How To Turn a Hobby into a Career
So I was talking to a friend of mine a couple of days ago and he goes: I hate my job. I said: well, welcome to the world, but we kept talking about it and we couldn’t avoid seeing all the endless possibilities that the world offers, if you just look in the right direction. We live in an amazing time where nearly any hobby can be developed into a career. They say that if you choose a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. But still, most of us go through life doing something that usually ranges from “I hate it but I have to”, to “I can’t complain”. We need money, right? That’s what we tell ourselves at least. But the dream of everybody is to do what you love and be able to make a living out of it. Some of us, well, some of us made it. We see it every day on the internet. We ask ourselves “Why did they make it? Why can’t we survive doing what we love?”
That’s why I decided to do this video. I’d love to transform my passion into the sustaining factor of my living. To transform my hobby into a beautiful career. So if you have hobbies and you’d love to turn them into a business, or just make a living out of it, this video is going to be the right one for you.
If I asked you what you’d like to do right now that can create an impact on you and on others, if you never had to worry about money anymore, what would it be? Think about it. And since creating this type of content is what I love to do to create an impact, if you’re nice please consider supporting me by subscribing to my channel and in return I’ll always do my best to create new content like this. And by the way it’s free! Now, I don’t want to bore you anymore so let’s get to the real content. In this video I want to give you the 7 steps that you need to follow from how to decide what your business idea is going to be to how to implement it and put it into action. Follow these steps and you will finally transform your passion into a fabulous business.
1. Identify your passion – Follow the passion, not the money.
Step nr. 1 is Identify your passion and the main message here is “follow your passion, not the money. I couldn’t choose anything else than this as my first tip because you are truly never going to make it if you don’t follow this. Learn what money is for. Do you want to work so that you can make money, or do you want to make money by doing what you love? Following your passion will make you happy, and most likely wealthy enough, while blindly following the money will be a highway to catastrophe. Make Money a motivator, a driver, but never your final goal. Money is just a byproduct of the perfect match between your passion and the needs of the people.
I know it’s really hard to do this because whenever we want to transform a hobby into a career, in our mind it’s usually too late and we want to speed things up. Maybe we are not so young anymore, or maybe we studied 5 years at the university and we don’t want to just throw all that away, so the spontaneous reaction is to focus our effort into finding something that can make us money. If you just focus on that you might feel pushed for a while, but fostering a new business is a long and strenuous process, and soon enough your motivation won’t be strong enough to overcome the obstacles. If you don’t follow your passion, you are going to give up. Don’t let pursuing money leave you with a bitter mouth and a couple of wasted years. Follow your heart.
2. Identify how your passion can make money
Now, browsing your passions and hobbies you’ll probably come out with at least a couple of interests that you can imagine would bring you joy if you made a living out of them. Depending on the passion you have, you have now the task to understand what is the best way to make money with it. This might sound like a contradiction to what I’ve said before but I do believe that it’s incredibly important to find a passion first, and only then think about how to make money with that passion.
So, there might be different ways to monetize your passion and my suggestion would be to use the internet as a starting point. So the method that I kind of invented, although there’s nothing new about it, is going to help you identify what kind of hobby you have and how to monetize it. With this method you need to identify which one of 3 types of hobbies you have and which one of 3 monetization strategies you want to use. There are basically three types of hobbies: creative hobbies, technical hobbies or lifestyle hobbies. On the other side you have three ways to sell on the internet: You sell content, you sell services or you sell products.
First of all, identify which kind of hobby you have or want to transform into a business.
Writing, design, crafts, music, photography are all creative hobbies.
Languages, photography, mechanics, finance, design are all technical hobbies.
Skateboarding, Horse riding and traveling are all lifestyle hobbies.
The first step is therefore identifying what kind of hobby you have and then to define how you will monetize it. Let’s say that you have a creative hobby. Creative hobbies are usually open to all three kinds of monetization: content, services or products. If you want to sell content, you can easily start a blog that shows your creative skills, or use social networks to create a business page and display your creations and the process behind it. If your creative hobby is something that is kind of complex you could choose Youtube as a main video channel and do long videos. If instead you think you can display your hobby with short videos because they are not so complex or because you like it more, you could use Instagram or TikTok.
If you want instead to sell services, you can use websites like Fiverr or Upwork and basically offer your services against payment. For example if you are good at creating logos you can offer to create logos for a certain price and in these websites you are easily going to find people that will pay you for it.
And the last thing you can sell is a product. Whatever creative hobby you have, you most likely create something that you can then sell. Let’s say you like writing. You can sell physical products, your books, or you can sell them in digital form, as ebooks. But if you are creative enough, you can come up with so many other different digital products to sell. For example, staying on the example of writing, you could sell a pdf that explains how to write books. You must sell it at a very low price, but with the internet you must focus on volume, not on price. So as you can see you have endless possibilities, you just need to define first which one of the 3 kinds of hobbies you have and then which one of the 3 monetization methods you want to start with. After you’ve clarified these 2 points and you’ve decided to focus on the internet first, well then you just need to get to work because if you are persistent enough and ready to learn along the way, there’s no reason why eventually you shouldn’t succeed.
