6 Big Benefits of a Talent or Hobby-to-Business Transition

How to turn Passion into Purpose

30+ years for a photographer-in-the-making. It’s been my passion for a very long time — a part of life that brings great pleasure, and fulfills a love for art and creativity. It gives prolonged enjoyment and appreciation for the captured image in time, of treasured or ordinary moments. Of all I’ve done in life or business thus far, this beloved hobby has permeated every aspect of the journey. 

People have dreams.

It seems like almost every night, we have some sort of “talent show” air on TV. And they just keep on coming. We identify with them, no doubt, because it’s inspiring to watch someone audition with a great story, like working on a farm or in a pizza shop, and overnight, they are “discovered” on one of these shows for their impressive talent. From singers, dancers, magicians, musicians — you name it, someone has made an act out of it, and if "discovered", they can (hopefully) make a living from doing what they love.

Maybe we are attracted to the stories on these shows because we see ourselves in those who are pursuing their dream, publicly. Most of us never even pursue our dream privately, much less in the public eye, for all the world to see, win or lose. Deep within, if we are honest, we all wish we could spend the working hours of our lives doing what we love. Yet, it's illusive for most. 

Times are changing.

According to a leading thought leader in the millennial crowd, Chelsea Krost, "Entrepreneurship is a big thing in the millennial world.”

Deloitte says 70% of millennials are planning on or already are on the path to creating a business.

This is a huge number with staggering implications. Almost 3/4 of an entire generation will be doing what they choose, with no boss - just their own drive and passion fueling their mission, to be accomplished. They know very well, the challenges of finding solid jobs today, and should they find one, often it's taken due to financial pressure, only to find they can't stand their job. This driven generation simply wants to do what matters, and if they can't find it in meaningful employment, they create it. Interestingly, this group also knows well, the power of social media, so through this powerful channel - they promote and cross market one another for greater, multiplied reach. 

They get it.

And they get it much earlier than any generation before them. 

This legion of solo'preneurs is rapidly advancing and with their movement, many people from all generations are taking the cue to (eventually) cut the JOB cord, as well.

Daily, thousands come to the realization that what they love to do most, they can sell it as a product, or provide a service, and/or teach others how to do it.  It's a cottage industry of DIY entrepreneurship. With their "masters" in social apps and networks, they are finding huge success in marketing themselves through web channels and utilizing reciprocity, in cross-promoting one another. 

It's the tenacity of this crowd that ultimately sparked the idea in me, that reasoned if they could do what they enjoy, making a living independently - then why shouldn't I give it a shot?

In reading and absorbing dozens of case studies on my own, many started without any real plan, but just did the next thing that seemed plausible, until they realized they had a business product, or service that was marketable, and sought by a certain audience or niche - and things began to evolve - looking and acting like a business. 

6 Benefits of the Hobby to Business transition:

1  | Your actions become intentional.

While inherent personal talent, or hobbies, can provide great personal pleasure and gratification, at some point, there is the realization that it could be so much more. At this juncture - the personal "fork in the road" results in a choice to take action, and go to another level — or keep it personal and private, for your own benefit. Should you choose the next level, the action you choose is met with greater intention and intensity in your pursuit. You may not know immediately the platform by which you will channel this talent or hobby — but you’re ready to go through the due diligence required, to pursue next steps.

2  | Your focus shifts to serving others with what you enjoy.

There is huge shift in the mind when it believes there are others that might also appreciate what you do, and could benefit from it, in some way. Once the value is evident to you — through your love in doing it — then you can see the potential for others to find value, as well. When you understand why it’s meaningful to you, the outcome you seek is then focused more on the how. How others might be exposed to it, in order to appreciate and value it. That begins the pursuit of platform possibilities for the exposure and awareness by others. 

3  | A plan starts to evolve.

We don’t have to know everything to take the next step. Often it unfolds through even the smallest of action steps. All the thought and planning in the world results in nothing, until action is taken. Through these steps, more steps are revealed, and a plan of pursuit begins to evolve. There is a time and place for a thorough business plan, but more often, before that can happen, much discovery and pivoting is necessary to begin to develop any real plan. 

4  | Your perspective shifts to a entrepreneurial mindset.

Ideas ebb and flow. Conversations are started. Answers and possible solutions surface as you take action to share your pursuit with others, usually friends and loved ones, who are already aware of the potential of your talent or hobby-skills. The thought process begins to find sources and resources that provide options for business pursuit. And usually, you’ll find that those who do have appreciation for what you do will also share in the excitement for helping or supporting your effort to take it to another level. Mindset comes only after a decision is made. Otherwise, it’s still just dreaming. Make the choice or decision first, then take action on the next step that you see - or discover it, by sharing with your closest circle.

5  | The experience has greater purpose and fulfillment.

It’s the multiplication factor when you take something good, and expose it for the greater good. The internal satisfaction of knowing what you love doing, could bring value, pleasure, enjoyment or knowledge to others, brings even greater purpose to your own pursuit. Again, this is when it takes on even more meaning for your own life. The good, gets even better, and more engaging of your time and energy.

6  | You have a tax write-off for doing what you love.

Well, this has to be stated, after all. While this should not be a primary benefit, it’s definitely worthwhile to mention. In today’s economics — we need to do all we can to preserve, and leverage, our income. Starting a business, and declaring it so, will create leverage, and preservation, for your hard work in generating funds (through the “day job”) to underwrite your efforts. All that your talent or hobby costs you in expense, to start, operate, improve or get better, becomes a tax write-off in your business. We could all use a few more of those. Of course, it's best to speak with a tax professional to determine what is applicable in your case. It’s better knowing ahead of the journey, rather than too late, in order to take advantage of what is already created, as advantage in your business pursuit. 

The biggest benefit, throughout the process — is this… 
you love what you do.

You chose it, originally, because of your love for it, and your developing skill at it. 

Now, you can go with what you know.

Then... add, take away, or pivot.
You don’t have to be the best, or even the expert — because, it’s about the perspective and voice you bring to the field, even while you’re still learning. And the learning curve intensifies, now that you have more at stake. Becoming good, getting better - and ultimately the best you can be - is always a good thing. 

Helping others in the process is even better. You become a catalyst for greater good  while increasing your own personal and professional development.

Throughout my own process of hobby-to-business, many friends and online followers are asking questions and starting conversations about some aspect of my journey — as it relates to what they are doing, or considering. Since we share common ground related to what they need, it’s such a pleasure to connect and offer direction or a possible answer or solution, to their particular situation. 

We may be only 1 or 2 steps ahead, but that’s, often, how we help others the most. Encouraging them to take the next step, by showing how it’s done.

Society and culture are changing rapidly as so many of us, from 20’s to 70’s are discovering ways to impact our world, through our personal talent, skill, voice, and/or knowledge. 

There are thousands who may be better at doing what you and I do — but I’m proof that getting onto the field and being a part of the game as a team player is better than watching, and wishing, from the sidelines.

We improve ourselves, and elevate others through the same process.

Consider your heart’s desire. What do you love doing. Remember, taking your passion to a business level does not equate to making money, right away. When you’re a start-up, in anything large or small, there is a price to pay — to play in the big leagues, one day.

The key is that you’re starting, and growing to that point. The intrinsic rewards, the joy of meaning and fulfillment in the pursuit of your passion, is the greatest reward. When the financial aspect begins to click, however small is irrelevant — it’s simply the icing on the cake of your dream.

Take a step. Once you do — you’ll see another, and then another.  And you’ll make it to the next level!

Until next time,