It’s been nearly 5 years since I opened my gorgeous little cake shop (I know can you believe it?!) and I can honestly say it was the proudest moment of my life. I get so many questions on Instagram from different people who are maybe starting up in business and want to know how to go into their passion full time, so I am here to share my experience and advice to help you along the way.
Today I wanted to answer an important question before you even consider going full time- should you even turn your hobby into a business?
Many of us have hobbies we enjoy in our spare time, and I am sure many of us have thought, what if I could spend ALL my time doing this AND get paid for it? Sounds like a dream come true right? Potentially.. but not always.
The first thing to ask yourself, is will you still enjoy it? Some people have found that on turning their hobby into work, they no longer find it enjoyable. The pressure of working to a routine, financial demands, and fulfilling customer wants and needs can simply take the fun out of things and prove to be too much. I have even heard stories from people who have turned their hobby into a business, given it up, and then found that they can’t even do their hobby in their spare time because they no longer enjoy it.
I have definitely found that turning my baking hobby into a business has changed things for me. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy it anymore but it sure is much different to when I was doing it in my spare time just for fun.
To start, you need to figure out whether you’re going to be okay working within certain time frames, are you going to be able to do your hobby all day every day and often work towards deadlines? This for some people can prove to be all too much. Say for example you like painting, and I tell you that you have to create a painting, and you have two hours in which to finish it- would you still be able to enjoy the project when you have got to work towards a strict deadline? Another thing to ask yourself is, are you willing to do it even if you’re not getting paid? Often when you start out in business, you’re not always making that much money, if any at all! There is a big difference between doing something for fun, and doing something because if you don’t do it you might not be able to pay the bills. Having that constant financial pressure can be very difficult at times, and I have certainly found this, so ensure that you give it some deep thought before you take the jump.
Another thing to consider is, are you interested and keen to learn all of the other aspects of running a business? I think there can be a misconception that once you turn your hobby into a full time business you’re going to be doing that all the time and it will just be all fun and games, but you have got to remember that there are so many other aspects to running a business. This includes marketing and selling your product and/or service, communicating with customers, paperwork and accounting, and all these other things which you may not have initially considered.
Turning your hobby into a full time business is an amazing thing to do and it can be extremely satisfying but I warn you, it is not always easy! You have really got to ask yourself, am I up for the challenge, both physically and mentally? If you find that your hobby is something you do to wind down and relax after a long day at work then you might find that it is quite different to when you’re having to do it to keep a roof over your head, be warned.
However, saying all this I really don’t want to put you off. For me, starting my own business was the best decision I ever made so if you have considered all of these things deeply then go for it, you have nothing to lose! You will never know until you try.
Do you have a hobby that you’d like to turn into a business? Let me know in the comments!