Hobbies generally aren’t about making money and becoming successful, like businesses are. Hobbies make you happy at the end of a long week or day of working at a job you might not love in a place that might be just a little bit too far away from home for your liking. Your hobbies are what show off your interests and love, and your passion above all else.
But what if you could turn your favorite hobby into an actual business? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, businesses require more than just passion. Business exists in a cutthroat world, but with careful planning and commitment, and a business mindset as compared to a hobby mindset, you can be well on your way to turning your hobby into a legitimate business.
Understand How Far You’re Trying To Go
Do you want a little side-earner, or a way to quit your job and go full entrepreneur? These two different goals require different paths, and you need to understand which one you’re on – or if you’re on one of the many paths to a goal between the two, which is personal and unique to you.
Spend some time thinking about and evaluating how important your hobby is to you compared to your job, and research other businesses which are related to the one which you will be creating. Are they global successes or hometown heroes? Their reach and success will help you to decide where your business is going to place, and how viable your plans for expansion are.
If you’ve decided which hobby you’re going to turn into a business, then you’re going to have to decide on how you’re going to do it. Some hobbies may seem obvious – if you love drawing, then try to sell your art, etc. However, many will be more complex, and even the seemingly obvious ones may have different and original nuances which you can exploit.
You could start distributing art which the creators have decided is free for anyone to use, or you could review art pieces online and start a website related to your reviews. Anything is possible, and the sky is the limit at this stage. Don’t cap your creativity, and try to think of as many ways as possible, since many will be unrealistic or straight-up unappealing. The more you have to sift through and decide on, the better.
In order to monetize your hobby, you’re going to have to be good at what you do. Taking up the art example once again, if you can draw no better than the next normal person, then why would anyone pay for what they could achieve on their own? You have to practice, and put in the time to become above average at what you do, or else you’ll fade into the background and people will question why you’re trying to put a price tag on what you do when you don’t seem to be doing much at all.
Practice makes perfect, or at least close enough that people will start to appreciate what you’re doing, so keep on practicing, until you get to a level which you think is acceptable for starting your business.
The First Sale
In many ways, your first sale will be the most important step in your business, since it shows that there is a market for whatever you’re doing, and that there’s money in it for you if you keep going. Work as hard as you can to get that first sale, whether it’s off your neighbours or your childhood friends, and then work to get to the next sale, and the next.
With every paycheck will come a renewed sense of being able to ‘do this’ and get to the next level, which will only make your work ethic even better, and improve the quality of your work. If you find it impossible to get that first sale, then maybe take a step back and evaluate your business plan – is it feasible? Or is there just not a market for whatever you’re doing?
If the first sale is just not coming, then there’s probably a problem with some part of your planning, idea or execution, so try to work through all the kinks in your system and maybe even recruit another eager mind into the mix to try and sort it out with you. In any case, once you get your first sale, you’ll be on the road to turning your hobby into a legitimate business.
If you are quitting your job to pursue this business, then it becomes your new job, there’s no way around it. Make sure that you put in the hours to make it successful, and make sure that those hours are the same – or around the same – for every day that you work. If you put in the time consistently, then you can’t go wrong, but if you’re finicky about when you work and if you want to, then you’ll never get anywhere. Be tough with yourself, and you’ll see the results in your profits.