Are You Ready to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business?

by Mikey Rox on 24 April 2014 1 comment

Do you have a hobby you enjoy? This can be anything from painting to building furniture to playing video games. In other words, anything you do in your spare time to have fun. (See also: Awesome Money-Making Hobbies)

While some people are content with keeping their hobby a hobby, others get the bright idea of turning theirs into a side gig or business. They begin to wonder if there's a way to take their favorite activity and turn it into a money-making machine.

Before you make this big decision, it is imperative to consider the pros and cons. If you take the leap without thinking twice, you may find that you have killed your hobby and are now in over your head. (See also: The Worst Ways to Make Extra Money)

Can You Handle the Pressure of Turning Your Hobby Into a Business?

A hobby is supposed to be fun. A hobby is something you turn to when you are looking to relax and escape the stress of your everyday life. The second you turn this into a side gig, everything is going to change. Now, there is a lot of pressure on you to perform.

Let's look at the example of somebody who enjoys painting. When this is a hobby, you don't have any pressure to make the piece "marketable." You don't have to concern yourself with what others may think. In other words, you are painting because it is something you love.

Once you turn this into a business, however, everything changes.

  • Do you have a plan for selling the piece?
     
  • Can you work fast enough to make it worth your while?
     
  • What will you do if a customer is unsatisfied?

As you can see, there are many questions you need to answer. As a hobby, your only concern was the actual painting. Once it is a side gig, everything else is a concern.

Do You Have Enough Time?

A hobby doesn't require you to work a certain amount of hours. You don't answer to anybody but yourself. If you decide to take a day or week (or longer) away from your favorite activity, it really doesn't matter.

When you have a side business, there is no walking away, especially if you have customers who rely on you or orders you have to fulfill.

The big question is this: Do you have enough time in your day to handle your full-time job, personal life, and the side gig? If you bite off more than you can chew, you could find yourself strapped for time. You'll be making a few extra dollars each month, but you may find it coming at a cost, such as less time with your family or your other work suffering as a result. (See also: The Secret to Work Life Balance)

Are You Prepared for the Risk?

Starting a business, regardless of the size or industry, is a big risk. This is particularly true if it will cost you a lot of money to get up and running.

There is no denying the fact that a bigger risk comes with a bigger potential reward, but you must decide early on if you are willing to put yourself on the line. Are you OK with losing money if your move from hobby to business fails? Are you OK ith wasting a lot of time should things not work out?

Questions to Answer

At this point, you may be so scared about turning your hobby into a side gig that you never let this cross your mind again. But remember, it's not all bad. There are many people who've taken something they love and turned it into something that earns them a lot (or a little) money. (See also: 10 Great Home-Based Side Businesses)

By answering these questions, you may find it much easier to decide what to do next.

  • Do you enjoy your hobby so much that you wouldn't mind if it turned into a money-making business?
     
  • Would you shy away from your hobby in the future should your business flop?
     
  • Are you the type of person who can deal with the pressure of owning their own business?
     
  • Do you have the time to start a side business?
     
  • Will your side gig pose too much of a risk?

Now that you understand when you shouldn't make your hobby a side gig, you can decide which steps to take next. Tread softly as this is a decision that will impact your life on many different levels.

Have you turned a hobby into a side business? Please share your experience in comments!

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Ashley Marcin's picture

Great article, Mikey! And these are excellent considerations. Going to pass this along to friends.