By Justin Miller
Is it possible to make a living from your hobby? Sure. Numerous individuals have taken a passion for what they love to do and turned it into full-time work. Although you may not be quite ready to quit your day job, finding a hobby that you enjoy is the first step to sustainable living, and eventually quitting your job to pursue your dreams.
1. Review what you like to do. It is easier to make a living from a hobby that you enjoy doing than from one that you do merely because of its potential to make money. If you have a hobby that does both, then you are in good shape.
You may already be assembling a collection of items that you enjoy, without realizing that you are, indeed, a hobbyist. That baseball card collection from your youth is one example as are the racks of novelty spoons you have in place in your dining room. Perhaps you do not have a sizable collection of anything, but you do have the seeds of something that you can turn into a full blown hobby such as movie posters, rare books, artwork and more.
2. See how others are doing it. Your desire to collect or build a hobby is a noble one, but where do you get started? That depends largely on what you like to collect. For instance, if you are a collector of Star Wars memorabilia, find a nearby fantasy or comic convention and attend it. You will find vendors there that may be doing what you want to do: making money through the buying and selling of goods. Observe, ask questions and discuss, without identifying that you are interested in doing what they are doing.
You can also look for area flea markets where vendors set up tables, occupy stalls and layout their wares for all to see. Such markets are where other budding entrepreneurs test their business models even if some never get beyond the weekend hobbyist angle. Quite as easily you can follow this well-trodden path and establish your weekend business too before launching out to broader horizons.
3. Teach others to do the same. For some hobbyists, doing what they do full-time may not be of interest to them. Instead, teaching others how to do it can result in a full-time opportunity by itself.
Take your passion for playing a guitar and offer music lessons. If you love to cook, teach others how to cook too. Put up a website or blog to announce your business, and post “how to” articles and videos. Offer fee-based webinars or tele-seminars to bring in income. Work with your local adult education enrichment school or community college to hold classes.
4. Repair, appraise or promote what you love. Just like in the previous step, you have decided that you like what you do, but you cannot imagine doing it full-time. Or at least the hobby building part. What you could do is promote other hobbyists by fixing or appraising their products. You are not actually selling anything, rather you are helping others to do what they do better. And getting paid for it.
One example is the antique furniture collector with an eye for crystal, jewelry or fine china. You might make it your business to appraise items for estate sales and hold these sales yourself or charge your appraisal fee and move on. Another example is the fix-it individual that can take a worn or broken item and make it like new. You already collect cars, so why not help someone else make repairs and sell what they own?
Even if your hobby never becomes a full-time job, it can offer some value that may tide you over later in life. Take what you own and sell it, using the proceeds to travel, pay for healthcare, help a family member or for some other purposes.
Justin Miller is a professional blogger that writes on a variety of topics including video guitar lessons. He writes for JamPlay.com, a leading online music educator offering 2,000+ easy guitar songs to learn in HD.