Episode Summary – Turn Your Hobby Into A Business

This episode is the start of a series about what to consider before turning your hobby or a passion into a business. 

A trend that will explode in the post COVID era is turning hobbies into a businesses because so many people have lost their jobs.

Geoff Daniel and Brendan Barrow cover business basics, in plain language for ordinary people who like the idea of their hobby becoming a successful business.

Links and resources

Related Episode – You-360 What do I really want?

Related Episode – Understanding Your Motivation

Related Article – Turn Your Woodwork Hobby Into A Woodworking Business

Related Article- What is the Differenece Between DIY and Professional Power Tools

E18 Turn Your Hobby Into A Business

This episode covers what to consider before turning your hobby or a passion into a business. 

A trend will explode in the post COVID era is turning hobbies into a businesses because so many people have lost their jobs.

Related Topic Could Your Metalworking Hobby Become A Fabrication Business

Maybe you love creating metal sculptures in your downtime, and you think you might be able to start a business selling your creations, or perhaps you make things out of wood. Perhaps you love cooking and have an old family recipe that you could sell online. Maybe you paint or make ceramics, or design computer games, have an eye for fashion and make your clothes – the list is endless.

Whether we like it or not I think its starting to become clearer that the post COVID19 world is going to be somewhat different to how things were before. Of course, as we’re recording this episode many countries around the world are still facing an evolving crisis, there is talk of a possible second wave of infections and the fact is none of us really know what life is going to look like on the other side. That said millions of people around the world have lost jobs some of which may never return, hundreds of thousands of businesses have succumbed. Economies have been smashed and no matter which way you turn, life has changed and at the very least is going to take years to recover.    

If you have lost your income because of COVID should you start a business?

We human beings have a long history of doing things when our livelihoods are threatened. We tend to get resourceful and creative and think our way out of the situation?   

I think one of the key ways that we, as a people are going to go about that, is by starting businesses. One of the most accessible of all business ideas is commercialising something that you already love and are good at.

And, of course, on paper that sounds like an easy leap to make and in many respects it can be. But – and you knew there would be a ‘but’ there is a bit more to it than that. And, as we like to do here at Should I Own A Business Podcast, we want to provide a little food for thought around some of the things to consider before you make that decision. 

There has never been an easier point in history to start a business because we can do so many things online, such as: 

  • register business names
  • incorporate companies 
  • set up domains
  • build websites  
  • start marketing 
  • selling online

All of these done from the comfort of your own home.

If you have lost part or all of your income through the COVID crisis, then perhaps kicking your hobby into overdrive and making money could be a great thing to do.

For many people testing the market as a part-time or hobby-business might sound like the thing to do.

Now, if you are thinking like this, you are probably feeling pretty confident about your hobby skills and competency or at least confident enough to have a go. 

Be those skills:

  • welding 
  • painting with oils 
  • baking
  • woodturning
  • ceramics 
  • pottery  
  • building racing lawn mowers. 

Perhaps you have already sold products or your skills, and therefore you have got the best feedback possible.

So, what are all the other things that you should be thinking about now?

  • How do you know if you would like running a business, and how will You deal with all the boring business stuff?
  • Do you know what all the boring stuff is and why it is important?

Following on from the concept of whether running a business actually suits you or not, another key consideration is what you want or need this business to do for you.

What size of business do you want your hobby to be?

  • Part-time – earn a few dollars on the side
  • Replace your Full Time income from your job
  • Make a fortune
  • Some other motivation like ‘make the world a better place’, help your community, etc. 

Your motivation is very personal, and we all have our motivations.

In Episode 3 Understanding Your Motivation, you can hear some surprising statistics about other people’s motives. Financial benefit was lower down the list than we expected.

The scale of your motivation and ambition is important as:

the bigger your ambition, 

then the bigger the challenge, 

and the bigger the resources you might need and 

the bigger the risk. 

In any business, there are always risks involved. (How To Reduce Your Risk When Starting A Business)

Financial – do you need to invest personal funds, buy better equipment (for example the difference between domestic DIY grade and commercial grade tools for instance)

Your time – to get a new business off the ground is going to take a lot of time. Takes time away from trying to find a job, spending quality time with family, investing time in your health

Losing your passion – Perhaps the biggest risk of all is losing your hobby or the thing that you are passionate about. Have you considered that spending a handful of hours each week might be the perfect amount of time for you to invest in your passion but spending 40 or 50 hours per week may rob you of the enjoyment you get?

Listen to Geoff’s experience about his passion about Guitars and how becoming a guitar teacher made him resentful.

Are you ready for the “pressure of the customer”?

The thing that I’ve encountered most when working with someone who turned their passion into a business, especially a Full Time business, is they underestimate the pressure of the customer.

  • Deadlines
  • Dealing with faults or warranty issues and potential legal issues that could arise around product safety etc
  • Unrealistic customer expectations
  • Customer returns 

How customer expectation can kill your home based business. 

In the coming episodes, we will explore how to make a hobby into a business in more detail. We will highlight the things that you need to think about to give you the best chance of success.

If you are thinking of starting a business, there are things that you need to appreciate before you leap in. If you have already started, then these things need addressing as soon as possible.

For example, we will cover: 

  • How you could prepare yourself if you haven’t had much business experience. 
  • What it is like to run a business, so you know what to expect.
  • Some very practical things that you need to consider if you are turning your hobby into a business.

Next time, we’re going to start by exploring who is your customer because so many businesses get this wrong.

So til then, stay happy – bye for now. 


The information contained in this podcast is general and does not take into account your situation. The content does not constitute business, legal or financial advice and should not be used as such. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where applicable, seek professional advice from a business adviser, financial adviser or lawyer in your jurisdiction. To find out more, please go to www.ShouldIOwnABusiness.com.