Now let’s make an example with a technical hobby and an example with a lifestyle hobby.
Technical hobby might be photography. Again, you can choose to start from one of the three monetization methods: Content: For example a course on photography published on Skillshare or Udemy. Or again a Youtube channel. Service: like becoming a Photographer on weddings and events and offering your services through a website you create for yourself. Creating a website is by the way extremely easy, just use wordpress.org and Elementor to create the website easily without any coding.
And then we have the third that is “products”. As a photographer you can sell stock photos and videos online in sites like Shutterstock.com or iStockphoto.com.
Every possibility that I gave you is first of all really easy to implement – you don’t need much money, you don’t need to take a degree or have a particular certification… you basically just need to start. And following this logical thread of first defining what kind of hobby you have and then how you want to monetize it you are going to easily define a goal and start pursuing it.
3. Don’t wait for the perfect idea.
So, now that you have identified the passion that you want to transform into a business and decided how you will monetize it, you need to take a closer look at the industry and identify any gaps but without looking for the needle in the haystack. In other words? Don’t wait for the perfect idea. And why is that? Because let’s say that your hobby is cooking and your way to monetize it is by creating a cooking channel on instagram. The problem that you are going to encounter is that there are thousands of cooking channels already. So what happens is that most people stop here and never transform their idea into action because they are too afraid that they’ll never make it. And this is good because thanks to the fact that most people give up, you are going to have more chances of making it. But of the few people that still manage to keep themselves motivated and want to keep pursuing their dream, a good part makes another mistake: they think and think, and overthink in search of the perfect idea. They don’t want to give up, but they don’t even want to start until they can scream Eureka because they found out the next million dollar idea that will explode in a matter of months. Now, what I can tell you is this: it’s true that if you find something that people need and nobody has ever offered it’s going to be great. When you hear about startups that went from nothing to hundreds of millions within a couple of years, well, that’s exactly what happened.
But I also learned that if you always aim at that, most likely you will spend years trying to brainstorm ideas and in the end you’ll be left with nothing. Instead, take action. Take massive action and after you start getting your hands dirty and gaining experience, you’ll come up with great ideas to refine your direction, and your business will slowly take the right shape. What I want to say with this is that you are better off if you study the competition and try to do a little better than them but don’t waste too much time and start. Starting a business online out of a hobby is often like writing a book: When writing a book, most of the story develops while writing. You can’t have a clear idea of the whole story from the beginning – except if you are George RR. Martin – and in the same way even a business will transform and get better with time. There is always something that you can do in a different way, even if you don’t completely disrupt the industry. You just need to improve something compared to the competition and if you put yourself under the spotlight because you showcase your work on the internet as I suggested to you, sometimes your unique personality is all you need to be able to stand out.
4. Get the right mindset
Ok. Now you finally put your idea into motion and you are excited to start and show your work on the internet. This is already a great result. The fourth step is getting the right mindset and it’s important to focus on this step now, in this phase, because if you don’t develop the right mindset you’re doomed to give up at some point. There are 3 main concepts that I believe belong to the right mindset to start a career out of a passion.
Number 1 is Give value to others. Whatever passion you have, your whole focus and energy should be spent in trying to give value to other people. First of all, because if you don’t you’re never going to feel that your work has a purpose, and without purpose there is no motivation and no you’re never going to feel joy. Imagine the idea of earning money from people without giving them nothing in return. Well, this is called scam, but if you think about it, if you don’t give value to others you are probably scamming people. And another reason, probably the most egoistic or anyway more strategy oriented, is that if you don’t you’ll never manage to make it work. You need to positively affect people if you want them to be interested to give their valuable time to you. And the more you affect them, in scale and/or magnitude, the quicker your hobby will start working and make money for you.
You might say “well, my passion is skateboarding, what should I do, do some tricks in the streets and hope to get charity?” – Well, what about teaching other people how to skate?
No matter what your hobby i s, there is always a way to give value to other people with it.
Concept Nr. 2 is There are no failures, only setbacks. Whatever you’re going to start, your path to making it a successful business is going to be studded with problems and obstacles. And many of them will make you stumble so bad that you’re going to think it doesn’t make sense to get up again. The trick here is to always remember that it’s not going terrible because you are a failure, it’s going terrible because that’s the way things go for everybody. As soon as you start seeing all these problems not as failures but as normal setbacks of the process, it will be easy to face them and even accept the consequences.
