• Joan Wilkening

Side Hustle, Hobby, or Job?

Updated: Jun 11, 2018

Have you heard this phrase:

“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

The theory being if you’re doing something you really like, it won’t seem like work. You’ll jump out of bed, run to your desk or studio, and whistle while you work 18 hours a day, every single week.

There’s also this sentiment:

“I gave up my 45 hour a week salaried job with benefits, vacation, and bonus to run my own business where I work 70 hours a week for almost nothing, haven’t had a vacation in five years, but I’ve never been happier.”

Do one of these describe you?

Most of us entrepreneurs start out with what we call a “side hustle” where we sell something on the side, possibly a hobby or service we provide. It may have started out as a hobby, but then you discovered folks like your stuff, so you made more, sold it at fairs or online, and before you knew it, you’ve got a second job. You stay up all hours of the night finishing orders knowing you’ll be dead tired in the morning when you go to your real job.

At what point do you start to think “can I do this full-time”, “can I make a living at this”, “how long will it take before I’m making enough money to live on”, “I’ve got to get all this stuff out of the living room, bedroom, kitchen, etc.”

The dream is always in the back of your mind; if I only could make enough to live on, then I’d be happy, I’d be doing what I love, it wouldn’t seem like work because I love it, I just need the chance to make it happen. Sound familiar?

It takes a lot of planning and preparation to jump into running your own business. Start by moving the planning from your head onto a piece of paper. Make a list. Write a business plan. Visit similar businesses. Talk to other hobby turned business owners. Then think some more. Is it a viable business? Not just a fun hobby, but a business where you make money? After all, that’s the goal, right?

Sometimes, keeping a hobby as a hobby is ok. Sometimes, not taking the next step is ok. It’s ok to be happy with a hobby while you work the “real” job Monday-Friday. A hobby should give you relief from the stress of the real job, an escape. Only you can decide what’s best for you. And, sometimes not making the decision is the best decision.

Ready to make the leap? Be sure to join our Facebook group to connect with other creative entrepreneurs and learn tips & tricks to help you succeed.

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