So you have a hobby. Whether it be crocheting or drawing or woodworking or candle making or even bird watching, there is a chance, should you have an inclination, you could turn that hobby into a profit.
I say it a lot, but I can’t emphasize enough, just how amazing of a time we live in. The resources and knowledge at our fingertips is mind-blowing. People all over the world are starting businesses from their homes on their computer. They are taking their hobbies or side projects, and turning them into a profitable gig.
HOWEVER! This being said, before I go any further, I must make it crystal clear, that you 100% should not stop doing what you love because you love it, and start doing it for money. Do. Not. Do. That.
There is a fine and precarious balancing act you must be prepared for going into this venture. That is maintaining your love for the task at hand, while developing a strategy and goals that require self-discipline. This can be challenging when your goal is to say… list 10 scarves on Etsy in 30 days. You want to hold yourself accountable to your commitment, but you don’t want to feel sick when you look at your knitting needles.
I will go further into maintaining the flame in the future, but for now let's look at 5 Ways to turn your hobby into a small business.
1. DO YOUR RESEARCH
The first step to pretty much anything, is research. Thank the heavens for the internet in the palm of our hand. Doubly… thank you for Pinterest! If you are a pinterest fanatic like me, this is a fantastic place to start your research journey. I have several boards dedicated solely to my personal and professional growth, both which help me to grow my business and my brand. My BOSSBABE BOARD, is littered with goodies if anyone is looking to break into branding/blogging/social media management.
If you aren’t on Pinterest, I highly recommend joining for this part of the game plan. Regular search engines are fine, but Pinterest is visual, neatly organized, and very specific to what you might be looking for. For example. I just pinned “Starting a Pottery Business”... and below you can see what I found on Pinterest verse a Google search.
Which one is more exciting and offers more options? Always Pinterest. With PInterest, you are going to get more than just how, you may also get other pins on specifics you didn’t even think to look up or things that will help you become a better potter or a better brand. You can See on the Pinterest search, it also brought up a pin on How to Build A Better Brand and a pin on Cone Specifics… which I am guessing has to do with pottery. But you’re also getting Etsy pins and a wide variety of useful information.
So if you want me input, Pinterest is going to get you closer to your goal. Don't get me wrong, Google is great for many things, but Pinterest is a far more engaging tool for research in this arena.
2. PICK YOUR PATH
There will always be more than one way to get anywhere. After doing some research, you may experience some information overload. You might feel overwhelmed and this could be the point where the spark fizzles out.
You simply need to sift through all the information pebbles till all you are left with are the gold nuggets. The plan that sets your eyes a-twinkle. Trust me, the gold nuggets are there. You just have to commit to the sift.
Different paths work for different people. You know you better than anyone, so don’t just read an article about how someone else got where they are and blingly replicate that. Absolutely take every piece of information you ingest into consideration, and take notes along the way about what speaks to you, what sparks your fire, what tickles your pickle. Nothing weird. I am just saying, do what works for you.
3. GET CLEAR AS CRYSTAL ABOUT YOUR GOAL AND HOW YOU ARE GETTING THERE
Be as specific as you possibly can. I listen to a lot of Tony Robbins, and he constantly preaches the Power of Clarity. This guy knows some things, if you’re not familiar with the great, Tony. The clearer you can be on anything, the more likely you are to succeed. If you spend all your time just following a loose and blurry path to an indistinct and wish-washy goal, more than likely you will never make it, and even if by the gods of fate you did make it, you wouldn’t even know!
So instead of making your goal to sell some of your handmade soaps in 2019, make your goal to earn at least $500 by June 2019, and $750 from June to December. I don’t know much about soaps, so I don’t know how obtainable/low/or high these numbers are… but I think you get the point.
Once you have the end goal, then you set the steps. How will you start selling? Locally are fairs and markets or strictly online? Perhaps you can begin just by giving your friends and families samples of your goodies and coupons and cards. Then they can purchase if they would like and they will probably tell their own communities about you. You have options. Pick your path and write down the directions as if you were telling someone from another country how to get to a hotel 20 miles away. Crystal… clear.
4. ESTABLISH A TIMELINE
This is part of your plan, but a separate entity deserving of its own subtitle. Timelines are important because they help you to hold yourself accountable. If you just say I will set up my Etsy account soon, you may never do it. You will find reasons to push it off. Soon is subjective. To me soon may mean within a month, to you it may mean a week, and to someone else it may be within the hour! So get clear on your timeline.
Instead, say I will have my Etsy account at least setup by the end of this month. Then, and this is important, write it down and put it in your calendar. I have recently started using my calendar on my phone for more than events, and started writing down more own goals and deadlines as well. In addition to writing down the date you want to have something completed by, make reminders throughout the month. Depending how far out the deadline is, maybe make one every week that says 3 weeks till, 2 weeks till, last week before… This keeps you aware of how much time is passing.
When you sit down to write your timeline, start by simply making a list of all the pieces and parts of your journey. Some of these things may take 1 hour, some may take several days. Do your best to establish the length of each task, write that next to your tasks, and then you can start laying them out on a calendar timeline.
Most important, stick.. To… it! Take it seriously. You made this plan for a reason.
5. TAKE ACTION
Alright, here is the super duper fun part, but also… sometimes… the uber challenging part. Put all your research, goals, steps, and timeline into action! Who doesn’t want to see their goals turn into a reality? Nobody. But how many people don’t see their goals turn into a reality. Way too many. It’s not a matter of not wanting it. It’s a matter of action.
It’s challenging to start something new. On top of that, it can be scary to start working towards something you want, because “what if it doesn’t work?”. But entertain this thought for a moment, “what if it does work?. Actually… let’s entertain that one for the long haul. Keep that question at the forefront of your mind as you begin this journey. WHAT IF IT WORKS? Then start to answer it… “I could quit a job I don’t love, I will bring joy into people’s lives, I will master my craft, I will meet wonderful people… This will be a new chapter for me!”
Still scared? Or maybe more excited?!
There is a whole community of people out there working hard, making it possible for them to turn their hobbies into something more. You will join that community if you....
Set the steps. Take the steps. Reap the rewards.