Starting a business is no easy task—so if you’re going to do it, it’s important to take the time and think long and hard about why and how you’re going to do it.
Author and entrepreneur (who started her own business!), Kim Kiyosaki, points out that turning a hobby into a business can make a lot of sense.
“You love your hobby, and presumably have a lot of knowledge about it,” she says. “Those two things should make for a successful business, right?”
“Not always. Sometimes, turning your hobby into a business is a wonderful idea, and other times, it’s disastrous.”
If you really want to start your own business, you need to be realistic.
It’s time to ask yourself: can this be turned into a profitable business? Is there a market for it, and will you get a good enough return on your investment?
“We all have hobbies that we love, but that would make terrible businesses—like doing the crossword puzzle, hiking, or strumming the guitar,” says Kim.
“In order to determine if it’s a hobby vs business, start by deciding if there’s a way to monetise the hobby.”
“You might be able to monetise most of your hobbies in some way (maybe you host guided hikes on the weekends or play the guitar at a local club or for tips), but would the gains be worth your time and effort?”
Right now, your hobby is most likely something small that you do from home with a handful of resources.
If you are serious about launching it as a business, you’ll need to have a good grasp of how you can scale it up unto a real business, and how to provide quality products and services to your clients.
Remember, a business isn’t just about what you are offering—you need to make sure you think through all the stuff that goes into making a business successful. Marketing, accounting, legal and distribution are all key elements to the success of every business.
“A real business owner creates businesses that can run without them,” says Kim.
If your business is selling your handmade greeting cards on Etsy, what’s going to happen to the business when you go on holiday, or if something unexpected happens (like a broken hand)?
In order for a business to deliver consistent results—and give you the kind of freedom you want—you need to be able to see how the business can run without you. Maybe not right away, but eventually, otherwise what was once a fun hobby will become your greatest stressor.
“Hobbies are fun, business isn’t,” says Kim.
“Starting a business is not relaxing, and oftentimes, it’s not fun. In fact, it can be downright stressful, time-consuming, exhausting and frustrating.”
Before you go down the road of launching a business, make sure you are ready for the work it will take – and for your hobby to stop being your escape.
If you’re not ready to risk losing the enjoyment you get out of it, maybe it’s best to keep it a hobby for now, or start it as a part-time business in your free time.
It’s important to honestly consider why you think NOW is the right time, and why you think THIS is the right thing to turn into a business.
If you get really clear on your goals, you will be much more prepared for the challenges you encounter on the road to success.
“We all want to be passionate about the work we’re doing,” Kim says.
“We all want to be fired up in the morning, excited to get to work. Where your passion comes from is unique to you. Turning that passion into a business is a lot of work, but can be incredibly rewarding.”
“Every day people turn their passions into successful businesses, and you’re no different. With creativity, determination, passion, and following the B-I Triangle, you can find success in doing the things you love.”
To find out more about the B-I Triangle, check out the video below from Kim’s husband, Robert Kiyosaki!