These Women Turned Their Side Hustles Into Thriving Full-Time Businesses


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Kat Tretina began freelance writing while working in public relations for a pharmaceutical company. “I was miserable in my job and struggling to do well, so I started writing during the nights and weekends to bring in additional income and gain experience in another area.”

It didn’t take long for Tretina’s income from writing on the side to exceed what she was earning at her full-time job. “But I kept putting off quitting because of the security of a paycheck and employer-offered health insurance,” she said.

In 2018, she took the plunge and officially transitioned to writing full time. Needless to say, it was the right decision. During her first full year as a freelancer, her income was double what she had earned as an employee. By the second year, she made more than $200,000. “I never thought those kinds of earnings were possible with a communications or English degree, and I know it wouldn’t be possible if I wasn’t self-employed.” In 2020, she decided to help other aspiring writers find the same kind of success and co-founded the Freelance Writer Academy.

Dasha Kennedy also went from hustling on the side to becoming a full-time business owner. After quickly working her way up the ranks in finance, she realized that much of the industry lacked the empathy, understanding and personalization required to really help people. So she created a Facebook group to offer better personal finance advice for women of color.

“I taught every day for completely free,” Kennedy said. “That opened the door to people wanting to work with me one-on-one.”

She also began receiving other teaching and speaking opportunities. “Eight months later, the demand for me to work with people… online was so high that I was losing money by going to work,” she said. So she quit her full-time job and began building her financial literacy and coaching business, The Broke Black Girl.

To an outsider, these two women might make transitioning a side hustle to a successful full-time business look easy. In reality, there was a lot of trepidation, planning and risk-taking involved.

So if you’ve been dreaming of taking your dream job from side hustle to main gig, know that it probably won’t be an easy journey. But these tips can help make the process much smoother.