Do you have a hobby outside of your regular work life that you’re really proud of? Perhaps you feel like it speaks to your true passions and talent, and others have told you that it would make a good business. Or maybe you’re looking for a side hustle and your hobby would be a natural fit. Either way, turning a hobby into business sounds romantic, but there are a few things you should consider first before creating your crochet animal empire. Here’s our list of pros and cons to monetizing your hobby.
This is the biggest appeal behind turning your hobby into a business. You’ve already done baseline investment in the activity and are familiar with its ins and outs—why not make a little extra cash doing it? Done right, this can turn into a sustainable side hustle and maybe even become your main hustle later on.
If you really want to create a consistent revenue stream, the process isn’t as simple as posting your finished products on Instagram every now and then and making a sale. Monetizing a hobby means creating a brand new business that requires attention to succeed—establishing marketing plans, determining sales platforms, maintaining sound financials and paying taxes are all part of the game.
People develop hobbies because they find joy in the activity, and generally we feel more motivated to work on things we like. So the process may feel like less of a slog—when ideas flow easily, we are more likely to invest more time and effort into this business.
While hobbies stoke our creative energy, creativity is not an infinite well. Sometimes you’ll run into roadblocks, especially if you’re on a project deadline. Before turning your hobby into a business, ask yourself this important question: will the pressure of having this business kill the love I have for this creative process? Will it turn something I enjoy into something that zaps my energy and stresses me out?
If you start seeing success, you’ll likely be more willing to spend time on improving your craft. The more support you get, the more time you can spend on developing your talents, honing your audience and differentiating yourself from the competition.
You’ll inevitably run up against a limit that affects us all: time limitations. If you’re developing this business alongside a main gig, you may find your schedule overloaded, as what was previously relaxation time has transformed into more work. Determine if your days allow for flexibility between the two businesses, and make sure to leave yourself enough time to recharge.
Every profession presents the opportunity to network, and meeting other people running businesses like yours is a great way to navigate the choppy waters at the beginning of any entrepreneurial venture. Find online groups and in-person meet-ups—you might be surprised how others can inspire you, and who knows, you might even meet a new business partner.
Two questions are at the crux of this big decision: in this moment, what do you need? And what do you want? If you need a way to blow off steam without the pressure of a work element, maybe monetizing your hobby isn’t the right move. If you need extra cash now and believe that this work won’t extinguish the flame you hold for this passion, jump in!