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Starting Your Own SMMA [While Working A Full Time Job]

August 13, 2018

Are you looking for a change in careers and have decided that you want to start your own SMMA agency? That’s great! There are a ton of great reasons why you should start your own social media or digital marketing agency.

  • Be your own boss
  • Work for anywhere, any time
  • Set your own hours
  • Do what you love
  • Make TONS of money

For all the list of reasons why you’ve started on this endeavor, it doesn’t come without its challenges. And the first challenge you’re likely to face is the transition from working a full-time job to working exclusively on your agency.

So how do you know when it’s the right time to quit your full-time job to pursue your dream?  

No matter what you hear on YouTube from any self- proclaimed “expert,” do NOT quit your 9-5 while building your own SMMA. While I’m sure you’ll be able to find great success with your agency once it’s up and running, you’re going to have to build yourself a bit of a safety net before you’re reading to quit your job.

In this article, I’m going to go over how you can best transition to being a full-time agency owner from working a full-time 9 to 5 and building your agency on the side.

Why should I keep my job?

There is a simple reason that makes all the sense: You stop receiving a paycheck as soon as you prematurely quit your job.

Just because you stop bringing money is, doesn’t mean your responsibilities will go away. The mortgage, bills, car payment, etc. still has to be paid. The reality is you need an income to survive.

Building your SMMA will also require an investment of time and some money, so quitting your job without the framework in place could lead to disaster if things don’t take off right away the way you’d hoped.

In the beginning, keep your full time job and focus on growing your business on the side.

There are definitely a few things you’ll have to get in place and decide on before quitting your job. A lot of the success of owning your own SMMA or digital marketing agency comes in planning. Before quitting your job even becomes part of the conversation in your journey, you’ll want to:

  • Define other sources of income such as freelance work, blogging, etc. There are a lot of helpful websites and apps that can help you find other income streams, so you’ll never have to worry about rushing to find ways to make money.
  • Learn as much as you can about the business you want to start. Online courses are a great way to learn exactly what you need to know to get started. Meetups and networking events are also a great way to learn and meet others in your field. Take every opportunity you can to learn, including learning from the experiences of others.
  • Put together a plan that outlines what it would take to replace your current salary and the income from any freelance work or side jobs you are currently doing. Writing this down on paper somewhere is the first step in being able to actually replace that income with the work you’d rather be doing.
  • Create a timeline for yourself and set a monthly goal. Include a projected date in that timeline for when you think/would like to be financially stable enough to quit your full time job.

I know that you’re probably eager to get started on building your SMMA so you can finally quit your job and devote yourself to your own business, but it doesn’t come without hard work and sacrifice. The transition phase where you’ll essentially be working two full time jobs is going to see a pretty big shift in your life.

When you start on this path, you should be prepared for the following changes and investments in time and money.

Life sacrifices

If you want to get your social media marketing agency up and running as quickly as possible, then that’s going to be a huge time commitment. Your social life is going to change a lot for that period of time where you’ll be juggling so many tasks and responsibilities.

Before you quit your job, 40+ hours of your week will be dedicated to that full time work, and the rest of your time (aside from the time you’re sleeping) will be spent focused on your business. Make sure that you’re prepared to make this sacrifice before you start trying to bring on clients, as that is when your time management skills are going to be the most pressed

Invest in self-care practices

Once you start spending 75- 80 hours a week on work, it’s easy to lose track of some basic aspects of self-care. Many people might start to gain weight, as ordering in becomes more convenient, and you’ll think you don’t have time to keep up with your usual exercise regime. Your stress levels will definitely be tested during this transition phase.

This is why it’s crucial to invest in self-care practices and to include them right off the bat in the plan you have devised. Your business will never get off the ground if you are not around to build it, or if you’re not in the right frame of mind to put your best foot forward. Get rest, eat right, and include at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. Though there’s no doubt that you’ll be more strained for time, you have to make sure you’re putting in an effort to have a positive life/work balance.

Invest in yourself

In order to grow you enough to be able to quit your job, you have to invest money, time, and energy. Time is a commodity, especially when you’re working a full time job and trying to get your SMMA off the ground on the side.

The good thing is you do not have to try to figure it out on your own. In fact, trying to figure it out solo is a sure way to waste time. Hire a coach/strategist/mentor and learn from someone who knows what to do. This will take a bit of investment from your personal funds, but it will definitely be worth it in the long-run.

Set your mind to it

Above all else, in order to be successful and see your goal of living off your SMMA exclusively, you have to stay motivated. There will be times when you will fall into a victim mentality or get bogged down by negative thoughts. Friends, family, co-workers might doubt you, and even you might think you’re not good enough and will want to give up. These feelings are normal. Keep in mind why you started in the first place, and continue to make realistic goals that will help you keep moving forward.

There are also a few things to keep in mind while you’re trying to transition from your full time job to being a SMMA owner.

  • Any time off from your job should be spent researching potential businesses and individuals you want to work with. Send an email introducing yourself and your business to people you think you can provide a service for. Any meetings with prospective client will have to be scheduled on days off, after hours, or during lunch.
  • Outsource tasks that are not your strength. Not only will this free up your time to dedicate to tasks that are most important, but it also means that work will be completed while you are at your full -time job. The money you are still receiving bi-weekly from that job can go towards paying any virtual assistants you may hire.
  • Bonuses and holiday pay (if applicable) should be invested back into building your business.

Starting your own SMMA while working a full time job might sound like a daunting task, but so long as you stay focused and get your business in place, you’ll do great!

Plan. Be patient, Work Hard. Invest in your health and in your skills. If you follow through with these tips then when the time comes to quit your 40 hour a week job, you will not only be ready on a personal level, but your SMMA will have a good foundation to build from.

If you’re eager to learn what else you can do to make your SMMA or digital marketing agency a success, then enroll in Cereal Entrepreneur’s Digital Marketing School or our Mentorship Program. If you’re looking to connect with peers who are also going through the steps of creating an SMMA, then join our free Facebook group.

You can also follow us online on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube for helpful content daily, or check out our free training materials to help you get started on the path to success.  

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