Should you turn your hobby into a business?
There are many important ingredients when starting your own business. Determination, creativity, knowledge.
But in my opinion, the most vital one is passion. It's what gets you out of bed in the morning, what keeps you going when you face setbacks and doubt. When the day is over, it's what stops you from giving up and going back to the "safe" road of working for someone else.
That's why, when people want to start their own business, they immediately go to something they're passionate about. Oftentimes, the most natural place they look is in their hobbies.
In theory, turning your hobby into a business makes a lot of sense. You love your hobby, and presumably have a lot of knowledge about it. Those two things should make for a successful business, right?
Not always. Sometimes, turning your hobby into a business is a wonderful idea, and other times, it's disastrous.
If you're thinking about turning your hobby into a business, there are some important things to consider before you get started.
Your hobby has to be realistic
Let's start with the most obvious point. If you want to turn your hobby into a business you have to be realistic.
We all have hobbies that we love, but that would make terrible businesses. Like eating dessert, hiking, reading books, or watching Netflix.
Some people manage to find business opportunities in even the strangest hobbies, but for you to start a real and sustainable business, you have to be completely honest with yourself.
Can you monetize the hobby? Would it make sense to do so? You might be able to monetize most of your hobbies in some way, but would the gains be worth the time and effort?
Can you grow it into a business that would work without you? For example, let's say your passion is crafting, and you want to sell your crafts on Etsy. That's a great idea, but your business will only operate when you're working, keeping you on the left side of the CASHFLOW quadrant as an S, or self-employed.
Remember, a real business owner (B) creates businesses that can run without them. Selling your crafts or services on the side and investing the profits is a great way to boost your passive income, but it's not a true business until it can run without you.
If you're not sure how to turn your hobby into a business, maybe it's time to start thinking outside the box.
That's what Robert did when he was a boy working for his rich dad in a grocery store. With no pay, Robert had to think creatively to spot new business opportunities.
One day, the answer came to him. Robert loved comic books, so when he saw the storeowner throwing out the old comics that no one bought, he had the idea to start a comic book library for his neighborhood. He charged a fee for entry, and was able to make a good bit of money for a nine-year-old.
But if he hadn't been looking for that opportunity, he would have missed it.
When you're examining the hobbies and passions in your life, be on the lookout for opportunities. Don't follow the traditional path, but be innovative and look for needs that must be met. If you've pursued this passion for a while, you should know better than anyone where the need is and how to meet it creatively.
Hobbies are fun, business isn't
Starting a business is not relaxing, and oftentimes, it's not fun. It can be stressful, time-consuming, exhausting, and frustrating.
A lot of people find that while they have a great idea for how to turn their hobby into a business, the reality is a lot harder because they don't want to lose the simple pleasure they get from the hobby.
For example, if you love photography because you have an artist's eye and it relaxes you, turning it into a business could take the magic out of creating your art. Suddenly, you're working on a deadline, meeting your customers' needs. You don't have time to stop and enjoy the work you're doing, because you have other business needs that must be met.
I'm not trying to dissuade you from pursuing your hobby as a business, but you have to be realistic about how business will change your passion. If you aren't ready to let go of the hobby that relaxes you, it might be best to look somewhere else for a business idea.
If you turn your hobby into a business, you have to treat it like a business. That means getting serious about your work and your plan for growth.
It requires a change in mindset. You can't approach your business the same way you would a hobby - in your spare time, lazily, hoping to have a little fun.
You have to devote all your time and energy to it, going over the details, making plans, thinking strategically, growing it so it can run without you. Again, it might be stressful and frustrating, it might even take some of the initial passion you had for the hobby away. Which is why you should think long and hard before you start down this path.
But, it can also be wonderful, and you, like many others, could find a way to profit from doing something you love.
Where does your passion come from?
We all want to be passionate about the work we're doing. We all want to be fired up in the morning, excited to get to work. Where your passion comes from is unique to you. Turning that passion into a business is a lot of work, but can be incredibly rewarding.
My passion comes from a sense of a greater purpose - helping elevate the financial well-being of others. With a lot of hard work, Robert and I were able to build a successful business out of that passion, and help thousands of people worldwide in the process.
Every day people turn their passions into successful businesses, and you're no different. With creativity, determination, and passion, you can find success in doing the things you love.