One of the most common questions I get asked from budding entrepreneurs is how did I know when it was time to commit to my business full time?
Before I answer that question, I want to share my journey of how I arrived to start my marketing consulting company, Chipperfield Media.
When I graduated from college, it was the onset of the Great Recession. This required me to get creative when it came to finding a job. This led me to the wine industry. An industry I thought I knew well from being a consumer ;) but I had no idea how little I knew.
I landed a role as a Harvest Intern for a winery in Sonoma. This was an amazing opportunity to get hands on experience working alongside a winemaker. While most of the wines have been consumed from the vintage or year I was a harvest intern, I still feel the need to apologize for my literally blood, sweat, and tears that went into the wine. Also, let me apologize for that remote control from a machine that ended up in a very large tank of white wine, ooops! (Don’t worry, it was extracted.)
While I respect everything winemakers do, at the end of the harvest season, I realized that I loved talking and writing about wine much more than making it.
I had always gravitated towards the stories behind the labels. Even as a young 20-something, when it is assumed we are still drinking cheap beer, I was discovering that the more you learned about wine, the more there was to learn.
The best way to keep learning about wine? Through tasting. So I swirled, sipped and spat my way to becoming a Sommelier managing tasting rooms before landing a role at a wine marketing company.
This is where I really got my feet wet when it came to all things digital marketing. I enjoyed writing marketing emails and social media posts. But then, I GOT FIRED.
I share my story, because your path may not be linear either. Throughout this timeline, I also had spells of unemployment and worked in restaurants. And that is OK.
I believe we have to try many things before we can hone in on what really lights us up and discover what we are really good at.
At the time of my firing, I didn’t have any savings. I was up shits creek as they say, but I wasn’t without a paddle. During my role at the wine marketing company, I had been building my side hustle. This consisted of marketing consulting for winemakers that I knew, as well as, writing about and teaching wine through my blog.
I knew I wanted to own my own business one day and when the shock of being fired wore off, I didn’t have enough clients to cover all my bills, but I had the framework, skills, and COMMITMENT to make it happen.
To answer my opening question of when to start your business? When you are ready to commit. (Although, I do recommend having some savings to ease the financial worry and ebbs and flows of income in the beginning).
Ultimately, the decision of WHEN I was going to work full time for myself felt like it was made for me, but really it wasn’t until the unemployment checks started to thin that I really made the decision to bet on myself.
Your timeline of when to move full time into your business will be up to you as well. But I did put together six tips to consider for those ready to make your side hustle a full time business:
So the right time to start your business is always NOW. When is the right time to leave your full time job? When you are 110% committed to yourself and serving others.
If you have fear about starting a business that doesn’t speak to your degree or previous job titles, you can ask any entrepreneur or business owner and they’ll tell you that they also spent a few years floating around and now do work that isn’t directly related to their degree. As you gain traction or results for clients, that is what matters most.