If you can’t change the nagging thought – no, dream – about how good life would be if you were your own boss, working on something you are passionate about every day, and dictating hours that suit you, then you could It’s time to get rid of your nine to five
Not sure if the dream is really achievable? We’ve rounded up some sure signs from the universe – and some advice from legends who took the risk – that you may be willing to quit your regular job to pursue your dream business.
# 1 Your side hustle is taking off
This one is a breeze. If you’ve started building a sustainable, revenue-generating business on the side and find that you are giving more for it than you do your day-to-day work, it is time to give it all. Companies generally do not achieve their full potential if the founder is not there 100%. So if you are looking for a sign, this is it! Give yourself a schedule and set realistic goals for the next 12 months to make the move a success and get to work.
“I started freelancing as a side concert in May 2020 because Lockdown gave me the space I needed to do it. My daily commute was two hours a day, so suddenly I had a lot of free time to bring a dream to life. Just before Christmas I had considered working part time because the side gig was going so well, and then my day job quit volunteering at #byeeeeee ”- Freelance Copywriter
# 2 You don’t have the flexibility that you really want and need
Let’s face it, the demands of family life in building a career are challenging. Especially when COVID-19 has caused our lives at home and at work to clash with so many of us juggling online meetings while sharing the kitchen table with partners and roommates. The need for flexibility and even remote work is rapid. The nine to five working days are a thing of the past for modern workplaces, and freelance work is increasing.
If you have your own appearance, you can decide when, where and for how long you work and for whom you work. This gives you the flexibility to incorporate work into your lifestyle. You can also prioritize what is most important to you, whether this suits more exercise, or whether you will meet your friends more often.
“I had worked on my ‘side business’ for a while and at the same time put a lot of effort into my part-time role at an NFP. After putting about 100 hours of unpaid overtime into this job in a year, I went to the office 15 minutes late one morning. Instead of asking “Are you okay?” My boss reprimanded me in front of all my co-workers for being late. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I resigned about 48 hours later. The best i have ever done “Marketing Consultant
# 3 you want more financial freedom (and to get paid for what you’re worth)
So, COVID-19 may have thrown a wrench at work when you were hoping * finally * to get that raise. The salary reviews may have been suspended and you were just grateful that you still have a job. We understood him. However, if you’ve hit a financial plateau and aren’t making great strides toward your savings goals, it may be time to check yourself out. Honey, it’s a new year and you deserve to be paid for what you’re worth.
When you become your own boss, you have a choice of what to pay for. So be competitive. Research shows that female freelancers and consultants charge up to 38% less than their male counterparts. Yes, even if we are in the driver’s seat, we are selling ourselves! Here are some tips to make sure you are setting a competitive price from the start. Many consultants and sole proprietorships report making more money than they ever worked in their nine to five years.
# 4 Your nine through five don’t line up with your values
A leader whose values do not match yours, who is unable to grow and develop, a workplace that is not committed to diversity or sustainability, a corporate culture that does not support equality, unmotivated teams … sounds familiar?
It has never been more important to do important work, feel like you have a clear path to advancement, and find a job that aligns with your values, whether they’re sustainability, equal pay, or culture focused , diversity and diversity encourages inclusion. While it might be surprising to find jobs where diversity and equality are still not firmly entrenched, they are out there! If your workplace doesn’t support what is important to you, it is time to support yourself and take a step towards your future self.
“My a-ha moment came while I was in a job that was reported to a manager I just couldn’t respect. I had been freelancing for a few years but had no real plans to do it full time, but I didn’t want a work life where I basically needed permission to go to the bathroom so I took the plunge and quit . I gave myself three months to try it out, and that was 13 years ago now. “- Freelance graphic designer
Okay, for everyone to say, when you are ready to take the plunge, make sure to invest time in your business plan and goals for your first six to 12 months as well. Estimate what external costs you might need to get up and running and save to cover your expenses. Join some business or networking groups to help grow your business community and ask someone you admire in the business to be your mentor.
And when it’s time to give notice, do it gracefully. You never know what opportunities the route may offer. You could even get advice for the company, but this time on your terms.
When you’re ready to write your own rules and become your own boss, check out the Freelancing Gems Checklist on How to Start a Small Business.
Photo credit: Joshua Rawson Harris
Fleur Madden is the CEO of Australia’s first freelance construction site, Freelancing Gems, dedicated to female freelancers, consultants, retailers and side hustlers. She is an advocate for women in business and is passionate about helping women run successful businesses and get paid for what they are worth.