In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- Why taking risks can be worth it in the long run
- How to broaden your professional scope if you feel stuck in your career
- Ways to incorporate your desires and interests into your schedule in a practical way
Taking Risks for the Sake of a Dream
Matt describes his experience transitioning from working a full-time job along with his side hustle, to focusing solely on his side hustle (and the risks involved with becoming full-time self-employed). This transition meant both good and bad news.
The good news:
- His personal business (side hustle) income was up 40% in 2020-21.
- He is now making a living wage off of his passion
The bad news: In the last year, he has made less money (down 40%) than he ordinarily did in his previous full-time job.
[04:00] “Just because you can put more time into something doesn’t mean that your income is going to correlate with that exactly. Just because I can go from 10 hours a week on my side hustle to 40 to 50 hours a week doesn’t mean my income is going to quadruple.”
You will likely make less money total in your first year of self-employment, Matt explains. Ask yourself: Can you handle that? If the answer is yes—it may be time to jump on that change you’ve been putting off.
How Faith Guides Our Decisions (and Doesn’t)
This career change was not only going to affect Matt, but his family—his wife and two sons. He knew that while he worked for someone else, he couldn’t truly follow his passions, at least not to the extent he wanted to.
Group coaching programs made up a large quantity of his side hustle income. However, they were challenging because he had to take time out of his normal work day to the coaching he loved—which he ultimately had to make up at a later time. Matt found himself in a constant state of “at work.” Eventually, he found himself in a position where had to decide between his commitment to his full-time job, his side hustle, and his family. Something had to give.
Matt describes how faith has guided, and not guided, his decision to go into business for himself. There came a point where he had to make the decision and understand it not as something that is selfish, but something that would actually bring him closer to his faith, his family, and his passion.
[13:20] “I kind of leaned on my faith as a way to think that I shouldn’t pursue my own work because I thought I’ve got this great job the Lord has provided. I’ve got a really good thing going here. Who am I to just say, no, that’s not it. I’m going to do something else and, or do something for me. It felt selfish in a way to do that.”
It can be hard to transition into a new career or endeavor when you’ve already got a good thing going—no matter your faith, or lack thereof. Moving on, Matt says, is easiest when you’ve already burned it all down. You’re then forced out of stagnation into a situation where you must start from scratch.
Taking Baby Steps With The 70-20-10 Rule
Matt recommends using the 70-20-10 rule for incorporating time into your schedule to follow desires or interests that don’t seem to fit your business in an obvious way.
- 70% of your time goes to the core of your business
- 20% to things that seem promising or useful
- 10% exploring ideas that interest you and may or may not be useful to your business in the long run
Matt’s 20% is usually something like his podcast. He uses calendar blocking to block out around 6 to 8 hours a week to spend on this 20%. The podcast is something he can use to grow his audience, but isn’t necessarily a huge revenue driver.
Niching Down and Testing The Waters
Often we are told that niching down is the only way to go. Having a focus or a niche, Matt says, is the thing that people will associate with you. If you’re at a dinner party, your niche is what they will expect you to talk about—it’s your “thing.”
[25:10] “When you’re starting out it is really good to be niched down because for better or worse you want to plant your flag and say ‘this is me and this is what I talk about.’”
However, you may find yourself wanting to talk about many topics, not just one. As you begin to create consistently, Matt explains, you will find that different topics resonate more with different people. Your “true fans” will follow you as you test these topics that interest you. Matt sends a Saturday newsletter that includes links to things he’s done, things that interest him, and allows him to talk about the things that interest him with his fanbase.
Sometimes it’s okay to be consistently inconsistent—if it means you’re exploring what you really desire.
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