Should I Turn my Hobby into a Business? 3 Things to Ponder First
The saying “do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” has been on my mind lately. I keep asking myself, “what do you like to do?!” The truth is, I love to do a lot of ish! I love to shop, sleep, eat, talk, travel, read, mentor college students, community service, work as a pharmacist, etc. I realized that all the things above involved me communicating with another person. So I like to stay connected. But how will I make money from any of that? I’m honestly trying to turn a side hustle into a sole provider of income. I’m trying to go from W-2 to 1099. I want to work for me. There are a few questions to really consider and if they are answered truthfully, then the next step is to make it happen! Below you will see three ideas to ponder and will help you decide if you should turn your hobby into a business.
1. Can I Sell it through me?
Not to me but through me. If I walked up to you today and you were trying to sell me blinged out umbrellas, could you convince me to buy it? I’m telling you I might have anyway because I love all blinged out items. Are you ready to put yourself out there for your hobby? Are you ready to have in your mind to convince someone with almost every interaction you have that they should buy your product? No one is going to believe in your product or service more than you. It’s not about being “salesy” or always having to pitch your ideas. It’s about being able to connect to what people need or want. It’s about solving a problem they may have. So yes if you came to me and said you have blinged out umbrellas that make it easy to spot me in a crowd, shines bright, keeps me dry during rainy seasons, blinds people in the summer, and comes in cool colors, then I’m all over it.
2. Am I ok with the pressure of making money off my hobby?
This is an important question. You have to decide if you are really willing to let this hobby of yours become the thing that could literally make or break your finances/lifestyle/you. This hobby used to bring you fun, joy, excitement, and it still may! But tie it to living expenses because now this hobby pays for your car, lights, home. You did this hobby when you wanted to do it. Oh but now you have someone paying for it. You have a deadline. You have to deliver!
When you have someone else’s money in your hand, they expect what you said you would give or do. That’s a lot of pressure to have. Once someone is displeased, publish an angry comment for others to see, future sales may be affected. You used to braid hair in your bedroom for your friends for free. If I come to get my hair braided and I pay you, and my braids don’t look right, I’m not going to say “It’s okay girl, I still wear it!” I’m going to need you to deliver the finished product I want. Take this ish out and start over! Your hobby is a reflection of you and now you must have the perfect finish each time because you received payment for it. Can you imagine the pressure and frustration once money is tied to it?
3. Do I have another hobby to replace this hobby for relaxation?
You must ask yourself if you have other outlets. Once you turn this hobby into a business, it may no longer be the go to for you to unwind and take your mind away from the worries of the world. A mental break is needed to prevent mental breakdowns. But now your vice is the source of your stress? You could try either two things. Try to get away from your hobby’s area of interest but not totally. Inspiration can be found in most things you do. If you make urban clothes for kids try making clothes for dolls. You come up with a new design to try for kids and make more money. Or get away from your hobby totally. Rest your mind of all things related to it. Your future brainstorming sessions will thank you later.
As I sit in my bed and think of the many things I could do to make money that seems so effortless to me, I also try to consider if I’m willing to change my love for it. But I had to be realistic and honest with myself. For example, I love to make soul food but am I willing to start changing for it, cook and bake all day, hear some rave and some complain about the taste, have health department inspections, meet deadlines to have 100 cornbread muffins at the church by next Sunday at 1 pm. Eh no. I’ll just cook during the holidays.
I love to plan events and travel. Can I turn that hobby income? Yes! I can plan travel from home and book travel/events for people, go on cruises/to concerts and professional sporting events and earn a commission and/or write expenses off during tax season. I am also willing to blog about my personal life because I love to communicate with people and connect with them so they can understand we all have something in common. I’m going to talk to people anyway. Yes, I’ll let people pay me to redo their budget and be an accountability partner. I did it for my friends for free. I’ll do it for a stranger for money.
Please don’t feel that joy will be stolen from your life by making a hobby a business. It will actually be more present. You start controlling your own day. You have the creativity of you and your brand. You control how much you’re worth. This post makes you think about truly turning yourself into a reputable/professional business that you still get to wake up to and love every day. If you are ready to make that move then get ready for future posts to start the journey. I’ll give you a few tips on how to go ahead and make that jump from doing something you love into getting paid for doing something you love so you can never work another day in your life.