7 Steps to transition from side hustling to full-time freelancing

You’ve been willing to start full-time freelancing for some time but it never feels like the right time? You feel like you’re lacking a knowledge and practice? Let’s take a look at how you can transition from side hustling to a full-time freelancing now!

If you’ve decided to take the leap and make your dreams happen, you definitely have way more questions than answers regarding being a full-time freelancer.

The most important thing in the process of transition is to take the first step. And that’s exactly why I’m here.

Let’s start, shall we?


7 Steps to transition from side hustling to full-time freelancing


Getting into freelancing is very scary but taking the final leap to being a full-time freelancer is even more stressful.

First of all, remember that no freelancers get tons of work right away UNLESS they have established a client base before getting into this full-time. 

That’s why it’s important to start out slow and, first, give it a go as your side-hustle. Here are some things to keep in mind before starting a side-hustle.

Once you’ve got yourself going, here are some of the things you should prepare yourself for.


The transition from side hustling to full-time freelancing

STEP #1: Make sure you have the money

Save some money

No surprises here. You should get some savings and by “savings” I don’t even mean plenty of money. All you need is some safety money.

The meaning of ]safety is very different for many of us. For me, this amount is equal to three-month living without any doubts about income. So even if some horrifying-lack-of-job period visits my schedule, I’ll be prepared for some vacation.

While 3 months seem like a safe option. In reality, I have also managed to survive with months worth of savings.

It’s an important step before you dive head first into full time freelancing.


Choose several specific niches to work in

It’s definitely not safe to work with one client only even if this client is paying your bills. We all know that.

Therefore, it’s always a safe choice to choose more than one specific field to work in.

When I was just starting out and I was interested in getting more clients, my focus was on graphic design for online businesses as well as online course design.

Even if you prefer to do one thing and believe in “being the master of one craft”, you should prepare some other skillset, some other option. It’s not bad to know more!

And you never know when the need to use the other skill to get the roof over your head will kick in.


Establish passive income

Advice old as the oldest Freelancer book… Prepare some passive income streams before you start full-time freelancing!

Along with freelancing, I started getting into online courses and affiliate marketing. It took me a good while to establish consistent passive income but it’s always worth it! You can also look into creating your own online course.

The reality of freelancing can be harsh, especially, when starting out. While one month your schedule might be full, the other one you might have to struggle a bit more. And it’s alright! (If you’re prepared some passive income sources…)

But.. what else besides money is important to be kept in mind when leaving your office job and start full-time freelancing? 


STEP #2: Plan & organize

Create your own productivity rituals

Ability to schedule your own way to success is truly important in freelancing (or running your own business, whatever you prefer).

Previously I’ve written about How to get your work week done in 2 days and Start doing instead of planning but there are plenty more topics to look through.

Make sure you have a schedule to hold on to and your freelancing doesn’t turn into an extended vacation instead…


Learn to be very organized in your business

So far you had your boss who told how things need to be done, but now it’s on your own.

How you will handle your clients, how you will manage your service offers, invoices, payments, schedules and… well… everything. Find what works the best for you!

You can read about some more apps I like to use for the organization.




Don’t forget your wellbeing!

Freelancers tend to be willing to work-all-the-time! And I’m not kidding.

Take a look at freelancers around you. The ones who are seriously into the thing they’re doing – are seriously into that. And it doesn’t matter what time of the day it is.

And yet, most of them somehow manage to stay sane… Now is that possible with this amount of work?

Once again – you can use any of apps that can help you. For example Inboxpause. It will stop your e-mails from coming in. Do you have an urge to check your mail all the time? Put this on and there will be nothing to see. Forest will motivate you to leave your phone alone. And there are tons of other similar tricks to try out.

Here are some additional reads:

Improve your project management skills

Coming up with a project management system that works for you is very crucial before getting into freelancing. Even if it’s just one project you’re starting with, it’s important to establish the basics.

Once you’ll get other projects pouring in, you won’t have much time to think about organizing and managing.

Try out different project management systems, for example, Trello or Asana. Give a go to Google Calendars or check out other options that you might prefer. All of these take a bit of time to adjust so use the time while you have it.


The transition from a side hustling to full-time freelancing is not an easy task to do and after all – it’s scary! But it’s important to believe in your abilities and take the leap.

It’ll never be the right time to take the time you have and make it right!

9 Replies to “7 Steps to transition from side hustling to full-time freelancing”

  1. Lizzie says: October 5, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Yes, I love this post! I took my side hustling of writing full-time last year after saving and, well, being thrown in at the deep end. I realised quickly that there are a whole load more things to worry about than simply finding money – but that’s all part of the fun, right?!

    1. Ieva Laicāne says: October 5, 2015 at 10:24 am

      I can only agree with you & after all that’s the main part – to have fun while doing what we love!

      Have the best luck in creating what you believe in, Lizzie!

  2. Johnny says: October 20, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Great Post! As a freelancer my biggest struggle has always been trying to switch off and get away from work. I always have new ideas and things that I want to do. Often this keeps me up at night or wakes me up early in the morning. Meditating and actively forcing myself to do something distracting like play sport or watch a movie has helped a lot.

    1. Ieva Laicāne says: October 22, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Thank you for your nice feedback!

      I can only agree with you – pushing yourself towards actually NOT doing the job, is pretty rough! But somehow that’s actually the best part, right?

  3. MatchaLover says: October 24, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    "productivity tips that doesn’t work", seriously? Please please correct this awful grammar mistake… Jeez, if you want to be a writer, start with proper language.

    1. Ieva Laicāne says: October 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      Thank you for noticing my mistake!

      Although I should add that I’m not trying to be a writer, I’m just enjoying the blog writing.

      Have a lovely weekend!

  4. Jaemie Sures says: March 27, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Nice post! Do you use an app for the cover photos for your blog posts or just indesign/photoshop?

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