By Hannah Ruben
Whoever told us, “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” clearly wasn’t an entrepreneur. It is possible to earn a living while doing what you love. I think we all know the story of the the hyper teenager who became a skateboarding master, eventually considered one of the best skateboarders in the world and went on to create a successful line of video games (*cough cough* Tony Hawk). Or the story of two sisters that pursued their shared childhood passion to open a famous cupcake shop and star on their own reality TV show? There are countless examples of entrepreneurs that turned their hobby into a startup and grew into a successful business.
Is my hobby startup material?
Whether your hobby is the foundation of your business or if it simply sparks another fantastic idea, it is safe to say most interests can serve as an inspiration for something big. Many entrepreneurs start their business by solving a problem they encounter frequently or noticing a talent they excel at. Their biggest challenge is turning it into a viable business. A whopping 70% of U.S. employees reported that they hate their job and don’t feel engaged at work. This could be a result of company culture or a sign that the job is not a right fit. If you generally feel very positive and passionate about your hobby, then why not create the opportunity to do what you love every day...and get paid for it? Plus, passing time with creative activities is proven to produce many health benefits.
Before you abandon your current job, ask yourself several important questions and answer honestly. For example, will I be able to handle the financial pressures a startup entails? Am I passionate enough to dedicate all of my energy on developing this idea? Is there a big enough market for my product/service? Every new business comes with a risk factor; however you need to thoroughly examine the likelihood that this business will become successful. Discuss your hobby startup idea with a few trusted friends or family members to get their feedback. Be open to accepting criticism and tweaking your concept if necessary.
I’m ready to take the plunge!
Fantastic! You feel confident that your hobby can be transformed into a viable business. Now comes the real work…getting started. A few steps for starting a business include: developing a business plan, deciding on a location (if applicable), determine your legal structure, securing financial resources, figure out what supplies/tools you’ll need, gather your startup team, etc. A lot of blood, sweat and tears go into starting a business. However, we’ve all seen many success stories that have taught us lessons and serve as an inspiration. You got this!