Turning a Hobby Into a Business

It really is the dream for most of us; to make something we love doing pay us a wage. Richard Denny provides readers of The Franchise Magazine with his top tips to earn a living doing whatever it is you love.

The definition of utopia for many would be a hobby becoming a business. There are obviously some advantages and disadvantages as to when or where this should happen, but there is certainly the wonderful experience of doing what one really loves to do every day.

I’m fortunate in that I really enjoy my work and hope to continue until such time as the body and/or brain starts to seize up. When that happens, thank goodness there are lots of other hobbies and interests to fill the void. This is the first point to make; we must all have other activities outside our work hours to keep up a good quality of life. So when the hobbies become an income generator, because that is the main purpose of a business, it is essential to replace that hobby with another.

Now comes a reality/happiness check. Once the hobby becomes a business, which as I have already said is the income generator, some of the enjoyment will inevitably dissipate. This is due to the natural pressures, stress and frustrations that frequently occur in business, so there must be a ‘switch off time’ to something else in order to stay productively successful. The upside is that when any of us do something we really enjoy, we are much more likely to be successful. This is often epitomised by how we invest in ourselves in the form of devoting time and money into learning, going onto training programmes and actively sharpening one’s skills.

Life is divided into three compartments. If we are very fortunate, one third of our life can be spent at work, one third of our life spent in play – evenings, weekends, holidays and retirement, and one third of our life spent asleep. The purpose of life, unless you are a teenager, is not to spend it asleep; rather it is for that middle compartment of play. We go to work primarily for one purpose and that is to earn sufficient income in order to support our lifestyle, everything from paying the household bills through to our hobbies and interests. I think we all know that if we’re enjoying our work we normally are more successful at it.

The greatest motivator in the world is to do the thing we enjoy doing for the sheer pleasure of doing it so that when that hobby does become a business the chance of its success is manifestly increased.

Now the counter balance is how about making one’s current business a hobby. When that happens again its success will be inevitable, but there is one proviso – get the life/work balance right. While on the inevitability of success let me bang on once again for all franchise owners reading this short article, follow the plan of your franchisor. If you can, follow it exactly, take their advice, do precisely what they say in their marketing recommendations and your success will, as I’ve already said, be inevitable.

I have spent nearly 30 years associated with the wonderful industry of franchising and the few failures that I’ve come across over the years are all down to franchise owners just not following the plan.

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