It’s almost exactly three years since I quit my 9-5, went full time freelance as a translator and copywriter and left the UK to travel full time as a digital nomad. The so-called digital nomad movement has been growing a lot since I started out, and more and more people are curious about how to start that kind of lifestyle, or alternatively just to break free from the 9-5 mindset and start work as a freelancer or start their own business.
There are plenty of people online selling the idea of quitting your job to travel or start a business, but not all of them want to talk about the practical side of that, such as how you’re actually going to make money when you’ve worked out that notice period.
Entrepreneurship is a lot of hard work, and one of the best ways to make sure your idea is viable is to start building your business while you work at a full time job. Working a 9 to 5 while you grow your side hustle allows you to grow your skills, build your network, and save money before you make the leap into full-time entrepreneurship.
In fact, I was lucky because I’d already been doing freelance translation work on the side of my full-time job for over a year before I quit. The reason for this was that I was working full-time in localisation management, which I absolutely loved, but I felt a bit like I wasn’t using all the translation skills that I’d studied for during my master’s degree. I didn’t want to become rusty as a translator or drift away from the industry, so I started taking on small translation projects during the weekends or evenings – partly to make some extra money, and also to make sure that I kept my skills up to scratch. I didn’t actually have the idea in mind to go full-time freelance at the time, but by the time I decided I did want to become fully self employed, I was really lucky to already have at least a year’s experience under my belt.
My biggest tip whenever anyone asks me how to move into freelance work or how to start out as a nomad is to start out building at least the beginnings of a business before you quit your job, not after. It’s a huge risk to just put yourself out there with no salary and no safety net, and unless you have 100% confidence in your business plan, and have an existing client base somehow, there will always be a transition period during which you will not have enough money coming in.
If you’re looking for ways to grow your side hustle while you work full-time, you are in luck! Fundera created an infographic full of 10 tips for building your side hustle before you become a full-time entrepreneur. Read on for everything you need to know.