9 things I wish I knew before quitting my job to do my side hustle full time

Kisha Smith
Kisha Smith says she didn’t miss her old paycheck after quitting because she finally enjoyed her work.

  • Kisha Smith, 41, is the founder of KKS Financial, a financial advising company in North Carolina.
  • In February, she quit her job of 15 years to grow KKS from a side hustle to a full-time career.
  • Here’s 10 things she’s learned since then, as told to freelance writer Jessica Milicevic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

I left my job as a supervisor at a transportation and logistics company in February 2021. After working there for 15 years, I was restless to start building a business of my own. For seven years, I’d been slowly growing my own financial advising company, and when leadership roles shifted and I was faced with conflicting management styles at my full-time job, I finally decided it was time to dedicate myself to my own company instead. 

I knew I’d be facing some challenges, but there were 10 things I didn’t realize and quickly learned when I quit my job without a plan.

1. I didn’t expect to feel so happy

Don’t get me wrong; I was comfortable at my old job, but over time, I became deeply unhappy. I was used to the regular paycheck and routine, but between changed leadership and a waning passion for the work, I knew it was time to leave. When I did, I felt incredible joy.

2. I didn’t understand how much time and energy it would take to run a business

Despite doing financial services as a side hustle for seven years, I had to go back to square one. I hired three part-time employees, developed my own SOPs, and created a business plan. I realized that my success was dependent on me, and me alone.

3. I didn’t realize how much I’d enjoy taking my side hustle to center stage

Over the past seven years, I had to keep my day job and side hustle separate from each other. After quitting, I was able to completely dedicate myself to my small business. The more I worked on centering my business in my life, the more alive I felt. 

4. I learned to go above and beyond for my clients

I had to learn how to network, be more creative, and manage my time. As I’ve grown into a business owner, I’ve realized that showing up for my business means educating my clients. I have to put myself in a vulnerable place and share with my clients my own financial struggles, so that I can educate them from an honest place.

5. I didn’t know I’d need a team to help me excel

When I left my job, I realized I’d need a strong team to help take my business to the next level. I hired a marketing agency, I met with other financial advisors, and I leaned on mentors to help build my business.

I even got a therapist — two of them, in fact. Caring for my mental health helped me transform my mindset because I’d been conditioned for so long to feel comfortable in unhappiness.

6. I was shocked I didn’t miss the regular paycheck

I took about two weeks off after I quit because once the anxiety lifted, I felt exhausted. When those two weeks were up and I didn’t get my regular paycheck, it pushed me to put in the work and get things going for my business. Still, I didn’t miss my old paycheck at all because I was finally focusing on work I enjoyed. 

7. I never knew how much branding and social media marketing would matter

I kept telling myself, “You’re going to have to get creative, Kisha!” At first, I didn’t know how to building my business online, so I studied everything I could find on social media marketing and branding and leaned on my team to help. 

8. I didn’t realize how much change I could bring to my own community with my business

At KKS, I started working with people who needed help with personal finances. Meeting with adults who knew little about managing money, I decided to not just help them create a budget and savings, but also to teach them the how and why of finance. In doing so, I’m helping to break generational cycles of bad money mindsets.

9. I didn’t know how much my confidence would improve

I was the only minority woman in a leadership role at my old job, and it was all consuming. From running my business full-time, I’ve learned to set healthy boundaries and know when it’s time to take a step back, whether from a situation or a bad client. 

This article originally published July 29, 2021.

Read the original article on Business Insider