“A number of people I know say although they love their hobbies and love being creative they don’t however want to give up work and earn money through their hobbies. It would be turning something they love into work.”
This is a really good point. Not everyone wants to turn their hobbies into paid work.
I have a friend who used to love making racing bikes and customising the bike frames with his own designs. When he tried to turn this into a business, he fell out of love with it.
It became ‘work’.
He now earns a very good living as a chiropractor and builds and races bikes as a hobby.
I have plenty of hobbies that I would never dream of turning into a business – cooking, gardening, walking in the Lake District, yoga, sustainability, making martini cocktails, reading… (actually, I would consider tuning reading into a business somehow)…
However, twelve years ago I turned one of my passions – health and fitness – into paid work. I retrained as a personal trainer and then coached people 1:1 and wrote articles on health and wellbeing. I never earned much money and ultimately it wasn’t quite the right thing for me. But I had twelve years of freedom and fun and I learnt a hell of a lot – both about myself and about business. I don’t regret it for a second.
Now I’m switching things round and am focusing on creativity, relegating health and fitness to my spare time. Will this work? One year down the line, will I realise that this too should just be a hobby?
I have no idea.
So my question is; if you want to start your own business, when should a hobby remain something you do purely for pleasure, with no financial incentive at all? And when is it something you should try to make money from?