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How to Determine if a Passion is a Hobby or a Potential Career

How to Determine if a Passion is a Hobby or a Potential Career
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  • 0:01 Could Your Hobby Be a Career?
  • 1:01 Business Plan
  • 3:46 Try Before You Commit
  • 5:14 A Downfall
  • 6:08 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 15 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

This lesson will look at whether or not it is a good idea for you to turn your hobby into a career. While it sounds great to earn money for doing what you would do for free anyway, there are important things to consider before taking such a step.

Could Your Hobby Be a Career?

Wouldn't it be great if work didn't feel like work at all? There is a saying that goes, 'Love what you do and the money will follow.' It is true that if you are good at your job and genuinely enjoy the work, you will be more successful. But does that apply to turning a hobby into an actual job?

A hobby is an enjoyable pursuit sought after one's regular occupation. A career is a full-time income-producing occupation. So, is it possible to turn a hobby into an actual career? In this lesson, I will review ways to determine if your passion should remain a simple hobby or if it could be a potential career. Business plans will be introduced in general terms as a decision-making tool. Additionally, methods to try out a hobby as a career will be offered. Finally, you will be given a warning about a major downfall of converting your hobby into a business.

A Business Plan Can Help You Decide

So, a business plan is a plan to identify and define all the aspects of a prospective business. This includes areas such as the product of the business, the projected customer base, information on the financial backing needed for start-up costs and a review of the viability of a business in your area.

The first aspect of a business plan is determining what product or service your hobby might produce. Some hobbies are fun but might not really have a marketable outcome. Other hobbies could have multiple marketable products or services associated with them.

Consider a man who enjoys archery. He may really enjoy going out to the archery range and testing his skill. But this man has no interest in teaching others how to shoot nor any interest in learning more about the sport of archery or any other equipment. He generally just likes to go out on the range by himself. In this scenario, it does not appear that the man has anything related to his archery hobby that is marketable to offer.

Now consider a woman who enjoys making her own jewelry. She already has tools to create full pieces from beginning to end. She also enjoys making many different types of pieces. In this case, the woman may find that she could go in many directions with her hobby. She could open a jewelry repair business; she could design new pieces and try to get her work accepted by large galleries and manufacturers; or she could make pieces-to-order in a small community business set up. These are three different career paths for one hobby. She could turn her hobby into both services and products, so this is a much more viable option than the earlier archery scenario.

After deciding if your hobby could produce a product, you may want to continue with a brief business plan to give yourself a better idea of what your hobby would be in reality in a business. A business plan helps ensure that a person has truly and completely thought through all the issues related to owning a new business. How much start-up funding will you need to go into business? Will you need to hire employees at any point? Will you need store products or have special equipment? Is there already someone else doing the same thing? Can you find a unique twist to your business idea? Are there potential customers for your proposed product?

There are many questions to ask yourself as you are preparing a business plan. The answers to these questions can help you see more clearly whether your hobby could realistically become a career.

Try It Before You Commit

Starting your own business, no matter how much you enjoy the work, can be a risky adventure. Did you know that 80% of new businesses end up failing? There are many reasons why this is true, but what is important for you to understand right now as you begin to consider your options is that there is a chance that any business you design could fail.

So, what can you do to give yourself a good taste of what it might be like to work in the field of your hobby before fully committing your valuable time and financial resources?

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