This post originally appeared on the blog, MakingManhattan.com.
By Caroline Vazzana
There’s nothing more frustrating than a job you’re not passionate about. When that happens, it often helps to find a side project you can focus on re-excite you! But, what happens when that side project begins to take over your time? Should you fully pursue it knock out the flame before it gets any bigger? At Making It In Manhattan, we believe if it’s something that makes your happy, you should go for it! Follow your passion with full force. But, before you take that leap of faith, here are five ways to make sure you’re a success.
Make it your priority. Don’t relegate your side gig to Sunday night at 8 p.m. Whether it’s passing on happy hour or staying up a little later on a Wednesday night, do all you can to make your side project your main focus. The more time you put into it now, the easier it will be to transition out of your 9-to-5 and become your own boss.
Test the waters. While you have the comfort of a full-time job with a steady salary, test your ideas. Try everything — especially anything that might be a huge financial risk when you don’t have a steady income to back you up. You’ll find out which ideas are moneymakers and which are better left on the drawing board, which will give you a better idea of your company’s potential for success before you jump ship.
Start now. There is never going to be a perfect time to purse your dreams. It’s easy to say “I’ll take the plunge tomorrow,” or “I’ll be ready in six months.” The truth is you’ll never really be ready, which is why it’s best to just take the leap and figure it out as you go. As the saying goes, you’re not getting any younger. Now is the time to start your blog, clothing line, app, cupcake shop! Believe us, your future self will thank you for starting today.
Network. Networking is key, especially when you’re trying to garner support for a startup. (Yes, you are now a start up!) Use every opportunity, whether you’re out to dinner with friends or shopping in SoHo to meet new people who can help you build your business. Be ready with a stack of business cards and an active website or social media account you can direct anyone to!
Believe in yourself. At the end of the day, you must believe in yourself because no one is going fight for your ideas harder than Y-O-U. If your heart is all-in, that will be the root of all your success. That passion is what will drive you to work harder than you ever thought possible and build a brand you’re proud to put your name on.
Caroline Vazzana is a fashion writer, editor, and stylist living and working in her hometown of New York. She’s worked for Anna Sui, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and InStyle. She has collaborated with designers including Betsey Johnson and Diane Von Furstenberg, and has styled celebrities for various red carpets like the MTV Video Music Awards and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Caroline is currently the Founder & Creative Director of MakingManhattan.com where she hopes to shed light on the industry to the future fashion generation. Make sure to follow her everywhere @cvazzana for an inside look into her day to day in NYC.