Concept Nr. 3 is Embrace the unknown. One of the biggest pieces of advice that successful startup owners or business owners give to newbies is to set aside fear and lean into weaknesses. It’s important to get into the mindset that you won’t know what you are doing for a very long time and that it’s completely normal to feel lost. Don’t be afraid of embracing the unknown. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that you have a life in front of you to learn more and more, Check out what I said about this in my very first video of my youtube channel: (8:58)-
5. Start with the right strategy
Ok we have the mindset now and we have everything ready. Step nr. 5 is Start, but start with the right strategy. Some people drop their job and face a lot of risks without even knowing how soon their new journey is going to make them any money. The problem here is, I think, that on the internet itself the people that we constantly see are the few ones that managed to make it within 1-2 years and became millionaires. So we automatically think that this should happen to us too if you invest the same energy, motivation and persistence as they did. But the truth is, no. This is not how it works. Statistically speaking, the probability that you are going to be successful as fast as the famous people you know from the internet is so tiny that is negligible. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about the probability of success. I’m talking about the probability of succeeding so fast.
So, to make it short, part of your strategy should be to start this journey as a side hustle. You always have time during your day to work on a side hustle, and if you see that you really like it and you want to invest more of yourself in it, you can gradually step more and more into the game. There are plenty of reasons to begin earning money with your hobby before you try to make it into a career, but let’s start with the most obvious: money. In order to get started, you’ll need at least a few months of expenses saved up, regardless of the startup costs associated with your business, to make sure that you’ll have something to live on while you’re getting things rolling.
Beginning your business while you’re still working at your old job will also give you a better idea of whether there’s an actual need for your product or service, and how much work goes into producing it, which will give you the information you need to work out the particulars of your finances down the road.
And the second tip I want to give you regarding setting the right strategy to start is: you need to define the steps that you need to take. You should always have a huge dream and a big goal you want to achieve, but if you keep focusing on your final goal you are going to feel lost and small like a potato pretty soon. Big goals excite you at the beginning, but frighten you afterwards. Probably you know what I mean. You get an idea, you start doing something about it and you feel so thrilled that you finally found something worth investing your energy in, but as soon as the problems come up, the goal feels farther and farther away until it’s so small that it’s worth giving it up.
The only way you can withstand all the obstacles you are going to encounter and to keep yourself motivated is by creating smaller, more manageable mini goals. This is going to help you because you have something smaller to focus on but also because you are going to feel good every time you achieve a small step and this helps you realize that, although you are still not the big successful person that you aspire to become, you are on your way there.
6. Build your brand
Step Nr. 6 is Build your brand. The world has never been more full of young entrepreneurs trying to innovate. If you want to stand out from the crowd and be remembered, you need to be recognized first. Thinking about your own branding is a crucial step in making the leap to being self-employed. Market analysis, target customer definition, strategic brand management for your brand identity and strategy, it can all sound very complicated, and if you want to get everything perfect from the beginning, it will be. But remember, you need to take it one step at a time. Everything will get better with time. First, develop an online presence. It will be almost free of charge at the beginning but it will play a significant role in helping you shape your new business. Whether it’s through SEO and Google Ads, or creating a strong brand presence on social media such as Instagram, there are many ways you can get your name out there.
7. build a network.
Now, one of the hardest things when transitioning from a hobby to a business is to find people willing to buy into your idea. Branding, marketing and an online presence will all help with this. However, think about other ways of reaching people. Whether it’s networking events, local projects, there are various ways to build business relationships.
Networking allows you to access opportunities you would never find on your own, and it’s going to give you much more inputs in terms of ideas, options and support than if you were pursuing that dream alone.
Networking is important in 2 phases and for 2 different reasons: When you still just have a hobby or passion, and while you are building your business.
If you have a hobby and you want to turn it into a career, even before starting to try to create a business out of it, try to get in contact with as many people as possible that have the same passion as you. By knowing more people that like the same thing that you do you are going to be able to find gaps and improvement potential more easily, because you get feedback from more people about stuff that doesn’t work, or that could be better, in that particular field. Not only that, but just the exchange of information with people that have the same interests is going to open many new perspectives that you never thought before, and it’s most likely going to bring you new ideas about how to turn that hobby into a business.
And of course, networking is important also while you are growing your business. Even more important. The great power that good business owners have and consider as the key to success is that they created a great network of people of all different fields and whatever need they have they always know somebody that can help them solve it.
Well these were in my opinion the 7 steps that you need to transform your hobby into a career. Thank you for watching this video and if you found some value in it don’t forget to support me by subscribing to my channel. This way you won’t miss future videos like this and you’ll also help me understand if I’m actually saying something useful or just, I don’t know, spitting meaningless words that nobody cares about. Don’t forget to also click the like button and let’s get in touch on social networks. You can find me on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, almost everywhere except Twitter. Why? I don’t know. Too many social networks!
Anyway, I wish you a great day and hope to see you again in the next video. Ciao!