“Do what you love,” they say “and you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s a famous quote, especially among motivational speakers and life coaches – the implication being that you should find something that you love doing (a hobby, so to say) and turn it into a job.
But, is it that easy?
Unfortunately, not. Turning a hobby into a career isn’t as straightforward as it may seem. Why? Because the moment you start expecting money for the things you just love doing, they stop becoming hobbies and turn into a job.
If writing is one of your hobbies, for instance, you’ll enjoy doing it in your free time. But, the moment you start seeking writing paid gigs, the whole thing becomes more of a chore. You stop doing it “because you love doing it” and start doing it “because you have to.”
So, with all these challenges, how can you turn a hobby into a steady source of income? The following are five tips to help you get started;
- Choose the right time for the transition
Some people say that the best time to start anything is now. But, no, that doesn’t always apply to transforming a hobby into an income-generating job. For this one, you must get the timing right.
Why? Because if you transition too soon, you may find yourself not generating enough money to keep you going. For instance, if you’re in the process of building a house, paying off a student loan, or paying for a car loan, then it would be perilous to attempt to transition your hobby into a career at the same time. You could go bankrupt!
- Do market research
As you think about time parameters, it would also be helpful to use the opportunity to assess the marketability of your idea. Yes, every hobby can be monetized. However, the environment must be right.
Do you have a market? How accessible is the market? Would it be easy to enter the market? And, what’s the market like? How much would you realistically charge? Would you generate enough money to make a career out of the hobby? These are just some of the questions you must ask.
- Get your finances in order
Don’t be fooled; you’ll need money, even if only a little, to get your new career off the ground. Whether it’s singing, dancing, boating, etc., you’ll definitely need to move around, for starters. Also, you may need to buy a few tools for the job.
The good news is that there are several sources of capital to consider. You can tap into your savings. Or, you can get a small loan from family or friends. Or, you may even get a loan from a lender. But, you need a plan for all these, as well as a budget for projected expenses.
- Make connections
Once you’re done with financial planning, the next step is to get the word out and make the right connections to help you get started on the right foot.
The internet is a great place to start. Make sure that your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn friends know about your plans and openly ask for their support. If you’re planning to open a gym, let them know about it. Indeed, if you already have a location in mind, give out the address. Most importantly, keep everyone posted on the progress.
- Start small
Lottoland discusses ways to make money from your hobby in their recent article on the Lottoland Magazine, and, like many experts before them, they stress one crucial thing – starting small. It’s really simple – don’t bite more than you can chew.
One excellent strategy that has proven to work is starting while you’re still on your regular job. Don’t quit just yet. Instead, begin monetizing the hobby as a part-time hustle. Getting started with the transition while still at your regular job allows you to assess the market, determine pricing, and gather vital information that will prove critical along the way.
Measure, Learn and Adjust
Once the new career is up and running, don’t rest on your laurels. Keep your eyes open, be innovative, and always seek new opportunities for growth.