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Make Your Hobby Your Career

We’ve all heard the saying “If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.” For most people, this is the quote that echoes in their mind when they’re not satisfied with their current job, or when they’re looking for new opportunities. A lot of those people have a passion or a hobby that they’d love to take to the next level and pursue as a career, but they don’t know-how. But what is the key to doing what you’re passionate about, and why isn’t everybody doing it yet?

Is it Profitable?

The first step if you’re thinking about making a living out of your hobby is placing it in situ and translating your hobby into a marketable area. Some hobbies fit perfectly into a niche, while some fall short, or need some improvement in order to pursue them as a career. Sometimes, after creating a career out of a hobby, the person falls out of love because it’s too much work, or too many compromises had to be made, limiting their creative freedom.

If you think your passion fits into the economy and can be profitable, create a plan and write down exactly how you plan on turning a profit with just your passion projects. Do you want to work within a company as an employee, would you be a freelancer working on different projects at once, or do you want to create a company? Furthermore, if you can imagine a functional customer base for what you’re offering, then you have a shot, and you should start getting proactive and create opportunities for yourself.

Training

The amount and level of training you need depends on two things. Is it for personal growth, or do you need it to land a specific job opportunity within a company? If you think you need training to make your knowledge more authentic, but you’re going to remain your own boss as a freelancer or business owner, you can browse through basically any type of training. It doesn’t even have to give a certificate or cost any money, and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time.

But if you are planning on offering your talents to an already established company, you have to research the requirements of that position. And if you can’t find anything by searching on the internet, contact HR in the company and ask them what you have to do to get the gig. Most CEOs love someone who is willing to do the work and promises to be a great asset.

Whatever the case and motivation, people have to consider the training type and level they need in order to pursue their desired career. It can be a summer intensive course that teaches a trade on a professional level, but it can also be a full-time university degree for some people. It depends on the goal and the determination of each person.

Elevate Something

It’s important to take your passions to the next level. What you did for your own amusement within your own little space may not transfer as a profitable career in today’s economy.

First, take note of what you love to do within the hobby. This is the one thing that doesn’t allow compromise. Do you love the process of doing it, the final product of your work, or maybe the mental state it puts you in? For example, some writers love the creativity that comes with the projects, and the research that it entails, but don’t really care about the type of article they write. Other writers want to contribute to one specific area and don’t care about their creative freedom if it means writing about one important thing.

The second thing to take note of is what discipline you can classify your hobby in? Does it belong in finance? Nature conservation? Fashion? Lifestyle? Cosmetics? Games or fun extracurriculars? Narrowing down the area of your future career will help you navigate your business. It will let you know your competitions and allies, your opportunities, your audience, and basically all important information regarding your startup. When you narrowed this down, start researching what others in the profession are doing, and contact people who can help you.

And finally, when you have all this in mind, the most important step is finding a way to elevate your product so that it becomes part of the “competition.” Make your product something that is needed and indispensable, or put a creative twist on the profession and make it one of a kind to attract a wide audience and customer base. Whatever your hobby is, think of it as a starter product, because the truth is, a lot of people can do anything as a hobby, but not a lot of people have what it takes to take it to the next level, and this is the true reason why not everyone can make a career out of their passion projects. To make it in the big bad world, you have to be different, you have to be unique, smart, capable, and you should always stay passionate.

Investment

Every passion project starts with a hefty investment. This can be buying a laptop, renting an office, or buying supplies and machines. Whatever it is, the next step after establishing what you want and how you’re going to do it is calculating the very first investment, because that’s always the largest amount. If you currently have a 9 to 5 job, this calculation will let you know when you’ll be free to hand in your notice. And if you’re in between jobs and want to start your passion career, you have to adjust your spendings to your current budget, and that will most likely force you to compromise. This first calculation must contain everything you absolutely need, and you shouldn’t calculate anything you can live without. For example, a jewelry maker needs supplies, packaging supplies, and possibly machines, but maybe for the first few months, they can work from their tiny desk in their mediocre chair, and won’t need to rent a new space or buy expensive furniture.

If you alone don’t have a big enough budget to make the first move, then it’s time to look for investors. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be found in the most unusual places. An investor doesn’t have to be the biggest businessman or woman, it could be a potential partner for your business, an interested party, someone who’s been following your work, or you can start a Kickstarter online if you have a fanbase for your hobby products. And although it’s not recommended to mix business with your personal life, it’s not unheard of that an investor is a family member or friend. And if you can allow yourself to make an offer, give a small percentage of your income to the investor. That way they instantly become a business partner, their money will be returned automatically, and they can even profit from the investment in the long run.

The Journey or the Goal?

What’s more important? The ultimate goal, or how you get there? If you had to sacrifice one for the other, which would you more easily let go of? For example, if you’re moving to a different city, is the quality of the apartment more important than the placement in the city, or the other way around? Would you give up financial freedom for a while to reach your ultimate goal? Or would you be able to adjust your goal to earn more money and turn a profit earlier in the game?

Some uncomfortable and unwanted compromises will inevitably show themselves, but it doesn’t mean that you need to sacrifice the overall quality of either the journey or the goal. Instead, it means adjusting them to become something entirely different. The quality of your job can remain the same in a penthouse and a small flat, but it may seem like a huge compromise for a biased and ambitious person on their way to success.

The truth of the matter is that you have to choose one that is always in your sight, and the other one should be considered as a happy by-product.

Overall, the idea of “If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life” is tempting, but doesn’t cover the entire truth. The truth is, that it will still be work, and possibly more work than ever before, and it does mean compromising some things that you don’t feel comfortable letting go of. But the saying stays true, because if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, and if you’re disciplined and ambitious in the matter, the extreme amount of work you put into it will never feel as numbing and tiring as a simple 9 to 5 job, and that’s entirely worth it.