How To Turn Your Side Hustle Into Your Main Hustle
THE HUSTLE IS REAL
Hey All! I get tons of questions regarding macrame + business. Mostly, a lot of people want to know if, and how I run Dope Rope full time, and when to make the jump from hobby to main gig.
I had been macrame-ing for about a year before I decided to make the switch. I heard once "Treat your side hustle like your main hustle" and I was doing just that. I would go to work 9-5 and then work on Dope Rope from 5 until I couldn't stand, sometimes until 1 or 2am . I spent all summer indoors knotting away trying to get all my orders out by deadline while my friends where boating or partying on the lake. I never had time to work out or cook dinner, but I didn't care. I was riding the wave and wasn't going to stop. I always put Dope Rope first and I would take one any project that came my way even if I didn't know where I would find the time.
WHEN PASSION PAYS OFF
In November I had about 50 wall hangings I was trying to get done before Christmas time. The exciting and satisfying "ca-ching" sound that goes off whenever I got an order started to make me feel panicked. I had people reaching out wanting to purchase wall hangings but my wait time was so long and I started to not be able to fulfill the orders no matter how late I stayed up.
I started to feel like I was leaving money on the table. My biggest fear when deciding to take on Dope Rope as a main source of income was that people would just stop buying. But, the truth was the opposite. I had people wanting to buy and not enough time to produce for them. At this time I was putting little to no effort into my marketing and I thought If orders slow down I can dedicate more time into taking better pictures, finding people to collaborate with, etc. Hoping that putting more effort into my social presence and organization behind the scenes would pay off in the long run by generating more sales. And it has.
FOLLOW YOUR GUT
It felt like a huge risk, but at the same time no risk at all. I would have major regrets if I didn't go for it. I told myself that if things slow down at least I gave it my all when the time was right. I still supplement my income by working on freelance design projects and working twice a week at my other job, so although I heavily rely on Dope Rope as my main source of income, I'm not totally full time, yet.
Sometimes it's hard to believe this is my reality. People judge and don't always understand because it's not a conventional career path. But, I'm living a life that I've always wanted. I have full control over my schedule and a reignited passion in my work. I get to be creative and work with my hands, make connections with people all over the world, and bring art into peoples lives and homes. Following my gut led me to this career I never knew I've always been looking for. And following yours can lead you there too.
WHEN YOUR JUST GETTING STARTED
A few tidbits of advice for all the creatives out there just starting their business:
- If you can't stop thinking about it, don't. If you can't put it down, don't. If the idea isn't going away, then you have to go for it!
- You can always recover. Learn from your mistakes. Be honest and genuine with your customers, most of the time people will understand. And when they don't, you've likely just learned a valuable lesson.
- Do you appreciate and use your product? You have to love what your putting out.
- Set small goals. Maybe it's 3 tasks a day or 3 large tasks for the month. Set deadlines for yourself so these ideas become a reality.
- In response to criticism - don't listen to the noise. Stay in your own lane. You are unique and offer something nobody else can, so instead of looking around at what everyone else is doing - just do you.
- TRACK EVERYTHING. KNOW YOUR NUMBERS.
- Listen to your gut