So you wanna be Full-Time ay? I can’t blame you! The thought of waking up everyday doing what you love and setting your own schedule sounds amazing! Especially when you’re day dreaming about it while sitting at your day job lol! But if you don’t have the proper plan, work ethic, and consistency that it takes to be Full-Time, you’ll find yourself going back to that old faithful day job really quick! Here are 4 crucial steps needed to make that transition to entrepreneurship.
1. MAKE THE PLAN
Before you turn in that 2 weeks notice, you need to have a solid plan. This step is free and you can start on it immediately. When drafting your plan, here are 3 essential things you need to figure out: How you’re going to make your income, overhead(costs) necessary to make the income, and projections of how much income you're going to make. You have to take in consideration all of your bills and map out your income projections to take care of them. Be realistic with your projections. Most likely, you’re NOT going to make 1 Million dollars the first month you go Full-Time lol! Making good money as an entrepreneur, especially in music, takes years of hard work, focus and dedication. It even takes making mistakes and failing a few times. Honestly, it will be one of the most challenging tasks of your life. But if you stick in there, anything is possible! Going Full-Time is a totally different life than the paycheck to paycheck life so make sure you’re mentally prepared for the challenge! P.S. It does wonders to write or print out your plan then hang it on your wall. Making it tangible and visible in your workspace at all times helps to keep you focused.
2. BECOME PROFITABLE
Once you have your plan together, DON'T QUIT YOUR JOB YET!!! I know you're excited and optimistic, but before you leave your job, you need to ALREADY be profitable. Set profitability goals and meet them before you leave. First try to make half of your monthly job income. Once you do that, try to match your monthly job income. Once you do that, try to exceed it. Once you get to the point where you’re making about 50% more than your job income or double your job income, you’re in position to turn in your notice. If you want an extra layer of protection, have several months of your job income saved up before you quit. This process may take some time but doing things this way will be much better in the long run than just quitting cold turkey. Please don’t leave your job if you haven’t generated any money yet. You’ll set yourself up for a major heartbreak. Also you’ll be so pressured to make music because of finances that your creativity will take a major hit. I went Full-Time out of necessity. My job was paying really poorly and music(ToneJonez.com) was the tool God gave me to exceed that income and finally leave. But with freedom comes responsibility!
3. LEAVE YOUR JOB
Now that you're fully prepared and already running, it's time to take a step into the unknown! But be warned. If you think that you grind hard now, you haven’t seen anything! When you finally go Full-Time, you will grind the hardest you’ve ever grinded in your ENTIRE life! It takes extreme precision, focus, organization, consistency, and goal planning to successfully go Full-Time in music and continually be successful over time. The first few months will be really difficult for a few reasons. You’re going to have to establish some type of schedule but truly you’ll NEVER be off work as with a day job. You’re going to have to get used to putting a lot of hours and concentration into your work. You’re going to have to get used to not knowing EXACTLY how much you’re going to make every week. But once you've been Full-Time for a while, you'll develop your own system and be able to gauge your monthly income much better. You’re going to have to sacrifice a lot of fun things (like movies, games, etc.) and bring down your standard of living(get rid of unnessecary bills) so you can be fully optimized for growth. But I believe the hardest thing, at least for me, is BALANCE. You’re going to have to learn how to balance out your time to include business, relationships, friendships, etc. Friends and relatives may start to feel some kind of way because you don’t have time to contact them as often as you may have in the past. You have to deal with that. Everybody won't understand this process, but it's important that you stay focused throughout in order for you to succeed. They'll get it later. The grind is real folks, but it is very rewarding when done with precision, focus, and BALANCE!
4. PLAN FOR GROWTH
Once you’ve established your work flow and you’re enjoying success, it doesn’t stop there! Now you have to constantly look for ways to innovate and grow beyond where you are. Every year your income, supporter base, etc. should be growing. Consistency is KEY! We live in a fluid society. If you do the same thing everyday, eventually what you offer will be outdated and irrelevant to your supporters. Goals are IMPERATIVE for growth! Pursue goals aggressively but strategically. Don’t try to do everything at one time. Break big goals down into small mini goals and focus on one mini goal at a time. Eventually, you’ll accomplish the big goal! Never stop educating yourself! Also it's important to have several different streams of income, whether that means you selling merchandise, finding multiple avenues to profit off your music, doing live events, offering a variety of services, or starting other businesses with other skills you may have. This avoids you from creatively tiring yourself out in one area. Never put all your eggs in one basket. BUT, build each stream of income ONE at a time before moving on to the next. If you jump around too quickly, your time expenditure will be so stretched that you won't have time to properly build anything. You don't want to be burdened with multiple non-profitable business ventures. When you get new income stream ideas, write them down and come back to them at an appropriate time. There's a time and season for everything.
I hope these tips will get your wheels turning and put you on a path towards going Full-Time with your music career. I’ve been Full-Time since 2011 and even though these years have been a challenging, they’ve been without a doubt the MOST rewarding years of my life thus far! I can’t complain at all! I wish you all success! You can do it! Be Blessed- Tone Jonez