Just about everyone has at some point wondered if they could make money doing something they love. Could your years of piano lessons lead to a stint with the Philharmonic or a solo career?
Could your passion for growing organic vegetables earn you money with a booth at your local farmer’s market? Maybe it will provide the basis for a cookbook? Could your knitting and sewing transition to an Etsy store? Could your penchant for prose qualify you to write children’s books? Perhaps, it can be by creating an online blog.
Our hobbies represent the things we love to do in our leisure time. Yet, can they turn a profit? To an extent, it may rely somewhat on talent. Though, even that may not be entirely necessary.
Just look at the Etsy store OnceMoreWithLove. They sell hand-drawn stickers. Yes, stickers, like on sticker paper. They are meant for planners. Yes, actual Paper day planners. Do people still use those? Apparently, they do.
They are simple line drawings in the style of Hello Kitty. Some even sport a similar red bow. One might call them rudimentary. They may suggest that any 5-year-old with a crayon could virtually create the same thing.
However, this shop boasts over 220,000 sales to date, since opening in 2015. Additionally, they have over 76,000 reviews, a 5-star rating, plus nearly 20,000 admirers.
The average, single sticker sheet, with 4-6 stickers, sells for $3.26. There are a few special items selling for more. As stated earlier, there are 220,000+ sales. That means Margaret, the shop owner, has brought in almost three-quarters of a million dollars in two years, give or take. That’s a success by any standard.
The point is, talent is not a prerequisite for making money with your hobby. That’s at least not if you want to sell twee doodles on Etsy. What you do need is to figure out how to turn your hobby into something you can sell. Then, you must find a market for it.
This is easier said than done. If you want to profit from your favorite hobby, here are a few things to consider.
Let’s say you enjoy sports, art, music, or any other type of performance/entertainment type of hobby. In these cases, the obvious way to make money with it is to go pro. Though, there may be a time limit attached to it.
Perhaps you play soccer, softball, or basketball. Maybe you want to compete in the Olympics. In either case, chances are you need to pull the trigger and commit when you’re still relatively young. Some professional athletes and dancers can perform into middle age. However, that’s not the time when you want to start pursuing a professional career.
You probably have a longer shelf life if you act, sing, or play instruments. That is because these skills aren’t quite as perishable. Yet, this is an area where talent counts. Yet, even talent might not get you far.
You need the right network to help you break into these tough and competitive industries. Art is something else, though. It is totally subjective. Though, it’s also hit or miss. Maybe you’ll find a following as an independent artist or author, but maybe not.
The point is that there are certain hobbies where honing your skills and showing some talent could open doors. Then, you can pursue a career. However, you have to be realistic about this fact. Talent and even perseverance may never bring in the kind of money you need to live.
Follow a Tangent
Let’s take a look at the hobbies listed above. There is a direct correlation between what you do and the product you create, so to speak. This is not true for all hobbies. However, you can always follow a tangent. For example, musicians can always teach music. Writers can teach writing. Artists can teach art classes.
Athletes can become coaches or personal trainers. Writers may not end up penning paperbacks. Instead, they could work for websites, advertising agencies, or virtually any business that needs copy. They could go into editing, publishing, or representing writers as an agent.
Suppose you like hiking, biking, kayaking, skydiving, scuba diving, and other adventure sports. Capture your adrenaline-fueled pursuits on GoPro. Post them on your YouTube channel. Promote them to rack up views and followers.
These things could net your advertising dollars. In turn, they may even result in deals with sponsors, just for example. You might act as a guide for other adventure-seekers.
There are many ways to make money with a hobby. You may not be able to do it directly. Thus, you could always seek a roundabout way to turn your hobby into a business.
Suppose you love fashion and shopping. You always find yourself wishing there was some way to figure out what others are wearing. You do so because you want to add it to your closet. You aren’t alone. Believe it or not, someone made an app for that.
The Craves app founders teamed up with Slyce to piggyback on their product recognition software. Therefore, it will instantly recognize clothing from celebrity photos or snapshots of people on the street.
Users submit photos and are directed to actual product pages. Then, the app also provides similar options at less cost. Thus, users can purchase directly through the app. Is this Brilliant? Yes, it sure is. It’s a good example of how you might turn a hobby like shopping into a money-making enterprise.
Create a Business Plan
Now you’ve settled on a hobby you love enough to make it into a career. You’ve figured out how to monetize it. Therefore, it’s time to create your business plan. Maybe you aren’t an MBA graduate. Perhaps you’ve never created a business plan before. Thus, you might not know how to go about doing this, or even why it’s necessary.
A business plan is your roadmap to success. It includes everything. That includes the name of your company and market research. Additionally, it encompasses how you plan to start, conduct, and grow your business over the next 1-5 years.
You can find templates and tutorials online. It’s absolutely essential if you want to get a business loan or investors. Let’s say you think you can get started without outside funding. A business plan will only help you to get from point A to point B. It will anticipate and overcome obstacles. Then you will eventually earn a profit from your hobby.
If you have any comments about this topic or suggestions about future topics leave them in the comment box below.
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