Hobbies as a business idea

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic there was a massive upsurge in entrepreneurship and online businesses. The realization of how quickly you could lose your job due to the uncertainties of the economy pushed a lot of people to create an income stream.

This meant almost everyone was looking at their hobbies, interests, skills, experiences whether personal or professional, and available resources to find a way to monetize them.

A lot of us looked at the skills and hobbies we never looked at from a money perspective and thought “Hey, I could make money from this” and BOOM an online business began.

According to The Office of Advocacy of the United States, Only 78.5% of small businesses survive their first year. A good reason for this is that the business idea inherently is flawed.

Take, for example, you’re great at graphic design, digital illustrations, or maybe pencil drawing, on one hand, you might think “Hey I can make money from this” and in theory, you can. 

  • You could create printable products
  • Pre-recorded online classes
  • Live classes, coaching sessions to help people learn illustrations or how to do pencil sketches
  • You could even leverage POD options to merchandize your designs
  • You could also present your skill as a service where you create designs for personal and business brands, the options are limitless.

But is your hobby really one you want to turn into a for-profit program? If your answer is yes, then here’s what you need to do to avoid a business failure.

Realize that by “profitizing” your hobby, the focus shifts from being about you: your mood, your interests, your timelines, your designs, and it becomes about your clients: their needs, their problems, their learning style, etc.

This brings me to my main point. No, your hobby is not a good business idea if you are unable to make the focus of it the client and not you. 

It’s not a good business idea if you cannot handle the client’s criticisms, request for changes to your work, feedback that is contrary to your vision, and all the ‘wonderful’ anxiety that comes from running a business.

If you choose to offer your hobbies as a business then the focus becomes the clients. If they are going to offer you their hard-earned money for your services or product, then you must deliver no matter what. 

This more than often kills the creative drive, and the hobby that was once something that helped you decompress and relax after a stressful day becomes something that keeps you up at night with worry and anxiety.

There are some hobbies and interests that are dear to our hearts; these hobbies are for us, not for anyone else, it’s something you need to relax or to block out the noise that is your daily responsibilities.

I’m not trying to discourage you from converting your hobbies into a business, I am all for it actually, I’m probably one of the biggest supporters of women turning their hobbies into a profitable business. 

However, as a business owner, you must act as a business owner. Accountability becomes even more necessary, and this time you are not accountable to your whims or feelings but to your client. A person who has invested their time and money in you and deserves the best.

If you can do this, then yes your business is going to be great, I can see it! And I believe in you!