We all have a passion. For some, it’s a full-time job which you love so much, you wouldn’t dream of ever doing anything else. For others, it’s a hobby that gives your life meaning and fulfills every facet of your being.
Question: How do you get enough experience, develop enough confidence, and gain enough relevance in your hobby to make it a successful business?
Answer: Below are the top five ways to turn your part-time passion into a full-time position.
1) Offer free or discounted samples – If you’re selling anything from cartoons to clothes, jewelry to sushi, or some kind of service, practice your craft and test it on your friends. Invite them to your home with either free samples or generous discounts. Then ask for their candid feedback so you can perfect your craft to sell it to a larger audience.
2) Learn from the ground up – Every industry has conferences, so attend one near you to meet the experts in your chosen field. Seek the biggest companies doing what you want to do and ask if you they’re willing to hire an energetic employee to learn the business from the ground up. You can even start as an intern or a part-timer. Or, as I wrote in another Intuit Small Business Blog article, contact an executive search firm to help you find a job in your new field.
3) Network to spread the word – Once you’ve established that your hobby has possibilities of growth and a solid future, use LinkedIn.com and other social media to grow your list of possible colleagues, prospects, and customers. Ask key players to become part of your network. The bigger your group, the more potential you have to become a success.
4) Advertise it – After you’ve perfected your hobby and you’re ready to take it to the next level, create a simple website about your new venture, complete with a great company name, a well-designed logo, and spread the word about your launch through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube (if it’s relevant), other social media, and email.
5) Make the full-time switch – If your hobby fulfills every level of your life, and, most importantly, if it’s a proven money maker over three to six months with a definite upside (even though you may have to take a substantial pay cut), make the switch and declare it your new full-time job. Good luck!