The businesses that are built around your talent, hobby, gift, skill, interest, education or qualification, passion, or what you enjoy doing stand a good chance of lasting longer and eventually succeed. This is the rule of thumb that you should never take lightly.
The bulk of new businesses fail within 3 years. You can learn how to turn your hobby into a business. This is something anyone can do. Own business is one of the top wealth-generating and appreciating assets anywhere in the world. In this article, I will take you through a few simple steps to provide you a road map of how this can be approached.
1. Establish Your Hobby – Your Position
The first obvious step is to identify your hobby, find a way of enhancing it, and develop yourself to get it ready for meaningful action. Each of us if not most, has natural given talents or gifts. Other attributes like a skill can be learned and mastered over time. Arguably so, others are inherited. There are things in your life that come naturally and can be done with ease. This is what others may refer to as your purpose or reason for existence.
The truth is, what works for me may not work for you but other things are universal. Somebody has successfully built wealth by farming tomatoes while on the other side someone has hopelessly failed in the tomato farming business. Yes, there may be many reasons and variables involved buy hey, interest, passion, and skill will always play a role in determining whether you succeed or fail.
2. Determine the Market Needs – Your Destination
The second step after identifying and appreciating your hobby is to identify a gap in the market. This is an exercise of checking where you can be of help or serve others. We are gifted differently and there are no 2 people who are the same. We are actually in the battering business, which was practiced in the ancient days before the money was introduced. If I’m gifted or skillful in making clothes and you are good at farming vegetables, all we can do is to exchange and this adds value in each of us. It’s a win-win and this is a real business.
Today we buy value with money. In engineering, we are taught to formulate solutions for existing problems. Entrepreneurship is about establishing how life activities can be simplified, which problems in the community or society need to be solved or what service can be offered to improve people’s lives. Others are good at writing, some in talking, singing, painting, sport, etc. – the list is infinite. With your gift you can develop a product or service that can be offered to others, alternatively, you can do a need analysis to check what problems do people have that can be solved by your gift.
3. Prepare Your Plan – The Connector
Third on the list is the Plan or the Map that will serve as a guide to help you connect your current position with your destination, which are the hobby and the needs respectively. This is no different from somebody who is at point A and they want to go to point B. Without the map or the plan, they may get lost and never arrive or get lost and waste time, money, and many other resources. Find a way of how you can connect the two. Often when people lose or fail they always say, “let’s go back to the drawing board”. This is the map or the plan which may not have been interpreted correctly or developed accurately hence the failure or the loss. If you are in New York and heading to Hong Kong without a map you may end up anywhere or nowhere.
In one book I read they discussed 3 main causes of debts:
- No Plan or Poor planning, or
- Greed, Desire to want to make money quickly or Get-Rich-Quick-Schemes.
The lack of planning is more often always in the mix where things go wrong. In one of my early days during my training as a mathematics teacher the principal came to me after realizing that students were doing well and happy. He showed me a poster in his office and shared with me the 4Ps:
- Plan or Prepare
He then said to me that I am responsible for the first 3Ps and the 4th will come from the audience when they appreciate my performance. Once again, the plan is on top and prerequisite or the first step in delivering a great performance. The plan is indeed a necessary connector and without it, you may as well kiss your success goodbye.
4. Take Meaningful Action
Step 4, the last but not the least, is to take not only action but meaningful action. You may have a hobby, identify the needs for the offering and have the map but without taking action all is in vain. You are as good as someone who never started. What is the use of going to school, learn very hard, write assignments tests, complete research and design projects, pass with distinction but not apply what you’ve learned.
Many people are highly educated, formally so, but less successful and some people are not so formally educated at all but very successful. The difference in most cases is the Taking Meaningful Action part. You’ll never know until you try or do it.
This step must be accompanied or complemented by Monitoring Your Results. Have goals and categorize them into short, medium, and long term goals. Have your actions checked daily, weekly, monthly, annual, every 3 years, 5, 10, and so on. In life, we are eating an elephant and this we cannot eat all at once but steak by steak or piece by piece.
Typically, as someone who is gifted or like farming or planting vegetables at home (home gardening), besides doing the actual garden yourself, you can decide to write a recipe book, design an online course, teach people how to start their backyard garden. You can also opt to identify merchants that have home gardening products already developed and promote them as an affiliate. This way you shall have successfully turned your hobby into an income-generating business.