On the twelfth installment of The Link Up with Latesha, our incredible host Latesha Byrd, founder of Byrd Career Consulting, throws out some tips, tricks, and strategies for making your side hustle your full-time hustle. She also talks a bit about some of the tools and programs she utilizes that help maximize her efficiency at work.
Check out the book Latesha mentioned, The E-Myth Revisited, on Amazon!
Below is a list of programs and services that Latesha herself uses to run her business:
Task Management: Trello
Client Storage: G Suite
Check out Latesha’s YouTube channel!
Latesha: Today we are talking about making your side hustle your full-time hustle. I know so many entrepreneurs who are hustling on the side and working a full-time job but their goal is to be their own boss. Now, there are some that like doing both the side hustle and the full-time hustle, and to be honest that’s what I thought I was going to do. It didn’t happen like that. A part of me being able to take my side hustle and make it a full-time hustle was a lot of crying [laughs] and praying and strategizing and believing. I would say that believing, for me, was the hardest thing, and then once I actually really started to believe in myself, in my business and what I was doing, and I was starting to operate at a higher level, that really changed the mold for me. So I thought this would be a cool topic to talk about. A lot of my coaching clients actually have side businesses or are looking to transition from a side hustle to a full-time hustle. I also coach entrepreneurs, and so, you know, I know that I speak mostly on career development and I’m big on career empowerment, career ownership, but I love talking about entrepreneurship, and I thought “Why not start to talk a little bit about business, building a business?” I know some of you all are listening to this podcast where, yes, you are working a corporate job, but you also have your business on the side. I’ve been there, and I know how that felt, and I just thought I would come on here and share with you all my story of how I was able to turn my side hustle into a full-time hustle, and then just kind of throw out some tips and tricks and strategies that you can start to implement if you do have that side hustle and your goal is to turn it into a full-time hustle. So just to tell you all a little bit about my story – I honestly started my business as a hobby as a career coach. It was something that I was passionate about doing, and the reason or how it came about was that when I was in college I had five internships. I grew up in a single-parent household, so we didn’t have a lot of money, so I came to college with a goal in mind that I was going to work my butt off and I was going to take advantage of every single opportunity because I didn’t really feel that I had that safety net. There was–for me at least there was no going back home, and so I got really involved on campus [and] had a lot of internships. I went straight into grad school and had a job offer waiting for me post-grad school, so, you know, from I guess the outside looking in, a lot of folks kind of looked at me and said, “Okay, this chick kind of knows what she’s doing. She has this internship. She has a job offer, school, everything.” Then I would start to get questions. [laughs] Once people kind of caught on to just what I had started to–the brand, I guess… I didn’t even know I was building a brand, but the brand that I was building, the reputation I was building for myself, and people started coming to me for career advice. They started coming to me for assistance with getting into graduate school, with help with getting a job, so I started looking at resumes, giving advice, and I realized that this was something that I could monetize, and I said, “All right, the next person to ask me for help, boom, charging them.” [laughs] So that’s how my business started. It started as a hobby, a passion. I realized I could monetize it, and so I did. Now I’ve learned so much along the way in terms of getting the skills and the trainings and the experience, the lessons, and just expanding my own skill set or diversifying my own skill set to be able to run a business. You know, those were thing that I of course had to be extremely intentional about as I was building my business. If I could recommend one book to anyone that is really thinking about entrepreneurship and taking that thing all the way, The E-Myth Revisited. For me, it was such a game-changing read, such a game-changing book, because it talks about how a lot of us may start businesses based on a hobby, based on a passion, based on just doing something, and we realize “Oh, this is something that I could monetize,” but you don’t really learn the fundamentals of actually growing a business, of running a business, and so that book really breaks it down on how to actually do that, how to scale your business, how to really run your business as the CEO that you are. Now, I mean, there are many people as well that don’t just start businesses based off of a passion or a hobby. You know, some folks are extremely intentional about solving a business need or solving a business problem, but The E-Myth, such a really great read, you know? We don’t learn a lot about entrepreneurship, really nothing at all about entrepreneurship in college, so it is important to think about all of the different skills that are needed to run a business. So kind of going back to, you know, my story, that’s how I started my business. Over the last 4.5 years, we’ve worked with close to 900 professionals in a variety of