How to Turn Your Hobby into a Business and Escape the Rat Race

Have you got a thing you do after work or on weekends that you are really passionate about? Something you enjoy or have so much fun learning and developing that the hours just fly by, but it just sits in a garage, or in the kitchen, or on your computer and hasn’t really taken off yet?

Most of the world’s most famous brands started out because its founder had a passion that grew from humble kitchens, garages and bedrooms into hugely profitable businesses. Examples include Microsoft, KFC and Boost Juice just to name a few.

Think about it. Do you enjoy photography, repairing cars, building and inventing cool gadgets, baking cupcakes, designing and sewing dresses, playing the piano, etc.? Now imagine if your skills and this hobby of yours could be nurtured to become a business, one that could eventually see you supplement, maybe even replace your day job income? You could finally fire that boss of yours and escape the rat race!

Below are 3 specific areas that will give you a clear foundation on which to build your hobby into a business:

Skill assessment

What skills do you possess in the process of going about your hobby? For example, your hobby may be that you like baking cakes, and you may also work in a job in the digital media industry.

So perhaps you could combine your natural talents to create and promote your cakes via multimedia using video, audio, blogs, or even an online catering store. 

Market assessment

Who’s interested in what you do and how much will they pay for your products and/or services? Test the market and see what kind of reaction you get.

Today, there are inexpensive, even free ways to get a good feel for whether or not your idea has ‘legs’. Online surveys like ‘survey monkey’ are great for getting quick feedback from friends and associates – especially before you invest a great deal of time and money into launching a new product or service.

Timeframe assessment

Are you in the right time and place to be offering your product and/or service? Is the market ready for what you are offering – i.e. is the timing right? Can you commit the time to making this viable? Are you willing to go full-time into your business if it took off? Will it support your lifestyle?

Once you know where you stand by doing the above assessments, you are ready to take your hobby to the next level. The following ideas can help you monetize your hobby and maximize your potential.

Teach others the ‘art of doing’ what you do

Whether you enjoy teaching the piano, how to play tennis or make clay pots, there are many ways you can do this. You could take the formal approach; get accredited, publish a book, speak at industry events, become a local expert teaching in colleges, or run your own private classes and workshops.

These days it’s so easy to set up your own blog site, run webinars and podcasts that enable you to reach a large global audience and spread your message to thousands of people.

Be an ‘evangelist’ by speaking, writing and promoting your hobby/industry

Turn your hobby or obsession into a profitable enterprise by offering a fresh perspective on what it is you enjoy doing. For example, if you love baking and also believe in eating healthy, you could devote your time and energy into educating people on ways to bake with a focus on choosing healthy ingredients. That way, you’d be satisfying both your passions.

You could interview chefs who also resonate with your philosophy, create your own recipe books, have your own website, videos, blogs and be a real spokesperson for your chosen industry. 

Teach others the ‘business’ of your hobby

You can impact others who share the same passion as you by teaching them ways to turn their hobby into a viable business and thereby be an instrument of change in their lives.

For example, you may be a great piano player and enjoy teaching as well. Using both these skills, you could help teach up and coming piano enthusiasts how to setup and run their own piano teaching classes.

Another example may be that you enjoy cooking and work in marketing. You could combine your skills to teach aspiring chefs on how to market and promote themselves.

No matter what your hobby, if you have a passion to take it to the next level, the above exercises should get you started in terms of areas to explore and ways you can generate income from utilizing your natural talents and acquired skills.

At the end of the day, it will come down to your will to make this a reality and if you have a purpose big enough, you can turn your hobby into a business that will help you escape the rat race once and for all.

Ready to go? Make sure you have the 5 skills every startup needs.