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5 Reasons Your Hobby May Not Work as a Business



turn your hobby into a business

Here’s an experiment you can try, ask any person what business they would love to launch if they had the budget at this very moment. They will probably relate the ideal business to one of their hobbies. People who love reading would love to have their own bookshops, and those who know everything there is to know about herbs would gladly open a teahouse with blends from all around the world. Well, starting a business you’re passionate about is not as easy as it seems.

If you try to grow a business out of your hobby, you’ll start thinking of different ways to make it profitable, so it will slowly lose the beauty you once recognized in it. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean you cannot start a business related to your interest. You can, but first you have to be aware of the pitfalls, and you need to learn how to avoid the traps.

Here are 5 major obstacles on the way to turning your favorite activity into a successful business:

1. Lack of knowledge and real expertise

When you’re doing something as a hobby, you’re focused on the nice things that come with it. If you like reading books, you have unspoiled love for literature and you know little or nothing about publishers, store management, prices, taxes, and budgeting. If you open a bookstore, the business will be related to literature, but you’ll hardly find any time to enjoy literature the way you used to.

Here are few tips to help you handle this risk and to become a good entrepreneur:

  • Learn everything there is to learn about the type of business you want to start. What expenses will come with it? What connections do you need to start this business? How much money do you need to invest? What’s the demand on the market? What’s the potential for growth? In other words – become an expert not only in the hobby, but in the business as well.
  • Always make time to enjoy the hobby the way you used to. As you learn more about your hobby, you’ll start seeing everything from a theoretical point of view. Let’s say you want to start a fitness center. No matter how much you learn about nutrition, muscles, and different types of physical exercise, you should always engage in your hobby with pure joy, at least for one hour per day.

“If you’re trying to create a company, it’s like baking a cake. You have to have all the ingredients in the right proportion.” – Elon Musk

2. Deadlines ruin the fun

If you want to start a business, get ready to face some pressure regarding deadlines. You’ll have a deadline for everything; setting up the store, launching a website, organizing a competition, providing documents to your accountant, etc. All that pressure will make you think, maybe this hobby isn’t fun after all.


3. Financial and legal matters

Some people love perfumes and they can recognize every note in a scent. They can tell you a lot about a person based on the scent they prefer. Does that mean they can start a successful perfume shop? Not necessarily. The most common pitfall for all passionate people comes in the form of financial and legal matters. You may have enough money to start but it’s not enough without knowing how to invest that money efficiently.

It will take a lot of time for you to understand how everything works, so the best solution would be to take a course related to small business maintenance. You’ll have to be educated on the regulations of your state before you can start a business.


4. You’ll find yourself in different hats

First of all, you’ll be the founder of your business. You’ll be responsible for the supplies and organization for the entire company. You’ll also need advanced budgeting skills, and you’ll be the manager of your employees. If you don’t have many employees at the start, you’ll also be a seller. In other words – you won’t even notice the hobby among all those responsibilities.

The best way to surpass the risk of having too much on your mind is delegating. You should consider employing more people or outsourcing certain tasks, such as press release or blog writing, website maintenance, social media management, etc.

“If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to learn to delegate.”  – Richard Branson

5. Tons of competition

Let’s face it, you’re not the only person on the planet with this hobby. Many people have already thought about starting a similar business, and few of them have succeeded in their goals. Moreover, there are plenty of companies that have worked out the ‘business’ part of this hobby. You’ll see tons of brands producing yoga clothes, but their owners know nothing about yoga.

In simpler words, you have to stand out! You have to master marketing techniques. If you know nothing about marketing, you can always take an online course before starting your business.

Add a twist that makes you different. There are tons of customers for any kind of business, but you need to attract your target audience with brand new ideas and original offers. Since you already have this hobby, think about the things that are missing on the market. How can you make this hobby more enjoyable through the services or products you’ll provide?

With all this serious talk, maybe you started questioning the idea of turning your hobby into a business. You should never doubt yourself! There is great potential in you, but it will take a lot of persistence, dedicated learning, and a wise approach for a successful start.

Have you tried turning your hobby into a business? What are you experiences from doing so? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below!

Rachel Bartee is a blogger and a marketing consultant at EduGeeksClub. She loves to write about things which are on her mind and can be of use to others. She feels inspired by her morning yoga and personal development classes she is attending at the moment. Follow her at Twitter.



  1. Stefanie

    Jul 27, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Hi Rachel, what a great topic to blog about! Yes, I started with a hobby – yoga and climbing – and then I started to build a business by developing a yoga style for climbers to help them increase their body awareness and become more stronger and flexible (physically and mentally).

    I totally agree with your message: a hobby and a business are two different activities and have different goals.
    I found myself often thinking “What the heck am I doing? Why am I doing it?” when a deadline for my new book or video content required staying up until 2 AM. Sometimes, it’s also difficult to stay inside working on business strategies and implementing, instead of enjoying the sunny day outside climbing.

    From my experience, I can say that you need so much more serious commitment for a business than for a hobby. In my opinion, that’s one of the biggest challenge for most people. Because things will get tough, definitely, and require you to learn, to grow, to change your approach.

    I think that one important point is to get people in your team, as you say. Everybody has different skills and talents. Thus paying someone will get you ahead much faster than trying to do it all on your own.
    At the same time, I think that this is a tough decision to make in the beginning, when there is still not too much revenue.

    As you see, I love this topic and I could write another article about it 😀 Looking forward to more articles from you!

    • Rachel

      Jul 27, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Hi Stefanie, thanks for sharing your experience. Agree with you, our commitments do make us rethink whether it’s worth doing it. Just curious, are you still in your business? Would love to read your deeper thoughts on the theme. All the best. 🙂

      • Stefanie

        Jul 29, 2016 at 5:03 am

        Hi Rachel, yes, I am. My business partner/husband and I started in 2012, and by now, what I can say is: Woah. This has been a lot of struggling, learning, improving which came along with the successes. For me, this has been a clear mirror of my own mindset which has changed. As we started as students, we did everything by ourselves (except accounting): webdesign, getting familiar with WordPress and member plugins, filming and cutting, book writing, layout, marketing, … Doing everything by ourselves has been the biggest “mistake” (=lesson) of high value.

        In 2013, we were about to give up, since we didn’t see the results we wanted to see. Today, I know it could have been different, if we had had a different design, sales page, funnel, better organized content, a blog, and a better communication.
        On the one hand, I think it’s important to get started quickly instead of making the perfect plan that stays in your head forever. On the other hand, I’m convinced that you get ahead so much faster, if building a strong brand from the beginning (after a test). We have gone through a rebranding last year and are about to reach out to climbers not only in the German speaking market anymore, but also to climbers all over the world. So excited!

        The reason, why we kept going was that our yoga book began to sell even more than it has been downloaded from our website. So another lesson: Test it, take a decision, and then go all in 🙂

        • Rachel

          Aug 2, 2016 at 4:36 pm

          Stefanie, it’s really great to hear that you stayed on track! Nice work!

  2. Rachel

    Jul 18, 2016 at 7:57 am

    Tim, I fully agree with you. Only passion can keep anyone elated and inspired to hit the target. Please let us know about your success as soon as you try. Good luck!

  3. Tim Denning

    Jul 17, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Rachel I haven’t tried turning my hobby into a business yet but I will take onboard your tips. I believe that anything you are passionate about can make money for you if you’re patient enough. Thanks so much for this post!

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