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Taking Your Hobby & Turning it Into a Business

A number of years ago I was doing a seminar series at a local restaurant.  The catering manager was my contact person.  On the day of the event I arrived early to see her moving tables and chairs.  As she dragged one of the tables into position she moaned and said, “I am getting tired of this!”  I asked, “What would you rather do?”  She replied, “Go fishing.”  Fishing is her hobby.

In five minutes we outlined a plan to create a fishing business.  She could implement the plan in 30 days.  Shortly after that she was no longer the catering manager at that restaurant.  I would love to say that she now owns a charter service for fishing expeditions.  I can say that every day that you wake up and do something you love to do the rest of your life will be a joy to live.

The difference between being an employee and self-employed is time management.  If you need someone else to guide your day stop reading now.  Being self-employed is not for you.  If you can manage your time (or learn to manage your time,) then consider being your own boss doing your hobby for business every day.

If you are someone who is currently employed, stay employed and come up with a plan to become self-employed.  The best advice I can give is to save enough money to protect you.  Three years is a good guide line for savings.  Be sure to have enough to pay for your minimum survival needs (shelter, food, and essential expenses.)

I once thought that the word work was equal to those other four letter swear words.  I never thought that work could be fun and profitable.

Some things to consider when converting a hobby into a business:

  • Pick something you love to do.  Ask yourself, “Is this something I am excited about doing every day?”  Will you jump out of bed to go to your hobby?
  • Discover people to work with you.  Who might be able to help you discover the plan for success?  Find/hire a mentor(s) who might have experience in creating businesses.
  • Journal.  Daily writing about your experience with a focus on what you WANT will make this journey more pleasurable.  Record all the good things that happen daily that lead you to your goals.
  • Look at this as a journey.  It has been said that, “Rome was not built in a day.”  Set realistic expectations.  Have a board of advisors guide you on what those realistic expectations might be.  Short/long term expectations need to be real as well as imagined!  Be creative.
  • Being scared.  Are you prepared to be challenged?  If converting your hobby into a business were easy there would be no need for this article.  Prepare for bumps in the road. These bumps are valued expectations as long as you are prepared to pick yourself up and move forward.
  • Developing a plan.  Do you have the skills to develop a plan?  Can you get the help necessary to create and follow your plan?  Will you measure, manage, and make adjustments to your plan?
  • Consider the financing.  Are you ready to hire someone to measure and manage your finances?  Let professionals do what they do best so you can do what you do best.
  • Take time off.  Be prepared to schedule downtime, vacation time, and daily time away from your ‘hobby’ business.  Sometimes ‘hobby’ businesses are so much fun that we lose sight of other important aspects of life like rest, renew, and rejuvenation.

Below are some businesses that were hobbies before they produced an income.

  • Model maker, making models for the Smithsonian Institute
  • Buying/selling model cars
  • Fishing Charter Service.  A retired Army Colonel purchased a small (affordable) fishing vessel to charter day long fishing on a small local lake in Northern New York.
  • Christmas tree/wreath sales.  A local farmer grew trees and created wreathes for holiday sales.
  • Stamp, coin, and antique collector
  • Photographer

Gerry Rose runs INTEGRITY Networking Solutions in Oceanside, CA.  He works with people in business who want to attract the right prospects and generate more referrals.  More than 10,000 businesses have been presented the INTEGRITY Networking Solutions system in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange Counties.

Gerry’s stimulating presentation Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals is ideally suited for small business owners, home-based businesses, and independent professionals who want clearer direction and want to attract more prospects, develop dynamic systems, and strengthen their companies’ accountability.  Gerry does one on one consulting, conducts a range of keynote speeches from thirty minutes to full-day education workshops.

His book series, Unlimited Prospects, Unlimited Referrals, are available on the website, www.integritysd.com.

Gerry has more than 20 years’ experience directing business owners how to grow their businesses.  He is a networking dynamo.  Those who know him will assure you that he does a great job of bringing people together—which is why he started IntegritY.

Involved with networking organizations since 1984, Gerry is a Distinguished Toastmaster, a member of Toastmaster International, and has chaired numerous chambers of commerce and non-profit organizations.

Are you truly committed to attracting the right prospects and generate more referrals?  If so then contact INTEGRITY Networking Solutions for availability and information.  You can contact Gerry by mail at 1610 Quiet Hills Drive, Oceanside, CA 92056.  Direct dial (760) 439-4623; e-mail to gerry@integritysd.com.  For more information, go to www.integritysd.com

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