Illustration & Design by Paddy Donnelly

Turning A Passion Into A Business

Turning Your Passion Into A Business

On the latest episode of the Working Out Podcast we chatted about how to turn a passion into a business, so I thought I'd write up some of the steps we discussed.

First thing to realise, is that anything can make money. Any passion can be turned into a business. If you’re good at something, someone will pay you for it. The world is big enough for any niche skill, so don’t think your passion is something that only you’re interested in. You can find a way to monetise it.

The next thing is to decide whether you actually want to turn your passion into your job. It’s not going to be all fun and games. No matter what industry your passion is in, it’s going to come with some headaches if you move it from a hobby to a job. If you can accept that, then go for it.

Before you get to do what you love for a living, you need to get very, very good at doing what you love.

If you want people to pay you for your passion, you need to become an expert on the topic. You need to be a master and know all the ins and outs of that industry, even the stuff that doesn’t particularly interest you. If photography is your passion then you need to not only put in the hours taking photos, but also find out everything about lighting, lenses, research studio space, perfect your Photoshop skills, find clients and read up on licensing.

Find a niche market. If you’re into making bikes for example, make it more focused. Be known as ‘the guy who makes bike saddles’, and make a particular type of saddle, from a certain type of high quality leather, and own that little corner of the market. Have a unique take on something, gain a reputation for it and then gradually build up and out, while still retaining your brand.

Start Small

You don’t have to jump in all guns blazing, quitting your regular job and setting up a passion based business overnight. That’s a recipe for disaster. It’ll take a while to become an expert in your passion, so you need to take the time to learn about all aspects of it. Try charging for your skill in the evenings and weekends and see how it grows, then build it up. The same for your niche. Start with a tiny aspect of the industry and turn it into something that works and runs successfully and then think about expanding. Starting small will also help you figure out if it’s something you actually want to do every day for a job.

Actually Start

We’ve got so many ideas rolling around in the back of our heads, ‘I’d love to be a writer’, ‘I’d love to be a photographer’, ‘I’d love to be a musician’, but more often than not, these ideas will just stay there in the back of our minds and we’ll never get around to them. Even if it doesn’t work out as a business, you should definitely at least give it a try, otherwise how will you ever know?

And no matter what your passion is, you could take one tiny step towards it today. Whether that’s looking into seeing if there’s funding available for your idea, registering a domain name, taking half an hour to work on your photoshop skills, or finding a guitar teacher, you could do something today.

Listen to the episode

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