Turning your hobby into a business – sounds ideal doesn’t it – doing something that is fun and making money! But I often get the feedback from clients that they are scared to go down this track – what if their hobby becomes a task, and they lose the enjoyment that they currently get from it. What if it isn’t successful? These are valid fears. So how do you know whether to go for it?
Here are some of my tips:
1. Don’t give up your day job – well not yet anyway. It is important to see whether, first you will enjoy putting more time into your hobby, and secondly whether it will fly as a business. So go slowly. Start putting time into developing your business around your hobby at night and in the weekend. Check in with yourself often. Are you still enjoying what you are doing? Does it energise you, or are you losing interest and motivation?
2. Do your research – when you are passionate about something, it can be easy to assume that there are many others out there with the same interest. But will they pay money for it? Put some time into some market research – identify your niche and your ideal client and find out what they want. Social media is ideal for asking questions, and you can direct questions to your particular audience.
3. Identify what makes you different – running a business is a continual exercise in innovation and creativity. Try and figure out your unique offer – what makes you different? How can you do this differently? What will make you stand out?
4. Take action – if monetising your hobby has appealed for some time but you haven’t done anything more than dream and talk about it, then it is important to make the first step. Even if it is 15 minutes a day towards your dream, start. Unless you start, and from there figure out whether this is something that you are willing to put the time and effort into, and it will make money, it will always be a pipe-dream.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, Lao Tzu
5. Be prepared for the work – making anything successful takes a lot of hard work – so be ready to get busy with everything as well as working on your actual hobby. Working on the business requires doing things like marketing, book keeping, social media, branding, advertising, etc. There are many jobs – and often you do all of them! Of course, as you progress, and money begins to roll in, you can begin to outsource to others.
6. Get support – find your champions – those who support and encourage you, and those who will suggest and give you contacts and ideas. It may mean that you join a group, either online or in person, that meets to share the struggles and successes of running a business. Running your own business can be isolating – so having a supportive community is an important additive to making this work.
7. Be true to you, and your brand – take the time to figure out how you want to brand and market what you do or have to offer. It is all about finding your unique offering. You don’t have to be like everyone else, or do it like everyone else. This is key to continuing to have passion for your hobby, and getting paid for it! There are likely to be competitors out there – you don’t need to be like them. But you do need to offer something that someone is willing to pay for.
8. Be persistent – it can be hard when you get knocks, and easy to get disheartened. There are many great examples in history of how persistence, and with many rejections and failures, ended in great success.
Here are just a few inspirational ones:
- Walt Disney was rejected many times and fired for having no talent as a cartoonist. After being hired to draw cartoons for a church minister and working out of a mouse infested shed, he was inspired and created Micky Mouse!
- Colonel Sanders – Kentucky Fried Chicken – at 65 years old, with a beat-up car and a $100 cheque from Social Security, tried selling his mother’s chicken recipe. It is estimated that he knocked on over one thousand doors before he got his first order!
- Thomas Edison – the inventor of the light bulb, took 1000 attempts before he was successful. He got told when he was at school that he was too stupid to learn anything, and asked to leave – he had a total of 3 months formal schooling!
- Dr. Seuss’s first book was rejected by 27 publishers before it was accepted.
- Michael Jordan was cut from his basketball high school team for not being good enough, and went to play for 15 seasons for the NBA, and has been called the greatest basketball player of all times!
- J. K Rowling, the author of Harry Potter, was nearly broke, severely depressed, divorced, and a single mum. She went from being supported by government, to being one of the richest women in the world.
Each of these examples demonstrates, not only persistence and hard work, but having a continuing belief in yourself and in what you are doing.
Are you considering turning your hobby into a business, but don’t know where to begin? Or maybe you would like to figure out where your passion or interest lies? Make an appointment with me today to gain clarification and confidence: firstname.lastname@example.org