When do I know it’s time to go full time?
And the truth is, as emotional beings, we so overcomplicate this question. Because the truth is-
It’s all simple math.
Going full time doesn’t have to be this huge philosophical question about when your business is successful enough, because the honest truth is it, is a whole lot more about numbers than it is about success. So in today’s e-mail, we are going to break it down for you in quick and simple steps, so when it’s time for you to answer this question, you are prepared and well equipped with all the information you need to know, without a doubt, that you aren’t “taking the leap”, but instead are making a well calculated and thought out step for your business.
And the best part? You’re more in control than you even know.
Step 1: Determine you cost of living and cost of doing business.
- Make an excel (or google spreads) page and write it all out. Business and personal. Put it on the document (we like to also include the date the bills are due just for our own reference) and and don’t forget the little stuff.
- Some of the things on our personal side are: House rent/mortgage, electricity, water/trash, phone bill, car payments, car insurance, Spotify, gym memberships, gas, groceries, and our “spending money”, etc. (we will talk more about spending money in a second).
- Some of the things on the business side are: website hosting (ex. Showit), domain hosting (ex. Google Domains), client gifts, shipping for client gifts, image delivery systems, business insurance, equipment repairs, taxes, etc.
Step 2: Add it all up and refine it.
- Now that you know exactly how much you spend in a year (personally and in your business) it’s time to add it all up. How much money does your business have to make at minimum in order for you to be supported by it? Chances are, most of you had no idea how much money you really need to live, and some of you will be shocked to realize that a lot of your money is being wasted on going out, eating, shopping, etc.
- This is where refining that list comes in. What can you get rid of? Do you have some iPhone subscriptions you can nix? Maybe you want to let go of Direct TV and move to Hulu so you can save money. Or perhaps you switch your grocery store so you can spend less on food. Are you overspending on your client gifts and you had no idea? Maybe you can rethink that gift to better suit your business and you’re why. (We go all kinds of in-depth on this in our Cooney Classroom!)
- And lastly- What can you cut your “spending money” down to? This is the category we are the most in control of, so we personally aim to keep it as small as we possibly can. (Our goal is to spend no more than $50 a week on a date night/eating out. Yes. For the two of us. And yes- it is harder than it sounds).
Step 3: Read Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and Quitter by Jon Acuff
- Total Money Makeover will rethink how you think of money. Plus, the audiobook is actually super easy to listen to. Just do it. You will thank us later.
- If you aren’t in a place to quit your day job just yet, read Quitter by Jon Acuff. We promise it will help you make it in that day job with a little more positivity than without the read.
Step 4: Save 6 months – 1 years of living expenses.
- In Dave Ramsey and Jon Acuff fashion- we recommend that as you work in that day job, save up anywhere from 6 months to a years worth of living expenses (we personally saved up a full years worth of expenses). Even if your business is making enough for you to live off of it (based on your number in step 2), we really believe in having systems and checks in place. By having this savings fund as a reserve, you are guaranteeing that you can always make the decisions that are best for your business and not just decisions that will make money because you have to.
- Doing this has guaranteed that we can always put our couples first in our decision making, and having that is a luxury that we do not take for granted.
Step 5: Make things happen.
- Now that you have the safety net that you need, even if your business isn’t making enough money to meet the number in step 2, if you have that money in reserve, you now know that you can go to either part time at your job, or perhaps to even go full time with your photography business. Because when you can put all of your time and resources into your business, you would be shocked at what you can make happen.
- This step is one that we go in depth on in our Cooney Classroom, but a few ideas are: Network with other business owners. Go to a Tuesday Together (see Rising Tide Society for more information), tour venues, etc.
Help us help you!
We would love to cheer you on as you work toward going full time, so if you read this and loved it, be sure to comment below with your instagram handle so we can give you a follow! Already full time? Leave some of your best tips and advice for others below! We cannot wait to see what we can do with this community when we all support and lift one another up!
Hugs and lots of love,
Shauna and Jordon
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