While many, if not most, people dream of starting their own business and becoming their own boss, it might not be as simple as they may think. That doesn’t mean it isn’t totally doable however. It does take a lot of dedication and hard work, but it is entirely possible to turn your favorite hobby or passion into a full-time paid enterprise. Here are some of the best pro-tips for turning your favorite hobby into a booming, successful business.
If Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail
Starting any successful venture always starts with having a great plan. Keep in mind, however, that over planning can be just as detrimental to starting a business as failing to plan. Starting a business and developing a business plan sometimes happens concurrently. For instance, if you are a photographer wanting to buy your own studio, you might work as a freelancer for a while to determine what kind of hurdles and obstacles you will need to overcome to turn your hobby into a full-time profession. So building your business plan will essentially be the result of starting your own business, not so much the precursor to it. In order to build an effective budget, you need to know what tools, resources and materials you will need in the first place, which often involves working in the industry in some way beforehand.
Set Measurable and Achievable Goals
Once you have a plan, you need to set measurable and achievable goals. Breaking down your big ideas into smaller goals is an important strategy for achieving any great accomplishment. Like the old saying goes, the longest journey starts with a single step, and you get where you are going by simply taking one step, then another, then another. Along the way you may course correct or even change directions entirely, but ultimately you get wherever you want to go by simply putting one foot in front to the other and keep moving forward. The journey to success, however, can be long and arduous and sometimes it will feel as if you aren’t gaining any traction or making any progress. Setting measurable and achievable goals will help you see progress when it doesn’t feel as if you are making any. This can help you make it through the inevitable rough patches when you feel like you want to quit and do something else.
Build a Strong Network
Success in almost any endeavor is going to require a good, solid network. Not only can your network act as a ladder to help you climb towards your goals, it can also act as an important safety net. Building a strong network is not just about developing contacts in your own industry, it’s about building a wide range of mentors, friends, counselors and supporters who can help see you through a wide range of problems, challenges and obstacles. Your network shouldn’t just include business contacts, but even just mentors and friends that can help you cut loose, have fun or help you know when you are getting too wrapped up in a problem or challenge and just need to take a step back and breathe.
Maintaining work-life balance is already difficult enough when people have one job. If you need to work another job to pay the bills while building a business, that challenge increases exponentially. The more you have on your plate, the more important it is to stay organized and possibly even more important to compartmentalize. If possible, you should have a dedicated room or space for building your business. Whether you convert a spare room in your home into a home office or invest in a co-working space, it’s important to build some barriers between the work and the personal or one of the other can quickly begin to consume your life. Part of goal setting can include how many hours you work or dedicate to your endeavors and creating a schedule that you adhere to religiously.
Develop a Strong Online Presence
In the digital age, creating a strong online presence is a must for all aspiring entrepreneurs. While it can be almost a full-time job in and of itself, it can also provide a quick source of revenue. At the very least, you need a website and a presence on a few key social media outlets. In addition, creating your own YouTube channel will not only help build your online presence, it will also help you quickly generate revenue.
Turning your hobby into a business is an absolutely achievable goal, but it will take hard work and probably more time than you think it might. Remember, building any kind of business is a marathon not a sprint. Almost every “overnight success” actually spent years building their business or honing their craft before they “suddenly” achieved success. Just make sure you are in it for the long haul and your wildest dreams can absolutely become your reality.
About the Author
Jeff E. Brown is a freelance writer, self-taught lifehacking teacher, DIY home improvement specialist, owner of two happy dogs and a barbeque master. He loves learning through experience and writing about all the cool things he has learned since he moved out of a compact apartment into a comfortable house. You can reach him @jeff8rown