industries. Business has grown from just a team of one, me, [laughs] to a team of five. Everyone on my team are resume writers, career coaches. I have an assistant. I have someone that helps with business development as well, and, you know, I have so many clients that I’ve coached over–not just domestically, but also overseas, in Paris, in France–or Paris, France, [laughs] and in Ghana, in Canada, and all over, you know, the U.S. And so in terms of my revenue goals, you know, I have been able to–huge accomplishment on my end, but to exceed six figures last month and, you know, still the goal for my business–I’m being extremely transparent at this moment–the goal for my business is to hit 150K. You know, could I do more? Yeah, but I think that’s pretty good, you know? Fourth, fifth year, you know, getting into it. My goal next year is to focus on profit and then cutting as many expenses as possible. Anyways, going back to the first thing that I really had to adjust as I was really thinking about taking this thing all the way in terms of my business. First thing was mindset. It was–you have to think about it in terms of “Is this something I really want to commit to? Am I ready to be fully committed to doing this?” You have to be sure. You know, this really isn’t a trial-and-error thing, meaning going from just side hustle to full time is–you know, you want to be pretty sure about it if you are anything like me. Now, I’ve had friends that have just taken the leap. They’ve taken the jump. [laughs] But I was really strategic, and I had a plan in place. I am a planner. I’ve always liked to kind of be in control of my future and, you know, I don’t like surprises. [laughs] So I had a plan in place. For me, I knew this was something I had to be fully committed to, and understand that, you know, going from–I think the biggest change for me going from a side hustler to a full-time hustler is that, you know, your lifestyle fundamentally changes. Everything about your lifestyle changes. When you are in charge of yourself, you are in charge of your schedule. You have to decide when you work, where you work, who you want to work with and who you meet with. There’s also a lot of decision fatigue that goes into entrepreneurship, so that’s something to think about. It takes a lot of energy to run a business, not just from, you know–let’s say you are someone that is in, you know, marketing, right? You know, you are developing marketing materials. You may be even doing marketing strategy or SEO strategy for a company, you know? They are likely–maybe you’re doing it in-house for a company, or maybe you are working with a company that serves different clients. You know, either way, the company has those processes, systems, tools in place for you to get the work done, or even if you are, you know, managing communication with different teams and groups and clients, you know, these things are being managed by your company. When you are out on your own, there is no middleman, you know? You have to think through those processes and getting all of that in order in terms of dealing with clients, you know? Dealing with, you know, your team. And as an entrepreneur, you’re not just doing that work anymore that you were doing with said company. I mean, you are doing–you are the operations person. You are HR. [laughs] You are legal. You are finance. You are customer service, you know? You are the communications person. I mean, of course you will most definitely want to for sure get a lawyer or an attorney, and also make sure you get an accountant, for sure, but there are times where you will need to–you have to know all of the things that are going on with your business until you get to a point where you are starting to hire talent to take on some of that work for you. So what I’m saying there is it takes a lot of energy, maybe a different level of energy, a different level of discipline and motivation, and also self-accountability that goes into entrepreneurship. Now, when you get to a point where you have decided–maybe you started your business on the side [and] you’re getting it to a place where you have steady income coming in and you’re really thinking about leaving your current workplace. One thing that I want, you know, you all to think about if this is you is what more can you milk from your current job? [laughs] What I mean by that is what are those relationships that you need to nurture, clients maybe you need to make sure you are connecting with again? What are those skills that you want to develop? What about the networking? Who’s in your network, or who can you get closer to in your network based on where you are or the access that you have? Just what are those different opportunities? What more do you need from your job? I really was–so when I left corporate, I was actually in a recruiting role, and I managed recruiting for five offices for a public accounting firm up and down the East Coast, and I absolutely loved that job. I thought recruiting was a wonderful field to be in. It was fast-paced. There was a lot of travel, which I loved. I was able to work with a lot of young professionals and give career advice, and I really learned how–how 1. a company actually hires and develops and recruits and trains talent. I had a say so in it, and I was able to help drive strategy in terms of not only how they got talent but how the organization was able to get diverse talent. So I loved that job because I was able to add a lot of value and be a thought leader there, but I was also thinking about “What do I need to get out of my company? What do I