You make delicious cakes, take great photos or can play guitar like nobody else.
You’ve heard many times that you should open a business around your talent and have been encouraged by the prospect of being your own boss while doing something that you love. But you don’t know if that would realistically work. After all, it’s hard enough to deal with the responsibilities of your 9-5, your career and everything life throws your way – where would you fit in starting your own business?
Is it possible to create a successful business from a hobby or passion?
In this day and age, it is more easily accomplished than ever before. The internet and the ability to “go viral” and gain followings quickly makes now more than ever before the best time to cash in on your passion.
Becoming a passion-driven means you are intrinsically motivated by something that moves you to create and gets you genuinely excited to do what you do.
“Passion is a great fuel for the success of your business. This can come without a doubt from a hobby,” says David Pinto, director of the Longitude School of Entrepreneurship. “You will naturally have quiet days and challenging days, in which you will need to seek the strength to overcome. If your business is already part of its essence, it will be a further incentive not to give up.”
From my experience as a digital nomad working in the digital industry and consulting for startups and young entrepreneurs, passion is the intangible factor that I look for.
Excited and want to start a business from your passion, but don’t know how?
Here are my 4 tip for turning your interest into a business.
1. Do you have time?
Before starting a business based on your passion, respond honestly: is there room for your venture, given the existing competition, and are you willing to battle for your space? Or are you feeding an unsustainable dream just because you like what you do? I think everyone has the ability to turn their passion into a business, but think long and hard about this. Turning your hobby into a real business takes work, blood, sweat and tears. It won’t be easy and you’ll have to make sacrifices. Think through this first.
It’s one thing to enjoy cooking for your friends and family. Another is to run a restaurant and have to fulfill a series of natural requirements in the business world, such as working overtime and buying its raw material efficiently.
2. Is there room for it to succeed? (or how can you make it unique)
Now, it’s time to do an extensive survey of the industry in which you want to launch your business.
Do other people say there is a need for your business? In my experience, there are people who follow with dreams that do not have viability, then it is doomed to failure.
Are you going to start just another dog walking business? Are you looking to start your own restaurant? Whatever it is, take a look at the market, competition and what people are saying.
Even though you are only just becoming an entrepreneur, treat turning your passion into a business as a full-fledged business plan. You’ll thank yourself later.
3. Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?
A common flaw that I’ve observed amongst young entrepreneurs just launching their first passion-based business is that they often think that everything remains the same when it comes to their passion and that the only thing that changes is a new dedication to that passion. However, to succeed in a venture, you need to change your behavior and recognize that you now need to use your talent to generate revenue.
“Besides having a hobby that performs well, you need to become an entrepreneur. Many are good at what they do, but they are not good at managing the business,” explains Rand. “Now, you will not only sell to friends and family, but will sell to customers.”
Change your behavior and attitude to realize that your hobby has become a venture.
4. Do you know how to balance fun and duties?
Another part of the process of recognizing oneself as an entrepreneur and not just a hobbyist is knowing that, however much your endeavor is derived from a passion, you will need to do more “boring” tasks in order for it to work.
“You will not always do what you like. There are activities that are not pleasant and do not bring glamorous results to those who see from outside, but that are essential for the day to day business, It may happen for a long time that the business owner cannot show its differential or outcome to others.”
These not-so-enjoyable activities involve all forms of business management (ya know… the stuff you probably do at your 9-5): from conducting a market study to having to deal with finances and managing all matters of finances. A real entrepreneur knows that it is always necessary to recognize his shortcomings and seek improvements: whether in his own knowledge of his hobby or management aspects.
“Read, take courses, and stay informed. If your disability is in the ability to sell, try to at least understand how the area works, how to identify a productive employee and when to know that your product is the cause of low sales.”
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