pay yourself $1,000.
As your business grows, you can give yourself a raise and pay yourself more every month!
Pro Tip: this is a great way to set a clear goal. If you’re paying yourself $1,000 every month and want to start paying yourself $2,000 every month, you have clear numbers to help you make that goal a reality!
STEP FOUR: MAKE A PLAN
As with any goal, you need a plan to get there. Let’s say you need $3,000 a month to live. Your day job brings in $3,000 and your business is paying you $1,000 a month. This may seem great for a while because you have “extra income,” but you’re running hard and don’t want to have two jobs forever.
Although it seems ideal to make the jump to full time in one fell swoop, it may be more strategic to take several steps to get there.
Consider these three steps to making your plan to go full time:
While you’re still at your day job and bringing in that extra money from your biz, I recommend saving 3-6 months of living expenses. This way, you have a cushion when you take the leap to full time!
Consider cutting your day job hours or getting a part time job before you go full time in your business. This is what I did! By getting a part time job, you’re essentially flipping your “side hustle” so you can focus more on growing your business!
As you’re looking at your finances and making the plan to go full time, you may realize that you’re working a whole lot for little payout. It may be time to adjust your pricing or offerings. Maybe it’s time to raise your prices! Maybe you have a new idea for a product or service that you can add to your business to bring in more income. This is where you get to do what you do best! Give some thought to the million ideas in that creative brain of yours and come up with something great!
Friend, that dream of yours to go full time? It’s actually possible. It really is! By now you know it’s not going to just happen, but you’ve got the steps to get there! 🙌🏼🙌🏼
If you haven’t started budgeting yet, hopefully you now see why it’s time to get started! Both Dave Ramsey’s teachings and his EveryDollar app have revolutionized the way we budget, making ALL the difference in what we can afford to do and the stress level we experience with money. And just so you know, we’ve tried a lot of apps and none compare to the simplicity and function of EveryDollar!
Tell me, which step of the process are you on? What questions do you have about making your full time dream a reality?
I'm Val! Coach for creatives like you who are ready to be healthier, happier and more empowered women who love the business you run, the people you serve and the life you live!
I love these four steps, Val! I am trying to get better at using our personal budget this year!
Thanks girl!! You totally got this!! 😀
I recently cut my hours at work from 80 to 72 hours. May not seem like a lot but to me it was. I’m working on my budget and spending less.
That’s awesome! The baby steps add up over time! <3
I went full time in my business in the past 4 months and this is an amazing checkup 🙂 I am definitely convicted to stay more accountable to my financing and spending. Thanks for the advice and insight, Val!
Yay!!! You’re so welcome!! 🙂 🙂
I love this post! So inspirational, I am still a college student and working a total of 3 jobs, trying to make my dream of working for myself become a reality someday. This was so helpful, thank you so much!
Thanks Brooke!! You’ve got a lot on your plate, girl! Just keep working at it with intentionality and you’ll get there!! <3
Thank you I am really struggling with taking this leap
You can do it Lola!! 🙂
This is such great info! I’m currently getting my personal finances in check, then will begin to start saving. From the business aspect, I don’t have tons of time to complete the three projects that I’m working on, but am slowly chipping away at them.
That’s great! Slow growth is often good growth!! 🙂
12 Comments on 4 Steps to Going Full Time
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