How to turn your passions and hobbies into a career

Millions of people show up at work each day because they have to, not because they want to. But what if you could turn your favorite hobby into a career that would put food on your table, keep clothes on your back, and maintain the roof over your head?

If you’ve given that any thought, you’re not alone. Most people would make a career change if they could hammer out the financial details.

Maybe – just maybe – with the right persistence, a commitment to staying flexible and a few realistic expectations, you can leave the ranks of the 88 percent of Americans who have no passion for their work. For some people, that means selling goods on Etsy, becoming an individual business owner or offering a local service.

Should You Follow Your Passion?

There’s a lot to be said for following your passion, especially when you can earn money for doing it. People who love their work live longer, experience lower stress levels and are mentally healthier than those who feel like they’re trapped in a job they don’t enjoy.

It’s Enjoyable, But Is It Employable?

Before you hand in your resignation letter, make a plan for how to turn your hobby or passion into a paying career. Check out these creative solutions to common hobbies and passions:

  • If you’re into creating art, you might be able to find a way to sell paintings, sculptures and other works on Etsy or your own website.
  • While you could work in a bake shop, there’s likely more money to be made baking custom goods (and while you’re at it, create how-to videos and share recipes on monetized blogs to make even more money).
  • If you’re good at tracking down long-lost ancestors and you don’t mind digging for information, you may be able to become a professional genealogist.
  • If you’ve got a knack for sales but don’t want to warehouse your own goods, being an Amway independent business owner is the perfect choice for you.
  • Skilled with a needle and thread? You could make your living selling your creations online or by repairing and tailoring other people’s clothing.
  • Writing. If you’re naturally talented and brimming with ideas, you could make a living selling your writing services to others. Plenty of companies need experts to convey important information and attract new business.

These are only a few ideas – with some creative thinking, there’s a good chance that you can come up with a brilliant business concept.

Talk to Someone Who’s Rocking It in Your Dream Career

Once you have a plan, find someone who’s succeeding in your dream career and set up a time to take him or her out for coffee or lunch. You can use that time to ask questions like:

  • What drove you to start a career in this field?
  • What’s the best part of your career?
  • What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome to get where you are today?
  • How much work did you have to put in to build the foundation of your business?
  • What sacrifices did you have to make along the way?

You should also ask about the level of effort required from you, as well as what types of sacrifices you’ll need to make. The answers you get will help you figure out whether or not pursuing that type of career is a good choice for you.

Flexibility and Persistence

It’s crucial that you remain flexible and persistent when you’re turning a hobby or passion into a full-time career. Flexibility is about more than just working a few extra hours; it’s about being able to roll with the punches and getting back up when you get knocked down, which goes hand-in-hand with persistence. You have to be committed to reaching your goal because that’s exactly what it is: your goal. If you give up when you hit a speed bump, you’ll never know what you could have become.

Could You Turn Your Hobby into Your Career?

Business ownership comes naturally to some people, but even if you’re not a “natural,” you can make it work. The key? Don’t let little obstacles overwhelm you, and keep moving forward – even when things get tough – whether you’re an individual business owner, a freelance writer or an independent musician. It’s not always easy, but turning your hobby or passion into a career can be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done.

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