MaltaCEOs.mt’s Work and Wealth Watch series with Money Coach Luca Caruana, who provides his expert responses to all your questions related to money, work and wealth. Want to see your own questions answered on MaltaCEOs.mt? Send your questions on [email protected]

Dear Luca,

As the COO of a thriving fintech company, my journey over the last nine years has been both challenging and rewarding. My role has not only been a source of professional fulfilment but has also provided me with a substantial income, including a myriad of benefits from health to wellness, and the flexibility of working from home. These perks, combined with a generous yearly bonus, have afforded my family a comfortable lifestyle, allowing my wife to reduce her work hours and focus on our four children.

Despite the demanding nature of my job, I’ve successfully managed a balancing act that many dream of. Yet, beneath this seemingly perfect scenario, I’ve been nurturing a growing business consultancy as a side hustle. This venture, which started as a small project, has flourished beyond my expectations without conflicting with my primary job’s interests.

The growth of my consultancy has reached a tipping point, compelling me to reconsider my priorities. It’s become increasingly clear that this side hustle is demanding more of my time—time that I yearn to spend with my family, especially now that we’re financially more secure than ever before. Our disciplined approach to savings and investments has fortified our financial foundation.

My dilemma lies in the allure of entrepreneurial freedom versus the security my current position offers. The success of my consultancy sparks the question of financial viability and the timing for a potential full-time transition. With an Emergency Fund that can sustain us for a year, I find myself at a crossroads: should I remain in my comfortable job, or give solopreneurship a go?

At 45, I am poised to make a decision that could redefine my career and lifestyle. Yet, the weight of financial responsibility towards my family tempers my enthusiasm with caution. Luca, in your experience, when does such a transition become financially prudent? Is the leap worth the risk given the stable and rewarding career I currently enjoy?

Warmest regards,

Dilemma of a Successful Side Hustle


Luca Responds:

Dear Dilemma of a Successful Side Hustle,

Thank you for sharing the pivotal moment you’re facing. The decision to possibly leave a successful COO position for the uncertain yet exciting path of entrepreneurship is a bold expression of your ambition. It’s evident that your journey isn’t just about financial gain but a profound quest for personal fulfilment and the realisation of your entrepreneurial vision. I am a big believer in living a life without regrets.

Your contemplation opens the door to a strategic re-evaluation of your financial strategy. You have an Emergency Fund, which covers you for a year, that is great indeed… but do you have an Opportunity Fund?

Building an Opportunity Fund

When coaching clients, I introduce this concept constantly. An Opportunity Fund transcends being a mere financial safety net; it serves as the foundation for your entrepreneurial dreams. Here’s how to cultivate this critical resource:

  1. Assess Your Financial Health: Start with an in-depth analysis of your finances. Recognise your monthly expenditures and pinpoint opportunities for savings without compromising your living standards. Redirect these savings towards your Opportunity Fund.
  2. Establish a Target: Calculate the amount needed to cover one to two years of living and business-related expenses. This target will differ based on your lifestyle, family obligations, and the financial demands of your business.
  3. Automate Contributions: Direct a portion of your income—be it from your current role or side hustle—straight into your Opportunity Fund. Setting up automatic transfers simplifies the process of saving, ensuring consistent fund growth.
  4. Reinvest Your Earnings: Channel a share of your side hustle’s profits back into the Opportunity Fund. This approach not only enlarges your fund but also solidifies the practice of fuelling your financial objectives through your business achievements.
  5. Review and Adjust: Periodically evaluate the progress of your fund and adjust your saving strategies as necessary. An uptick in business success might warrant an increase in your saving contributions to meet your target sooner.

Embracing Full-Time Entrepreneurship

With a robust Opportunity Fund, you’ll gain the confidence needed to embrace entrepreneurship fully. This fund is more than a financial cushion—it’s your empowerment to innovate, adapt, and even stumble without endangering your family’s financial wellbeing.

Embarking on this journey requires meticulous planning. Your Opportunity Fund is a pivotal element of this planning, providing the financial security needed to pursue your entrepreneurial aspirations fully.

Adopting this strategic financial approach not only protects your family’s future but also signifies a profound investment in your entrepreneurial dream. Although the road ahead may hold uncertainties, a well-prepared Opportunity Fund ensures you are ready to face upcoming challenges and seize new opportunities.

Remember, every great journey begins with a decisive first step. For you, that step is fortifying your Opportunity Fund.

With heartfelt encouragement and support,

Luca, The Money Coach, from the Money Coaching Hub

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