How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business
If you’ve been toying with the idea of starting your own business to complement your 9-5, or taking up a hobby to satisfy those precious hours away from the office, it seems you’re certainly not alone. According to the nbn Side Hustle Report, 80 percent of Australian’s are looking for fulfillment outside work in the form of a side hustle—a trend that is sweeping the globe—with the aim for further life satisfaction and in turn, extra income.
In light of this astounding figure, we enlisted the expertise of Christian Stenta from The School of Life, an institute dedicated to developing emotional intelligence and creator of the Side Hustle Guide (in partnership with nbn), to find out how to transform this hobby into a successful business so you can one day focus on what you’re truly passionate about (read: achieve the dream life). Read on for Stenta’s experts tips for turning your side hustle into a successful business.
Find a focus
"The first step is deciding on what to do. I always recommend basing your side hustle around a passion or what makes you feel happy. To help identify what your side hustle could be, Aussies can partake in a very simple activity:
- Step 1: Reflect on an event or activity in the past that made you feel truly alive.
- Step 2: Ask yourself “why did it make me feel so alive?”
- Step 3: Be brutally honest with your answer—don’t over engineer your response and assume a ‘worthy’ answer is required.
- Step 4: Ask yourself “why?”
- Step 5: Repeat the stage above three or four times. This will enable you to break down and identify the pleasure you derive from the activity and ultimately find the core reasons you enjoy it.
Once you realise why you enjoy a specific activity you can brainstorm other things you could do that would lead to the same satisfaction—and it’s here you’ve found your focus!"
Do your research
"In order to turn your passion into a successful business you’ll need to do your research to identify opportunities and support networks out there. There is an abundance of tools and resources available online that will help you get your side hustle up and running. These include videos, blogs, and creative platforms such as Canvas.
It’s also worthwhile exploring community networks, as you’ll be able to learn from like-minded people and draw inspiration and ideas from what they are doing (not to mention how you can differentiate yourself from them)."
"Once you have done the groundwork by finding your focus and conducting research it is time to create a set of measurable and trackable goals. While you may have an overall business goal in mind, it is important to set yourself mini-milestones along the way to keep you on track and to help celebrate your successes! A trick to setting your business goals is through using the S.M.A.R.T objective principal:
- Specific: Make sure the goal has enough detail, so it will be clear once it’s achieved.
- Measurable: Make sure your goals can be measured, this will enable you to know whether your goal is obtainable and allow you to identify how far it is from being completed. There are many different things you can measure and track in your side hustle to ensure you’re growing according to plan. For example, you can tracking outputs (i.e. make X amount of products by X), sales (i.e. sell X amount of products in X time), business growth (i.e. grow social channels from X to X) .
- Achievable: Ask yourself, can the goal realistically be achieved within the given the time frame, opportunity, resources, and your skill set?
- Relevant: Consider if the task is actually of value to achieve your business objectives. For example, if you’re wanting to launch a new product, be sure it is aligned with your target market and business objectives.
- Time-oriented: Set specific deadlines or time frames to achieve the goal within, this will help keep you motivated and accountable."
Build in new routines
"Due to the nature of side hustles and that the businesses start off as a secondary job outside your regular nine to five, it is essential to pre-plan when you’ll dedicate your time to growing your side hustle outside your day-job.
Set aside specific and regular times that you can dedicate to your side hustle; whether this is before work, after work or even during your lunch break—it pays to be prepared and organised.
To help you be as efficient as possible, I recommend pre-planning the activities you be will doing during these set times; so you can jump straight into the work during your allocated times, rather than spending time thinking about what needs to be done."
Spend less time thinking, and more time doing
"By this stage you’ve done everything you need to do to prepare for your side hustle and it is time to start doing it! Whether you’re setting up an online beauty blog or a photography website, there is no time like the present to get your side hustle up and running."