For many of us, the opportunity to turn our weekend hobby into a viable and profitable profession is something we’d jump at. While many people love their current role or industry, it’s no secret many people end up in their role due to necessity, convenience and obviously income.
However, that shouldn’t stop you from aspiring to turn your love for DIY gardening, baking cakes or designing bags into your full-time job. Turning a hobby into your number-one source of income will require dedication, planning and thick skin.
But, if you believe you’re in a position to make this transition consider the following.
Is the timing right?
We’ve all heard the saying, the best time to start something is right now. But turning your hobby into a job will require near-perfect timing.
There are a number of factors you will need to consider before making the jump. So make sure you clearly map out a realistic time frame to transition. There are the obvious considerations, how long can you survive without a consistent source of income? Can you afford the setup and running costs? Will you be able to pay your personal bills?
Besides the obvious questions, you will also need to consider your personal situation. Are you looking at buying a house? Are you paying off a student loan or a car? Map out everything that may affect your transition because if you don’t you may suffer down the road.
Do you have the patience?
While starting any business requires a sizable financial commitment, you will also need to be committed to the cause. Especially, if things aren’t smooth to start with.
Getting a new business off the ground will not be easy, you will need to possess a thick skin and a bucket load of patience.
In order to succeed, write down your goals and vision for the company. This will help you stay on track and give you something to work for when times get tough.
Go part-time before going full-time
If you’re not in the position you believe you need to be in to go full-time straight off the bat, are you able to start your new business on a part-time basis?
Easing into your new business in a part-time fashion could lead to a brighter future in the long run. It may not be the start you desire but don’t discount taking a part-time job or becoming a freelancer before going full-time. Not only will this hopefully provide you with a steady income and stability while you’re learning the ropes but you will have extra time to work on your business; which you wouldn’t get if you were still working full-time.
Will the business be viable?
It’s no secret, the main reason people maintain their current role is so they can pay the bills. As you start planning your new business, ask yourself, ‘will you be able to generate enough income to pay the bills and maintain a decent standard of living?’
Before leaving your current role, take the time to understand your current financial commitments and the costs associated with starting your business. It’s a great idea to seek help from a trusted source, whether this is an accountant or a trusted mentor or family member.
Once you have a clear understanding of your financial commitments, you’ll have a better understanding of whether you are able to make the leap.
Can you take criticism?
Like any big decision or move we make in our lives, everyone around us will have their own opinions and they won’t be shy either.
Chances are everyone from your current boss to your parents to your hairdresser will want to chime in with their two cents. Some of this feedback will be wanted others won’t be. A big part of turning your hobby into your profession is being able to listen to all feedback, positive or negative, and turning it into motivation.
Will you actually enjoy it?
This is without a doubt, the most important question you’ll need to answer: ‘will you actually enjoy it?’ When you are working a regular 9-5, hobbies are a great way to take your mind off your workload or workplace issues.
However, will you still enjoy baking cakes or decorating houses when you have clients ringing you throughout the day or when you’ve got deadlines to meet? Sometimes turning your relaxing Sunday hobby into your full-time job can take the joy away from it.
Turning your weekend hobby into a viable full-time occupation is something a majority of us would love to do. Although, like starting any other business, it takes careful planning, consideration and a bit of luck. So before deciding to take the plunge, make sure you explore every viable option available.