Five Ways to Turn Your Hobby into a Career

September 27 - Paulina Sanchez

We're all secretly good at something. Why not make an empire out of it? If you're looking for a sign, this is it. It will take a lot of work, passion, commitment, and money, but there will never be a feeling of fulfillment like that of being your own boss. Now, let's start your dream business by following these few tips:

1. Make time for your new business.

This is now your baby, and it will need a lot of attention. The hardest part? Sacrificing your downtime, nights, and weekends for your business. It’s crucial that you put 125% of your free time by investing in your business. Make time for it all, whether it’s making your website better, cold calling, doing research or developing products.

2. Test the waters by freelancing.

If you don’t want to invest an excessive amount of money into your new business, freelance, which is a great alternative to see if your new career can take off. What’s keen about freelancing is that you can hire clients and work on projects you are comfortable with. Reach out to other freelancers in your network to get a feel of what their experience has been like. To get started: Build a website, create business cards, create examples, make a price list, research potential clients, and get references.

Here are a few freelancing ideas that you can start this weekend: Photography, interior design, graphic design, styling, social media, consulting, software engineering, website design, ghostwriting, blogging, event planning, personal training, baking, cooking, landscaping, and farming.

3. Know your market.

Educate yourself about the market by researching online and reading books on the industry you are trying to break in. Follow your competitors and see what you can do better. Get to know your future clients by researching the demographics and trends. Educate yourself and then some more. To thrive, you need to know what other business are lacking so that you can pick up the slack.

4. Ask questions and get feedback.

Be positive that your product and service can sell. Ask your friends, colleagues, boss, and family for their feedback. The cheapest way to improve your product or service is by getting free critical feedback. If the feedback only consists of good compliments, start asking for detailed responses. Be open to all criticism and put your feelings aside.

Think of it this way: There are probably a lot of restaurants you have dined in and didn’t like the food because it was bland. What if you told the chef what was wrong with your plate? Maybe the restaurant wouldn’t have lost the ten people at your table as returning customers. Feedback is money (don’t quote me on that).

5. Innovate

What about your product and service sets you apart from your competitors? How are you different? These are questions that you need to answer and then innovate them. Be so different that you create a product/service that will put you on top in the industry. Create something good and then make it better. You want your business to stay relevant for years to come and improving in any way can be promising. Find inspiration by playing around, taking a hike, traveling, doing something you love - then get to work!

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