The Jam

Quit Your Day Job and Find Success in Etsy Full-Time

Are you considering taking the leap from part-time to full-time Etsy shop owner? It’s exciting to think about breaking the chains that might be holding you back; gaining freedom, control, empowerment! Well, here are some things that you definitely want to consider first.

Getting outta there

Say "Ciao!" to your day job to fins success in Etsy full-time.

Today, we’re going to talk about a very important topic: leaving your day job to find success in Etsy full-time! This is an exciting place to be in your life, and it could be a huge change for somebody who has historically always had an office or day job that you go to work at.

But, this could also be nerve-wracking, and you may have thoughts of doubt! Well, if you plan ahead and follow these steps, it should make your transition much smoother.

The constant pull from Etsy full-time

Don't let your life and day job pull you away from Etsy full-time.

The big problem is (when you have a steady day job) it might not be as fun as your Etsy shop! But together, these two jobs pay the bills and it’s a lot to juggle. As your shop is growing and you approach that, “I can do this for a living stage,” they’re going to start to pull. 

Both are probably pulling on you more than you want, especially when you have a family. You may also have a ton of other things going on. You can only grow so much before you either run out of time or sanity. 

Navigating the transition to Etsy full-time

Follow these tips to help you navigate to Etsy full-time.

The question is, how do you make a smooth transition to Etsy full-time? Especially when you’re running low on having enough time or sanity. Since we want to maintain both these things for you, we’ve got five separate tips for you! We hope these will help you through this exciting process. 

You might wonder where we come up with this stuff? Well, we’ve talked to many sellers that have left an otherwise good career to follow their passion on Etsy. And yes, these are happy stories! If you’re struggling with that doubt in yourself or imposter syndrome, be sure to check out our article on this topic for a little pep talk!  

Just remember

Ultimately, your own situation will, of course, guide the best path for you—your savings, whether you’re a dual or single-income household, your overall risk tolerance. Wherever you might currently be, we’ve got some suggestions for you to consider. 

This, of course, is not financial advice. We’re neither financial advisors nor lawyers, but these are great tips nonetheless.

1. Sales can fluctuate

Sales will be up and down as you transition to Etsy full-time.

One of the first things you should be keeping in mind when you’re ready to make this leap is that at your day job, you’re probably in a position where you get a regular salary coming in. You’re getting a paycheck every week or every couple of weeks. It’s going to be about the same dollar amount.  

It’s not necessarily the same with your Etsy shop. If you haven’t been on Etsy for a full year yet, you might not realize that it’s pretty seasonal. Shops will be seasonal across the board, there might be different seasons for different shops, but you’re going to go through times where you’re going to have more sales during the year, and then you’re going to have fewer sales. This is something you need to keep in mind. Your income will likely fluctuate a lot more when you’re relying on your Etsy income than just using your day job income. 

2. Have six months in savings

Save up all you can before transitioning to Etsy full-time.

Financial advisors recommend having six months of living expenses set aside just in case. Whether you’re working for yourself or working for a day job, often what we consider a steady job isn’t as safe as we like to think. Having a cushion when you go full-time will make you feel less pressure. It will help during those ups and downtimes we just talked about with seasonality. 

3. Scale appropriately

If you can scale back on how much work and time you’re devoting to your day job and scale up the amount of time you’re devoting to your Etsy shop, that’s a fantastic way to kind of smooth out that transition.  Now, this isn’t always an option available to everybody. If you have control over your hours at your day job, that could be an excellent way to smooth out that transition. Gradually begin to shift more of your time and focus away from your day job and towards your Etsy shop. 

To plug one of our prior episodes, Carly from Pendant Play Store told us how she worked in the gig economy. She could scale back on the gigs while growing her shop, and within three months of taking her shop seriously, she was full-time! If you haven’t heard Carly’s story, you’ll want to listen to it because it’s very inspirational for Etsy sellers. Carly does a great job of communicating that it’s not all sugar and spice. She talks about what really went through her head and how the first two attempts she made early on (before she took it seriously) didn’t work out. 

4. Work towards making the same amount of money 

Try to plan to make at least the same amount of money as your previous day job when switching to Etsy full-time.

If you don’t have the ability to scale back your day job, don’t worry! We’ve still got something for you. If your day job isn’t something you can scale back, you’ll want to aim to do everything you can to make close to the same amount of money in your shop as you do in your day job. This could mean a combination of working a lot (which, of course, will encroach on your time and sanity), but let’s hope it’s not for a long time!  

You could also get creative and hire some help temporarily from friends and family for things like packaging and shipping help. This is something that many sellers do during the holiday rush because that’s how they handle the seasonality. Don’t forget to add those costs back into your profit for our purposes here since they’re a temporary thing. If you’re not planning on keeping that level of help around once you go full-time and you’ll take on those responsibilities, you can add what you spent on hiring help back into your profit to make it more like your day job. 

5. Take the risk

Jumping into Etsy full-time is worth the risk if you've planned in advance and you're ready to make the change.

Do it. Take the leap of faith. Cut loose and give it a chance. You will eventually get to a point where you’re going to need to do this anyway. It’s not always easy if you’re not historically very entrepreneurial and you’re very used to your day job. At first, this could cause some anxiety, but once you make that leap, so many sellers have told us that they are so happy that they did! They are in a much better spot now than they were before. It’s just a leap you must make to get to that better place in your life.  

If you have a plan in place ahead of time and you work that plan, you should feel good about taking the leap when the time comes. It’s not something that should be impulsive. We don’t want you to make it impulsive decision overnight. Don’t listen to this and then decide the next morning to leave your day job! Make your plan. Work your plan.  

Final thoughts to finding success in Etsy full-time

Life’s an adventure! If you’ve made it far enough that you can see Etsy full-time as your day job and you’ve worked your plan, then just do it! Then, let us know how it goes! 

There are going to be a lot of ups and downs; we’re not going to lie to you about that one. But if you consider these five things we’ve listed above, you’re going to be set up well when you’re ready to make that change in your life. And we wish you all the best. 

Happy selling, everyone! 

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5 replies on “Quit Your Day Job and Find Success in Etsy Full-Time”

I have 3 shops on Etsy selling full time for over 3 years now, all i can say is do it, nothing beats working from home in my pijamas fulfilling orders.
Regarding the seasonality, you just need to figure out a way to always have items for the current season, whatever that may be, like that your income will not drop and you can plan ahead.

Thank you so much for your comment, Robert! We’re so happy to hear that you are finding success in your shop, especially the kind that allows you to work in your pajamas!

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