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How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Legitimate Business

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Hobbies generally aren’t about making money and becoming successful, like businesses are. Hobbies make you happy at the end of a long week or day of working at a job you might not love in a place that might be just a little bit too far away from home for your liking. Your hobbies are what show off your interests and love, and your passion above all else.

But what if you could turn your favorite hobby into an actual business? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, businesses require more than just passion. Business exists in a cutthroat world, but with careful planning and commitment, and a business mindset as compared to a hobby mindset, you can be well on your way to turning your hobby into a legitimate business.

Understand How Far You’re Trying To Go

Do you want a little side-earner, or a way to quit your job and go full entrepreneur? These two different goals require different paths, and you need to understand which one you’re on – or if you’re on one of the many paths to a goal between the two, which is personal and unique to you.

Spend some time thinking about and evaluating how important your hobby is to you compared to your job, and research other businesses which are related to the one which you will be creating. Are they global successes or hometown heroes? Their reach and success will help you to decide where your business is going to place, and how viable your plans for expansion are.

Brainstorm

If you’ve decided which hobby you’re going to turn into a business, then you’re going to have to decide on how you’re going to do it. Some hobbies may seem obvious – if you love drawing, then try to sell your art, etc. However, many will be more complex, and even the seemingly obvious ones may have different and original nuances which you can exploit.

You could start distributing art which the creators have decided is free for anyone to use, or you could review art pieces online and start a website related to your reviews. Anything is possible, and the sky is the limit at this stage. Don’t cap your creativity, and try to think of as many ways as possible, since many will be unrealistic or straight-up unappealing. The more you have to sift through and decide on, the better.

Practice

In order to monetize your hobby, you’re going to have to be good at what you do. Taking up the art example once again, if you can draw no better than the next normal person, then why would anyone pay for what they could achieve on their own? You have to practice, and put in the time to become above average at what you do, or else you’ll fade into the background and people will question why you’re trying to put a price tag on what you do when you don’t seem to be doing much at all.

Practice makes perfect, or at least close enough that people will start to appreciate what you’re doing, so keep on practicing, until you get to a level which you think is acceptable for starting your business.

The First Sale

In many ways, your first sale will be the most important step in your business, since it shows that there is a market for whatever you’re doing, and that there’s money in it for you if you keep going. Work as hard as you can to get that first sale, whether it’s off your neighbours or your childhood friends, and then work to get to the next sale, and the next.

With every paycheck will come a renewed sense of being able to ‘do this’ and get to the next level, which will only make your work ethic even better, and improve the quality of your work. If you find it impossible to get that first sale, then maybe take a step back and evaluate your business plan – is it feasible? Or is there just not a market for whatever you’re doing?

If the first sale is just not coming, then there’s probably a problem with some part of your planning, idea or execution, so try to work through all the kinks in your system and maybe even recruit another eager mind into the mix to try and sort it out with you. In any case, once you get your first sale, you’ll be on the road to turning your hobby into a legitimate business.

Be Consistent

If you are quitting your job to pursue this business, then it becomes your new job, there’s no way around it. Make sure that you put in the hours to make it successful, and make sure that those hours are the same – or around the same – for every day that you work. If you put in the time consistently, then you can’t go wrong, but if you’re finicky about when you work and if you want to, then you’ll never get anywhere. Be tough with yourself, and you’ll see the results in your profits.

Success Advice

5 Ways to Magnetize Your Audience

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You’re putting yourself out there, which is brave. However, like many business owners, executives, and speakers, you may be struggling with this one question running on repeat — “How do I get them to…” (fill in the blank). That could be anything from, “buy my course”, to “pay attention to me”, to “listen to what I have to say”, and so many more. Regardless of what makes you nervous speaking to your audience, you’re not alone. (more…)

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8 Ways to L.E.V.E.R.A.G.E Your Story and Make Your Book Your New Business Card

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“I should write a book,” is something that every single person says to themselves at one point or another. Then, on the occasion that a family member, friend or mentee echo’s the statement, we decide to commit and dive into the process of translating our powerful story into the pages of a book. But here’s the thing, although “Just write” is a widely shared piece of advice for those bold enough to take action to go from idea to finished book, that advice will leave your book collecting dust on virtual shelves and not generating the revenue you envision for your message. (more…)

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3 Ways to Know if You’re Working Hard to Fail or Succeed

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We know how important hard work is to achieve success, but we also know the road to success is filled with obstacles and failures. Many people have great ideas and don’t put the work in to make them succeed and go to the next level. We also see many people work hard on a terrible idea and succeed due to sheer hard work and determination. Then there is that third group, no matter how hard you work, you just may have a bad idea, bad product or missed your window and all the hard work in the world won’t get you to where you need to be. So how do you know when you’re working hard to fail or succeed? (more…)

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6 Steps to Changing Your Scarcity Mindset

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Having a scarcity mindset means fearing you’ll lose your source of income, shying away from taking risks, and believing there’s a set amount of success in the world. Its counterpart, an abundance mindset, believes that there’s opportunity for growth, risks are worth taking, and when we win, we all win together. To succeed in business, you need to adopt an abundance mindset. But how do you change your perspective?