need to get out of this job that will make me a better entrepreneur?” You know, more of an expert for my clients? And so I started, you know, asking to attend more conferences, one for networking, but also to develop more skills just in terms of the different sessions that were being offered at the conferences I was going to. Like, one conference I went to in Chicago was a women’s conference, and there was a session on public speaking, which was great, because I wanted to do more public speaking. My goal was to become–to brand myself as a speaker. And with that being said, another opportunity for me was to do as many speaking engagements as possible. And so, you know, before I left, whenever a team member needed a speaker for a recruiting event, I always raised my hand to go. So I was able to go to different universities and, you know, do speaking engagements on, you know, any type of career development topic that they wanted the firm to offer, but I also kind of used that under my speaking toolkit and said “Hey, I was in front of this audience,” right? And I was kind of building up my speaking brand as much as I could. So that’s something to think about. What more can you milk from your current job or just from your current situation? And then I have three things to think about in terms of getting very serious about being more efficient in your business. I’ll go ahead and name those three. The three areas are time management, fiscal management, and process management. So starting with time management. You will want to determine how much time you want to spend working in your business versus working in your day job, so keep in mind that you have family responsibilities, and just think about the way your schedule is now, whether it’s family obligations, you know, work obligations, volunteer obligations, you really have to get tight with your schedule and know how much time you want to be working in your business, working your day job, and also working on your business, ’cause working in your business and on your business is different. So then in terms of–another piece under time management would be service, products, and offerings. How much time is it taking you to actually do or to put out the offer or to provide that service, you know, that you are monetizing your business off of? You know, for example, you know, thinking about building a course. I did a salary negotiation course last month on–well, I already said it – salary negotiation. But even though that webinar itself was only two hours long–it was about an hour and 45 minutes–whoo, y’all, when I tell you – there’s so many steps that go into actually building out a course, and that I learned. So not only did I have to, you know, create the course, I had to create the outline, you know, figure out what the goals were. What did I want? And thinking about what I wanted my audience to walk away with. With all of that being said, you know, building out the outline, thinking about–doing the research, you know? Making sure I’m pulling in industry and relevant data to back my support, to back my findings, you know? Putting it into a PowerPoint or–I didn’t use PowerPoint, I used Canva, but–putting it into a presentation template, putting together a workbook. You know, you have the copy that has to go out, and you have to send that out to your audience. So there’s so many different steps, and sometimes we don’t take into account every single step and, you know, every single moment we’re spending to get these things done. So time management. Next is fiscal management, and this is the process that I kind of–that I do actually walk my coaching clients through for those that are looking to launch businesses or thinking about–or looking to scale their business. So fiscal management is the second one. You have to have revenue goals. You have to have revenue goals for your business. It’s so key, especially if you’re thinking about taking it from a side hustle to a full-time hustle. You know, that’s nothing to play with. You want to make sure that you are continuing to bring in money and revenue for your business, so it is important to set some revenue goals, okay? And don’t sell yourself short, you know? Also take into account the lifestyle that you want, that you are living, and, you know, one thing that I did is I actually wrote out a budget. I really thought about–or not thought about, but I outlined, you know, my expenses, how much money I am spending on bills, but not only fixed expenses but also variable expenses – food, shopping, entertainment, nails, hair. You know, as a woman, those things matter. We want to look cute. We can’t be, you know, taking a discount on [laughs] on that, and so I’ve really had to think through “How much money do I need to be bringing in each month to keep the lifestyle that I want to live?” I was fully prepared to, you know, be okay with living less, you know, or spending less if I had to–maybe not getting my nails done for a bit, which I actually did stop doing for quite some time. But, you know, other things like that. You may have to make sacrifices, but either way you have to know those numbers. Know how much does it cost for you to live the lifestyle that will make you happy. Happiness is important. And then based on that, you will need to have revenue goals so you can bring in enough to support your lifestyle, right? Especially if you have, you know, a family and children, you will need more money than someone that is single. So you have your revenue goals. You will want to also break those down by services or the products that you are