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Okay, let’s take a quick business break to just talk like ordinary people.
We need to discuss this.
As someone who surrounds themselves with many business-minded people all the way from CEOs to 9-5 employees, I see a trend.
I’ll even admit I’ve fallen into it myself a few times.
We think that anything we like or are good at could and should be a new business idea.
Let’s look at where this idea comes from and some ways to think about this so that you can honestly decide whether something just needs to be a hobby and a passion or if we should look at it as a potential income stream.
So where did this originate from?
It was born out of a couple of realities of the 21st Century.
The first is how easy it has become to start a business. Or at least to assemble the bones of business.
For $100 and maybe a few monthly subscriptions you can have a business registered, a website, bank account, credit card processing, professional email and a social media presence.
These are all great things in their own right, but what happens is everyone creates a business and tries to monetize their hobbies which leads you to think that you should as well.
Seth Godin summed this up well when talking about the changing landscape of publishing, “Anyone can publish a book on Amazon. Therefore anyone does.”
Again, nothing wrong with wanting to test our your entrepreneurial wings, but the problem is that everyone gets caught up in the question of if they could, and they don’t question if they should.
It just becomes the thing to do, so you start to feel lazy if you don’t jump on board and try it as well.
This leads to the second issue, which is much more in-depth, but try to stay with me.
In simple terms, it is that people are looking to make more money. Of course grocery prices, student loan debt, and health insurance are all on the rise, but more importantly, it is often people not being content with the idea of enough.
Always seeking more if what I have seen lead to ruining so many passions and hobbies in an effort to turn it into a business. People fall into the idea that, “Wow, this is going to be the big break and I’ll make my $10,000 a month.”
The sad truth is more times than not it just leaves you hating what you once loved and the thing that you did to unwind now stresses you out.
As if this wasn’t enough to sort out, you always have all of the self-proclaimed business gurus and internet marketers chucking programs and seminars at you about taking what you are passionate about and earning income from it.
I get it.
The sales copy can be very captivating.
That’s why many of these people make a lot of money hawking their wares around the internet. Most of them are not intentionally underhanded, they as I mentioned before just don’t help you determine if it is right to take your hobby and turn it into a business.
So the big question is how you can tell when it might be right for you? Well, ask yourself a few questions.
Do you need a business at all? What’s the motivation?
Sounds like a stupid question, but it’s an excellent place to start. Are you sincerely wanting to start a business? Do you need extra income or do you really need to keep that hobby that gives you a release at the end of the day or on the weekends? Setting up a business has become incredibly easy, but running a business is still as hard as it has ever been.
Would I still love this if it became work?
When I ask myself this question, I think back to when I was in school.
I loved to read just for fun. Fiction or nonfiction, it didn’t matter to me, but there was one thing that could take a book and make it unreadable. That was the moment that the teacher assigned it. It could be a book I had wanted to read, but the minute it becomes assigned homework, it was like the book burned my flesh.
Humans are weird in that we like to be able to choose what to do versus being told. With a hobby, you decide when to start, when to stop and how often to do it. When it becomes a business, you don’t really have a choice. You will have to tend to it every day whether you feel like it or not.
I’m not here to talk you out of starting a business. They can be wonderful! Just make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons and that you don’t lose all of your hobbies and passions in the process.