Turn Your Hobby Into Your Career
As Confucius said, ‘Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.’ He’s right, of course. Work doesn’t have to be an endless, painful struggle of alarm clocks, irritating colleagues and depressing meetings. When you find a job that you love, working is no longer a chore, but rather a pleasurable way to fill your day, so you owe it to yourself to find that job.
A great way to enjoy your working life is to turn your hobby into your career. This may sound too much like pie in the sky, but as long as you’re realistic, there is no reason why it’s not possible.
Do Your ResearchPretty much any hobby can be turned into a viable business, as long as you do your research and create a business that’s practical. Your research is likely to throw up information that changes your approach a little as you’ll need to be open minded about how your business operates.
If your hobby is knitting children’s gloves, for example, check out what similar products are available on the internet. You’ll probably find loads of cheap and cheerful children’s gloves, but perhaps very few high-quality versions that are affordable, and then less still that can be personalised with their name. This sort of research will lead you to create a niche for your product or service.
Write a Business PlanDon’t fall into the trap of thinking that just because you are trying to make a career out of your hobby that you do not have to be commercial. You need to be more commercial than ever because otherwise you will be taken advantage of which, in the long run, will certainly taint the pleasure you gain from your hobby.
It’s all too common for people to think that, just because they enjoy what they do, they cannot charge a fair rate for it. Somehow it seems more ‘acceptable’ for you to charge for doing a job or service that you don’t like. Don’t allow yourself to have this opinion of your job and it will reduce the likelihood of others having this view.
Write a proper business plan that details how you intend to make money from your hobby. Will you start with a small internet business that you run from home, or will you take a short lease on a local shop? Who is your target audience? What market research have you done? Who are your competitors?
Ask yourself what you need to achieve within a certain time-frame in order to realistically continue with your business. If you have a certain amount of savings, for example, you may be able to Start Your Business more slowly than if you need to turn a profit quickly.
Promote, Promote, Promote!Your marketing activities will be where your passion for your hobby business will truly shine through. It’s so infectious when someone believes in their business, so use this to your advantage.
There are lots of Networking Opportunities available, so make the most of the fact that you’re passionate about your business by tweeting, blogging and texting about your product or service. Ask for feedback as much as possible, too, as you’ll be able to react quickly to customer requests and comments, which helps you to keep ahead of the competition.