Sometimes, going through those years of undergraduate study, making it through deadline of deadline, it becomes easy to lose the inspiration that brought us to university in the first place. Here’s Ruby Clarkson with some advice on making your career something you love.

“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” – Marc Anthony

This saying has a definite ring of truth to it; if you enjoy your work, it won’t feel like work. It will be fun and something to look forward to. And because of that, you will be more productive and more efficient because you won’t be bored or distracted, and you won’t be wishing you were somewhere else doing something else instead. So it makes sense to many that taking something they already love doing – their hobby – and turning that into a business is a good idea. After all, they will love their work and they will therefore be more successful.

Of course, it takes a lot more than simply enjoying the work to have a successful, growing business, but it is an excellent start, and there are many worse reasons for wanting to start a business!

So just how do you go about turning your hobby into a pay day and learn how to make money from home?

Start Small

If you’ve been thinking of starting a business that revolves around your hobby you might be excited about it – in fact you should be excited about it. There is no point in starting anything, no matter what kind of new venture it might be, if you are not excited to see what happens. However, that excitement can be a problem because it can cause you to rush into things without properly thinking them through.

You might feel that you are ready to begin, so you quit your job, set up shop (perhaps literally), and wait for the orders to come flooding in. The problem here is that this is unlikely to happen. Yes, there are some businesses that really are overnight successes, but this is such a rare event that it is best to assume that yours is going to take some time to build up into something that will be able to pay you a constant salary. Therefore, start small. Start your new business whilst still working full time, for example. This will be tiring – even exhausting – but it will also allow you to enjoy the start of your business knowing that you are earning money elsewhere.

When you are ready and you are making enough money, then you can quit your job. Or you might want to reduce your hours first to make sure it is all good.

Make Connections

Starting a business without any help or anyone behind you is hard. But it doesn’t need to be that way. You can make lots of different connections by networking, and this can mean that your hobby becomes a business in a shorter amount of time that it otherwise would have done.

If you’re busy at work you don’t even have to attend networking events (although if you can make some they can be extremely useful) because social media is a wonderful way to connect with people who might be able to provide information and help to your business. Remember, of course, that this kind of help needs to be reciprocated – you can’t just take, you need to give as well. Work out a way that you can all mutually assist one another and everyone’s businesses will grow.

Research, Research, Research

You might love what you do as a hobby, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that enough other people will love what you do as a business. If there aren’t people who want to buy from you, whether you’re teaching a skill or creating something physical to sell, then your business won’t make enough money to pay you, or to be sustainable in the long term.

This is why research is so important.

You need to know what you are going to be selling, and in large enough amounts for it to make starting this particular business worthwhile.

Again, social media can be incredibly useful. Look around and see if you can find any businesses that are similar to the one you want to set up. If you can’t, there might be a very good reason for that, and it is certainly something to pay attention to – it might just not be a viable business idea. If you do find some, look at their company breakdown; how many employees are there, and where are they based? How many people are interacting on their page? How many people like it or visit it? This information can help you determine whether your business could also not only survive, but grow.

It could be that you find that people are very keen on your products or services (set up a poll or ask questions in relevant Facebook groups, for example), but that the profit you would make would be a small one. In this case, you might want to add other products and services to your line as this would enable you to do what you love, but also make extra money.

Need Some Inspiration?

There are thousands of examples where people who had a hobby they loved were able to make it into a business that made them a comfortable – and in some cases more than comfortable living. Here are just some of them.

  • Nadia Shuaib – Budget Electronics

Nadia Shuaib, a Canadian who emigrated to Scotland, started her business – Budget Electronics – simply by selling some mobile phone accessories on eBay. What she was selling sold out so quickly, she wondered if there might be a call for more. It turns out there most definitely was, and her business was born – it is now worth many millions.

  • Craig Newmark – Craigslist

We’ve all heard of Craigslist, but did you know that it started as owner Craig Newmark’s hobby? Having been made redundant from his job in computer programming, Newmark used some of his pay out to create a fun message board that, originally, was meant to be for programmers to speak to one another, ask questions, and buy and sell.

It quickly grew to become something that millions of people use across the world by selling their goods, to find work, or even to find somewhere to live. According to Forbes, Newmark is now worth something like $1.3billion.

  • Michael J. Kittredge – Yankee Candle

If you don’t have a Yankee Candle in your home, then you will know someone who does. At just 16, Michael J. Kittredge made a candle out of crayons for his mother. Before he could give it to her, a friend offered to buy it, and the spark of an idea was born. The original candles were made in Michael’s parents’ garage, and they were sold at his school and to local businesses. Eventually, by the mid-90s, the company was making $1billion a year.

Words by Ruby Clarkson

Featured Image/Photo Credit: Brooke Lark

Ruby Clarkson is an aspiring writer who is starting her freelance career. She has a love for adventures, and longs to publish her own novel one day. 

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