Build Your Career: How to Turn Your Hobby into a Business

Imagine if rolling out of your bed on Monday wasn’t so hard. Imagine if it made you happy, not blue. Picture a world where your hobbies paid the bills.

That different Monday is possible. You don’t need to work at a job you dislike if you don’t want to. Instead, you could build your career around your hobby, and make serious cash doing what you love.

It’s a big commitment to make, but if you’re ready to start enjoying the myriad benefits of working a job you love, you can. Working that dream career is possible.

If you’re ready to start living the life you’ve always wanted, then read on.

You Can Start Right Now

There’s no need to wait around for that “perfect time” to start your business. Thanks to Youtube, social media, and online storefronts like Etsy, you can start making your skills famous right now.

Let’s say that your hobby is woodworking, and over the next couple of weeks, you’re building a beautiful cabinet. Take your phone and make a short video showing the process, and upload it to Youtube. If you’d prefer, take photos and upload them to Instagram.

If your hobby is crafting, open up an Etsy storefront and start selling your creations right now.

There will never be a perfect time to start working for yourself. The good news is, as your hobby is something that you would do anyway, you can advance your career without a huge initial commitment. Simply document your hobby and put it online, or sell the end product: it’s that easy.

Start Out Part-Time

If you want to make the transition to your new job slowly, then consider doing it part-time to begin with. While your old job might not be a dream, if it offers you financial security, set aside a few hours per week for your hobby.

This could be after work, before you go in for the morning, or at the weekend. As you build your career, you’ll find that it will take up more and more of your time. As soon as you’re ready to make the switch to full-time self-employment, you can make that switch.

This approach isn’t only less risky, it will give you huge benefits when you do decide to go full-time too. Building new business relationships take time, and if you can have a solid client list before you go full-time, you’re going to have a big advantage.

Work Hard As You Build Your Career

Even though your hobby is your passion, you’re still going to have to treat it as a business. The best way to build your career around your passion is through persistence.

When building your career, you’re going to suffer setbacks. Everyone does. Some months you’ll make enough money to live comfortably, other months you’ll barely keep the lights on.

While there’s no way to guarantee income each month, there are certain things you can do to help you along the way. One of the easiest ways to do this is to set a schedule. Plan to get up at a certain time, and work on your hobby at a set time each day.

Network When You Can

Perhaps the best way to build your career path is through networking.

Networking can take a huge number of forms: is there a group in your area dedicated to your hobby? That’s a potential network full of support and business opportunities.

Are there people on LinkedIn doing what you want to do? Then shoot them a message and start making friends in the industry.

If your hobby and your newfound career have a large industry built up around them, start going to conferences.

Depending on the sector that you’re hoping to go into, there are a number of websites you can use to help you find local events:

  • TrulyHired maintains a great list of conferences relating to education.
  • Marketing Terms features a large list of digital marketing events.
  • If hacking and software development are for you, then check out TechBeacon’s list

Consider Other Income Streams

While your hobby’s marketable end product will provide cash, it might be wise to bolster this income. Are you a skilled public speaker or writer? Do you have any teaching experience?

If you answered yes to either of the above, then consider teaching others your skills. While it varies from hobby to hobby, there will almost certainly be people out there who share your interests and are just starting out. Why not teach them?

Combine this income with the money made directly from your hobby, and you could make the switch that little bit quicker.

Plan Before Going Full-Time

The best way to build your career path is through careful planning. It’s not the glamorous part, but it’s a necessary one.

Researching your target market is an important first step.

How much should you charge for your labor? What can you offer that competitors don’t? Look at similar businesses around you, and spot gaps in the market.

Plan everything. You’ll want to make a business plan, and know exactly how much money you have, how much you expect to spend, and how much you hope to get back. Factor in taxes, startup costs, materials, and any other expenditures.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed, and this couldn’t be truer in business.

Have Fun with It

It’s hard to build your career around your hobby, but if you can make it work, the benefits are practically endless. While it’s still your business, and you still need to make it work for you, the most important thing is to have fun with it.

If you ever feel that your new career is sucking all the fun out of your hobby, then consider if sticking at it is for the best. If, however, you find the old adage about “never working a day in your life” is true, then congratulations! You’ve made it!

Is your career based around your hobby? Got any other tips that we’ve missed? Leave us a comment down below!

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