You have an in-demand knowledge and a desire to work for yourself. But how do you know if you should quit everything and strike out on your own or indulge your entrepreneurial spirit with a side hustle? Ultimately, you’ll do what’s right for you but start by asking yourself these five questions.

Start A New Business Or Just A Side Hustle?

Do You Like Your Job?

You have the desire to try something new, but why? If you simply hate your job, perhaps all you need is a new job. Starting your own business is risky and can add an incredible strain to your time (see below). Too many people think that working for themselves is easier when the truth is, you’re simply trading in one set of problems for another. Are you ready for that?  

Are you lacking creative expression?

It is easy to get bored at work when you no longer feel challenged or when you don’t feel like you’re able to express yourself. If this sounds familiar, perhaps a side hustle where you can explore your more creative endeavors is better. In her Quartz article, Phyllis Korkki even suggests that getting a side hustle can actually make you better at your 9-to-5. Bonus!

What Are Your Non-Work Obligations on Your Time?

A new business requires 24/7 dedication to get it off the ground and more to make it grow. So if you are the president of a local organization, with a new baby and a daily CrossFit® habit, how can you expect to support new demands on your time. Of course, it can be done, but you may want to start slow, with adding a side hustle to your schedule and see how you manage the extra strain on your time.

Do You Have A Lot of Support At Home?

Even for the most talented, experienced professionals, starting a business need a lot of support from family and friends. Like, a lot. The truth is, not every relationship can withstand the strains of dueling priorities. If you’re not sure, try adding a side hustle to your demands and test how well you can navigate your work/home priorities.

Do You Have a Nest Egg?

If the above questions make you think now is the time to start a new business, you have to ask yourself how much money you have in the bank. If you’ve been saving for a rainy day and can afford no income for a few years, you should seriously consider it.

And if you don’t, that shouldn’t crush your dreams of owning your own business. Instead, start a side hustle and stash income from that into an appropriate investment profile that will grow so that in a few years, you can leverage that nest egg into a new business.

As you can see, the question of new business vs. side hustle isn’t an “either/or” situation. It can be both. Don’t be afraid to test the waters with a side hustle before jumping in with both feet.

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