In 2020, at the age of 24, I quit my engineering job to focus on the hustle and bustle of my travel blog. That turned out to be the best career decision I’ve ever made.
My blog, Packs Light, brought in over $ 170,000 in gross revenue last year, thanks to sponsored social media posts, blog articles, and B2B marketing consultancy.
But my success wasn’t easy. When Packs Light started, it was just a hobby and I had no idea how to create content that could increase readership and attract customers. I had to find mentors, ask questions and accept failures.
The good news is that I can now advise people who want to turn their side job into a profitable full-time business. While you can’t anticipate every single thing that will happen on your journey, knowing the obstacles you will inevitably face can help you stay motivated and mentally prepared.
Here are four things I would like to know first:
1. In the beginning, you will take on roles you didn’t even know existed
The key to success is being a self-contained beginner and continuing learner. If you are serious about building a business, you need to be willing to take on all the roles you have to.
As a content creator and marketing consultant, I have worn every hat you can think of: writer, photographer, graphic designer, copywriter, accountant and marketing. I also had to teach myself how to do all of these things.
I have regularly applied for scholarships and launch competitions. And to save money by not hiring a web designer, I launched the Packs Light website on my own.
Do all that work And doing a full-time job was exhausting. But I’m glad I did, because you can’t start delegating tasks until you have a solid understanding of how every aspect of your business works.
2. Invest in building a team
Once your business starts growing rapidly, don’t act with the mindset of trying to do everything yourself. Plan ahead and strategize how you will build your team.
Today I have a personal assistant, a blog manager, a management agency and a whole group of contractors. But I would like to know first that the growth of a team is a key ingredient in creating a sustainable business and working environment.
In “The Big Leap,” psychologist Gay Hendricks states that there are four areas of work:
- The zone of incompetencewhere you do things you are not good at and therefore waste time.
- The Area of Expertise, Where are you getting the job done, but no better than the next person.
- The Zone of Excellence, where you do things you enjoy and are better at than most people.
- The Genius Zone, where you are doing things where you are intuitively extraordinary and which only you can do.
Time is the most precious resource. And Hendricks says that to see the best business results, entrepreneurs should spend as much time as possible in The Zone of Genius. Growing a team as soon as possible allows you to outsource the work you’re not good at and focus on the tasks you excel at.
3. Not everyone will be happy for you
When I shared that I had earned $ 170,000 in the first year of my blog full-time, I received many congratulatory messages. But some were less favorable.
People online said I was wasting my engineering degree, while others suggested I just got lucky with my success.
Now, when I face criticism of my business or entrepreneurial lifestyle, I don’t allow myself to feel down. I watch Brené Brown’s Netflix show, “A Call to Courage”. In it, she quotes Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic that matters. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.”
Do not accept criticism from people who are unwilling to bet on themselves and take the risk of pursuing their passions in life.
4. Don’t let money be your main thrust
Having a six-figure year as a small business will mean different things to different people. It might mean stepping out of the five-figure range for the first time, but it can also mean teetering to $ 1 million.
Money milestones are a fun goal at the end of the day, they are arbitrary. It is more satisfying to be trustworthy than saying “I am financially free” or “I am doing what I love every day” or “I am making an impact”.
Enjoy the finish, but don’t get caught up in the rush for the next dollar figure. To be successful, you need to remember your “why” and move on. Financial success will eventually follow.
Gabby Beckford is a digital nomad, travel blogger, content creator and TEDx speaker. She educates and empowers young people to seek risk, seize opportunities and see the world through her website, Packages Lnight. Follow her instagram And Tic knock.
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