After 2 years of freelancing part-time, I cut the last tie this past summer and made the leap to designing full-time for Elle & Company. Since then, I’ve received several inquiries from other aspiring full-timers on how I made the transition. And while there’s no magic formula for making the leap and everyone’s journey looks a little different, there are some practical ways to make a smooth transition. Here's a look at the 7 practices that played the largest role in moving from part-time freelance to full-time design!
1 | Multiple streams of income
Putting all of your eggs in one basket is risky, especially when you depend on your income to support yourself and your family. Before I started designing and blogging for Elle & Company full-time, I sold planners. Not only are calendar sales seasonal, but they fluctuate from month to month; there was no way to accurately predict how much money I would bring in, which was terrible for budgeting. When I started working toward full-time entrepreneurship, I knew I needed to come up with new, dependable sources of income in order to make ends meet. Both the subscriptions from the Library and booking clients months in advance allow me to budget and give myself a steady paycheck.
If you’re hoping to go full-time, consider other sources that will allow you to stabilize your income or at least lessen the risk if you have a slow month.
2 | Cut back expenses
Financial stress is one of the greatest pressures of working for yourself full-time, so cut back on the stress by cutting back on expenses. Think of all the ways you spend your money. What can you do to drastically cut costs? If you want to make your dream a reality, you’re going to have to get in the habit of making sacrifices. This might mean many nights of Ramen noodles or (dare I say it) giving up the iPhone for a cheaper phone plan.
3 | Raise prices
Pricing is tricky, but in order to make enough money to feasibly run your business full-time, you have to price your services fairly and reasonably. I do this by estimating how long a project will take and multiplying that number by my hourly rate. I have a tendency to underestimate how much time a project will take me, so I often make it a point to estimate those hours generously to ensure that I’m truly getting paid what I need to be getting paid per hour.
For those of you who are leery