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How to Turn a Hobby into a Business

How to Turn a Hobby Into a Business

Do you want to ditch your 9-5 gig and turning your hobby into a business? It isn’t a walk in the park to start your own business. 

Be warned, The New York Times reported that unfortunately, “Career switchers have found that going solo comes with its own pitfalls: a steep learning curve, no security, physical exhaustion and emotional meltdowns.”  

Here’s three tips on how to turn a hobby into a business.

1. Be ready to wear a lot of hats

If you love baking and dream of opening your own bakery, realize that a lot of your time for the business will not be spent on that activity. Inc. estimates that only 15% of your time will be spent doing the activity that you love.

In the beginning you’ll be wearing a lot of hats and most of them you will have no experience in. You’ll be the baker, but also the CEO, brand ambassador, accountant, social media expert, web designer, customer service, and sales rep. It’s a lot to learn at once.  

2. Don’t quit your day job

You have so much passion for your hobby. In your gut you know you’ll do everything in your power to make this business a success, but you haven’t yet. The last thing you want when building your business is a having a double-digit balance in your bank account, or worst yet raking up high interest credit card debt to pay for the necessities like food and housing.

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx and Forbes youngest female self-made billionaires, had a day job of selling fax machines door-to-door while she started Spanx. Take the financial pressures off by keeping your day job or having at least steady part-time work when you start your business.

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3. Dream big, act now

Keep dreaming big about turning your hobby into a business, but also start acting.  It is natural to fear failing and be timid in starting a business.  Or on the opposite end is to let perfectionism and the need to have a grand launch, put you into overwhelm and then delay you from starting.  Action cures fear.  Here’s how to stop putting things off.

The best way to see if your business will work is to work.  Just do it and you’ll learn, adjust, and grow along the way.

P.S. This article was originally featured on Score. Score is a nonprofit that offers free business coaching and mentors. Find a mentor to help you turn your hobby into a business.

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Hi! I'm Carly

I’m a Finance grad and creator of Best Money Class Ever, a 4-week live virtual personal finance class. I paid off $35,000 of debt and saved a nest egg of over $100,000 by age 26 (earning only around the median household income!).

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