Should a Hobby Stay a Hobby or Become Your Career?

Things to ConsiderDo what you love and the money will follow…

This is a pretty common expression in the hunt to find your ideal career — especially when it comes to working from home.

But is it true? Will building a business around something you love equal success and fulfillment? Will turning a beloved hobby into a home-based business ensure your happiness?

Doing Something Because You Want To

A hobby is something you do because you want to. Nobody is forcing you into a hobby (That is, unless, your significant other is making you learn ball-room dancing or golf so you can spend more time together).

When you choose a hobby, it’s because it calls to you in some way. You take up painting or candle making because you want to express yourself. You jump into a sport because you want to get in shape and it seems like fun. Often it’s relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. It’s only natural to want that feeling as part of your work.

Be Careful What You Wish For, And All That…

There are lots of things to consider when exploring the idea of making a hobby your business. Can you make a living at it, is the first thing.

But some other important (and often overlooked) questions to ask are:

1. Will it still be enjoyable if it’s your work?

Some things are fine in small doses, but become much less fun when you’re doing it 10+ hours a day. Before you leap into making a hobby your new home-based business, spend some time really thinking about how much you can do it. Is it something you can do for hours on end? How about for many years to come?

Consider why you took up the hobby in the first place, and make sure those reasons will still be there if you’re doing it for a living. Like…

2. How does the hobby fit into your business?

If you love tennis, then a tennis-based career makes sense, right? Well, how much of your business will be tennis? If you’re an instructor, you’re actually teaching tennis. Of course some of that will be playing, but is that enough to make it fulfilling? If you open an online store selling tennis equipment, you’re a retailer and internet marketer. Is there enough of the “tennis ingredient” to keep you interested? Knowing how you’re going to make your hobby a business is important. It may be the central theme, but there will be a lot of non-hobby related work, so…

3. Will the love of the hobby sustain you through all the work related to running a home-based business?

One harsh reality of working for yourself and running a small business is, the bulk of the work is not the main product or service you’re providing. Most of your time will be spent with sales, marketing, and administrative stuff — particularly when you’re starting out. The love of your hobby has to be strong enough to make all the crappy administrative work worthwhile. Marketing, in particular, needs to be a natural extension of your work, which brings us to…

4. Are you really passionate about it?

In the beginning, the passion keeps you working like crazy when you’re getting nothing in return. Something that many new solo entrepreneurs find is that marketing their passion is much easier than they imagined. If you love doing it, marketing actually comes pretty easy.

When you’re exploring home business options, hobbies are a great place to start. The key is making sure it never becomes something you have to do. There’s already a word for that.

It’s called a job…