How To Turn Your Hobby Into A Career: Part One
In his now famous speech to Stanford University graduates in 2005, Steve Jobs told them, among other great nuggets of wisdom, "The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle." Now, for many of us, with kids and mortgages and bills, being picky about what our job is and who pays us isn't really a choice. We need jobs, we need money, we need to get food on the table.
But, when you think about it, it is up to us. Follow your passion! Do what you love! We hear it all of the time and even tell our kids that advice. Have you thought about it? If you don't enjoy your job -- or if you are thinking of trying to bring in some extra income -- think about that hobby, that thing you do that brings you joy. How can you turn that into something you do that you love...and make money? Here are the first steps to take:
-- Research. Before you quit your job or invest a bit of moolah into this new venture, do some research. Look around online at who else does what you are thinking of doing. Custom birthday cakes? Chic scarfs? Personalized stationary? Search around and see what you find.
-- Talk to the competition. Say you want to open a mini cupcake store or a calligraphy business. Talk to folks who are already doing it. Offer to buy someone a cup of coffee or lunch to chat with you. How did they start? What was the hardest part? What did they wish they had known? People want to share their knowledge. Tap into that - it is step one in networking!
-- Devise a business plan. Look around online for some templates or talk to your neighbor who owns his own business to talk about
-- Learn. You know you are a good baker or knitter, but are you a good business person? Take an online business course or download some podcasts, read some books.
-- Start saving money. If you are serious about this, start saving. Starting a business takes money and more money to keep it going in that first year or two. If you are planning on switching from a job, the experts say you not only need money to start your company, you need at least 12-18 months of your current salary as you probably won't make one for that long. If you are trying to add some income or go back to work, you need to have money to get it going and keep it going.
Tomorrow: more ideas on turning your hobby into a career!
What is your hobby? Have you ever thought about using your hobby to make money?