Here are 6 ways you can change your perspective immediately:

1. Decide You Want to Change

The first step in changing your scarcity mindset is to acknowledge who you are and decide that you want to change. I compare it to the time twenty years ago when I decided to quit smoking. 

Smoking is clearly stupid, but back then it was widely accepted. Still, that’s not an excuse. The first thing I did was admit that I was addicted. The second step was making the commitment to quit. I had to decide that I didn’t want anything to have control over me anymore.

Those who want to change their scarcity mindset have to do the same thing. You may have to break your goals down into doable chunks, but you also have to keep your oars in the water. You have to keep rowing, put your back into it, and look for better opportunities. 

One of the hardest challenges will be changing how you view the ideas of others. You can’t think of those ideas as a threat, or the people as a threat. Don’t worry so much about personal success as you do about the success of the group. Remember the adage: there are three ways to do things—my way, your way, and a better way.

This notion of abundance goes beyond wealth. That’s part of it, of course, but embracing the idea of abundance means you want to experience more. You want to help more people. You want to have a greater impact on your family and your community. You have to acknowledge that you’re tired of worrying about your car breaking down and reassure yourself that if it does break down, you’ll find a way to fix it or get a new one. If you decide to buy a new car, donate your old one to the humane society so they can help animals. That’s abundance.

“Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.” – Jim Rohn

2. Stay on Your Path

If you’re an entrepreneur starting a business, you probably already have an abundance mindset. That’s excellent. But you still need to keep working on your idea, regardless of the failures or setbacks you encounter. Just because you’re optimistic about your future doesn’t mean you don’t have to work hard and swim against the tide from time to time.

3. Talk about the Obstacles You’ll Face

Having an abundance mindset doesn’t mean you blithely glide over every hurdle. You won’t. Instead, you have to anticipate potential problems and start plotting how you’ll get past them. If you’re confident and optimistic, the answers come more quickly and in greater numbers, thus improving your chances of success. You can’t assume your business idea is going to be a mega-hit right from the start, and that you’ll make tons of money. That might happen, but chances are you’ll have to work long and hard hours first.

4. Develop Good Habits

It’s vital that you set strong goals and adopt the habits that will help you reach those goals. Networking is key to learning and to building contacts and community. It’s not just about the help you can receive, but the help you can give. Find ways to appreciate the uniqueness of others, whether you’re working with them or having a cocktail at the local pub.

“I have learned that champions aren’t just born; champions can be made when they embrace and commit to life-changing positive habits.” – Lewis Howes

5. Address One Problem at a Time

Starting a new business is often daunting. You may have a dream of what you want to accomplish, but the task in front of you seems overwhelming. Where do you start?

I like the approach Desmond Tutu once advocated. He said “There is only one way to eat an elephant, [and that’s] one bite at a time.” What this means is that the bigger the endeavor, the more crucial it is that you break up the challenge into smaller pieces. The problems seem less intimidating and more doable when you look at them in smaller, discrete portions.

It’s not unusual for people to freeze up or get discouraged when faced with a big, hairy task, so in addition to the wisdom of Desmond Tutu, it also helps to keep in mind this observation by Mark Twain: “The secret to getting ahead is getting started.” It’s much easier to make progress in your big goal when you chip away at the challenges.

6. Don’t Kick the Can

It may be tempting to put off work on a particularly gnarly problem or to delay a decision on something until you have more information, but be forewarned: you can only kick the can down the road so many times before it becomes the size of a fifty-gallon drum. When that happens, procrastination is no longer an option.

Instead, just make a decision. Whether it’s the right decision or the wrong one, at least you did something. If it turns out to be the wrong decision, at least now you know what not to do, and you’re halfway there. You’ll learn and you’ll be able to adjust. You miss those opportunities when you put off making a move.

Once you have an abundance mindset, the possibilities open to you will seem endless. 

How have you developed an abundance mindset in life? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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