It was only a few years ago that I was working a day job, and running Jess Creatives on the side. I often tell people that I kind of “fell” into freelancing – it wasn’t a dream of mine to work for myself! But, as I began to get more and more of my own clients, running Jess Creatives full-time became my goal.

It took me about two and a half years to get enough clients to be able to quit my day job. I’ve talked on the blog before about things that I did during that time to help me – like personal design projects! But, I know there are still so many that are working towards that ultimate goal, so I wanted to get input from other entrepreneurs on what they felt helped them the most!

Taking online courses

If I had to pick the ONE thing that I think helped me make the switch from working for someone else to working for myself, it would be taking a free online course in digital marketing for small businesses. Not only did this enable me to study in the evenings/at weekends, but it helped me learn and develop digital marketing and promotional skills that have become invaluable when running my own company. – Hannah, HGR Jewelry

Learn how to scale

The advice I would give to new sellers is that the key to a successful business is learning how to scale your business. In our case, we would buy library books for under a dollar and sell them for more than 20 times the amount. We started to teach ourselves about the wholesale process, and now we are an e-commerce company that sells on Amazon, Jet, and Wal-Mart. – Philippe, Savage Sellers

Diversify your offerings

I was working in writing and television production for Procter & Gamble’s soap-operas when I started offering NYC school admission counseling on the side. In April 2015, I wrote “Getting Into NYC Kindergarten,” and started giving workshops on the subject. In September 2015, I turned my writing and production skills to doing a “NYC School Secrets” podcast. I was not the only one doing school consulting, but I was the only one with a book AND podcasts. The main difference was differentiating myself via the multi-media offerings. – Alina Adams, NYC School Secrets

Be patient and consistent

What made the difference was deciding to achieve patience and consistency. Funny enough, when I wanted it to happen overnight, the results came slower. But, I laid the foundation of daily wins – new blog posts, review guides, new content, etc., and before I knew it, my base had grown huge and the income started coming in. – Remy, Miss Mamie’s Cupcakes


I went from a full time role at LinkedIn to running my coaching practice full time in a span of 18 months. I worked with my life coach and business coach to set really clear goals and support structures to create clear accountability. When I doubted myself, they were there to remind me of my larger commitment and the “what for” in my business. For me, accountability in all forms across my life is what made the difference! – Cailin McDuff

Building relationships

For me it was networking! Building relationships to get referrals. For a good four months I went to so many networking events and just passed out my card.  I got involved with women business organization and the hispanic chamber, and then online I did Twitter chats and virtual coffee chats! – Christina Ochoa, Social Butterfly Gal


Delivering quality work, and being honest – the whole “under promise, over deliver” thing. If I messed up, I’d tell a client before they had a chance to notice. I think those things went into the relational side. I truly believe in the give, give, get mentality. – AllieDanae Walker, The Social Walker Agency

If you’re currently working towards making the leap to full-time, be sure to check out the Goal Getter Group (aff. link)! In Jereshia’s words, “The Goal Getter Group is a place for you to discover yourself, define your goals, gain clarity, set intentions, build healthy boundaries, and establish habits that will help you reach success on your own terms.”

Do you have something to add to the list? Let me know in the comments!