offering, so if your revenue goal is $10,000 and you have something that is–a product that is, you know, $100, you need to make sure that quantity that you’re selling is 100, you know? So it’s important to think about your revenue goals, break it down by service or products that you are offering, you know? Or maybe you have a multitude of different service offerings or different products, but break your revenue goals by each thing that you are offering. How many customers do you need to be bringing in for that said service or product? That way you also know how you need to be spending your effort in terms of marketing, where you should be marketing or who you should be marketing to. So the first was time management, second was fiscal management, and the third brings us to process management. You have to have systems and tools in order to scale your business. So I know I’ve mentioned that a couple of times, scaling your business, scaling your business, and some may say, “Well, what does that mean?” So scaling your business–I’m just going to read a definition that I found online, but it means setting the stage to enable and support growth in your company. It means having the ability to grow without being hampered. It requires planning, some funding, and the right system, staff, processes, technology, and partners. When companies scale, they add revenue at a faster rate than they take on new costs. A company that is scaling may gain 50,000 in new revenue, from which they spent only 5,000 on marketing automation tools, versus hiring someone and paying them a $50,000 salary to actually come in and do the work. So it basically means making sure you are operating at your most efficient capacity and capabilities. Scaling is something that is extremely important, especially if you are a company of one, you know? And maybe you don’t have a large team in place. So it’s important to think through how can you scale or grow your business, because if you are a company of one, you can’t do it all. You may need to automate, put those systems in place and tools in place so that way you can get your time back and be able to spend it a little bit more efficiently. So anyways, when it comes to process management, you have to have systems and tools in order from start to finish. I recommend my clients actually write out the steps, write out the steps of an initial contact. So when a client is initially interested in working with you and they want to work with you, where do they go? What do they fill out? What do they complete? How do they get in touch with you? And having a process from the initial contact all the way to, you know, closing the deal or making that sale, providing the service, and then, you know, if there’s any follow-up or things of that nature that need to happen post-providing that service, you want to make sure that you have all of those steps in order and think about what are the things that you may be doing over and over and over again that are a little bit recurring that maybe you can–that’s something you can automate? What are some canned emails that you are–what are those emails that you are sending over and over again to your clients? So creating some canned emails. I think about, you know, the processes and how can I be more efficient in my business all of the time, and with process management, or for the systems I used, I have a task management tool I use called Trello. It’s great. It helps me and my team really stay organized. Sometimes we work with up to 15 clients for, you know, the resume work that we do, and then from, you know, my agency, but then for the one-on-one coaching that I do where I take on about 15 clients, no more than 15 clients at a time, I have to stay organized with that. So Trello [for] task management. I use Dubsado for my CRM. Love, love, love my CRM. And then Google Drive. I am in Gmail. You know, [laughs] Google anything. Google Forms. I–listen… Google. Hey, Google, [laughs] put me on the team. But no, seriously, I use Google for everything. Those are the main systems that I use. The last thing I will say is that once you do make the leap, don’t jump right into it. Take a break if you can. You know, take some time off from being in that corporate setting so you can just sit back and–I don’t want to say sit back and relax, but just so you can take a breather, you know? We have the rest of our lives to work. You may feel like you want to jump right into it, but you definitely will want to take a break just to kind of get your mind in order and get it clear so that you can be more creative. The last thing that I’ll say is make sure you also set some goals. 30-day, 60-day, 90-day goals at the minimum for your business. Be very intentional with that. How many? How much money do you want to work? Of course those revenue goals. How many clients do you want to bring in? Who do you want to–you know, where do you want to spend your money? You know, just being intentional about that and setting some goals. So I hope this was helpful. Like I said, this was all about just entrepreneurship, pursuing your full-time hustle or making your side hustle your full-time hustle. Hopefully you found this helpful. If you want to be your own boss, let me know. If you have questions about entrepreneurship, let me know. I’m happy to really just start exploring more and talking more about entrepreneurship as well as we continue to talk about career development. So that is all I have today for you all on The Link Up with Latesha. You can find me on social media, @Latesha_Byrd, and I will talk to you guys next time. Bye.