Everyone wants to be passionate about what they do. Not only does passion make every task feel worthwhile, it can also be a very strong driving force. It’s been found that among employees, and millennials especially, being passionate about their job is one of the biggest factors for them to stay in it - surpassing even high pay or good benefits. And in the case of employers, one of the most common reasons for people to become entrepreneurs is that they’re passionate about something and want to s
Not everyone is lucky enough to work based on their passions, but many of those who are start their own businesses. Usually, they find a way to monetize their creations, talents, or hobbies. But when you’re passionate about a hobby, how do you find the “business” side to it?
We hear the question all the time: what are you passionate about? More often than not, the answer’s really simple – it’s whatever you enjoy doing. You may find yourself doing something in your spare time, sticking to it even when the going gets tough (i.e. when you fail at it yet keep trying and learning), or using it as a stress reliever at the end of a tough day. Well, there’s a high possibility that that something is your passion.
So the next step is asking yourself if you want to earn from this passion. This can be a simple yes or no for now: do you want to do this hobby permanently, and would you be willing to work hard to earn money for it? If the answer is yes, you’re well on your way. If you’re not sure yet, that’s fine, too – it doesn’t mean you’re any less passionate; it just means you may have other priorities, or may want to separate the work context from the personal one.
To shift from hobbyist to entrepreneur, you need a shift in mindset. This includes changing the way you look at your hobby.
To begin with, remember that you’re no longer working just for yourself. The bottom line of a hobby is that it makes you happy, but the bottom line of a business is that it makes others happy. That’s a big leap to make, but it’s not necessarily a big compromise – remember that the two lines can cross and even merge. It helps to look at the market first, understand what it wants, and then determine how you can provide that based on your unique skills and talents.
Secondly, remember that you aren’t working alone. Too often, we feel a strong sense of ownership for our hobbies and the creations that stem from them. This is fine when they’re just for recreation, but when you’re running a business, you need to know where to hold back. Not only should you determine the areas where you need help and get the manpower to fulfill those needs, you’ll also have to manage and work with other people – look at their ideas with an unbiased opinion, listen to their concerns, and accept their feedback.
There’s a risk there as well: when you feel a strong responsibility for your products, you’ll need to strike a balance between perfectionism and compromise. Specifically, you’ll need to match your call for high quality with the best your team can give – don’t treat them like their best isn’t good enough, but don’t let them be careless or sloppy either.
And finally, keep in mind that while you may enjoy it, work is still work. This means that there will be days when you aren’t in the mood to make anything, or don’t feel totally satisfied with your output. But even on those days, it’s business as usual – you’ll still have to deal with customers, create products or provide services, and please your market as well as you can. You’ll have to be as consistent as possible and make sure your output fits not only your own preference, but that of your market. Remember that each product or service you offer carries your brand, making each one a reflection of you as a business owner and as a hobbyist.
In conclusion, many people would love turning their passion into a business, but it’s no easy task. You’ll be dealing with a lot of external factors like customers and employees, both positive and negative feedback, and a different kind of pressure than when you’re just doing something for yourself.But the bottom line should always be that you’re doing something you love – keep your passion and your goals in mind, and you’ll face each challenge with a determination to keep going and seeing your dream to the finish.
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