Hobby Turned Business Turned Hobby?

One of my recent blog postings was about turning a hobby into a business.  Many people have successfully taken action to turn their hobby into a dream company and career.  These people get to do what they love.  As a hobby turned business matures, often times these people begin to enjoy a flexible schedule and may even consider a reduced work week.  However, what happens when a hobby turned business starts being run again like a hobby? How does this impact the business, person, and customers? What are the overall consequences and how will the person and business sustain?  Another question to ask is, how do I know if this is already happening?

To determine if this is already happening, here are some questions worth answering.  Keep in mind, being honest with self is key to understanding the awareness and reality of a current situation.  So, take time to process these questions.
1.    What did my hobby look like when I first started and how did it change after it became my business and career?
2.    How does it look today?  Operational changes have occurred?
3.    Have I lost clients?  Have new clients turned into repeat customers or infrequent visitors?
4.    Do I work full-time, part-time, seasonally?  How do I communicate the business structure of open for business hours to my customers?
5.    If I was a customer, would I do business with my company?  If so, how?  If not, why not?

The biggest question to ask is: Do I still enjoy doing what I do?  If the answer is yes, then think about the above questions again and look for patterns or areas of improvement.  If the answer is no, then think about why and how to bring passion back into the business.  If you’re not sure what to do, ask yourself “what’s my gut instinct telling me?”

The reality is when a business turns back into a hobby it means something more is going on.  Whether it’s time to bring on an associate to support the need to keep the business open full-time and give the flexibility to the owner, decide which days are permanent operational business days, or perhaps transition the business back into a hobby; assessing the reality of the business situation might just turn out to be the need to rediscover the joy of the hobby and the reasons why it turned into a business.

All the best,

Deb

Happy Birthday – 35 to NASA’s Voyager 1

September 5, 1977…NASA launched Voyager 1 to explore the outer planets of our solar system.  Today Voyager 1 is about 11.3 billion miles from the Sun.  I read that it takes data about 17 hours to transmit back to Earth where a handful of scientists analyze the information. The quote I find most interesting about Voyager 1 is, “Each Voyager probe carries a golden record with a collection of sights and sounds from Earth, just in case the spacecraft are discovered by intelligent beings in interstellar space.

My first thought is: “How cool is THAT?!?”  My second thought is: “What do you mean IF?” Then my third thought is: “How would people react….would humans be ready for this?”

All of my thoughts drift to a conversation I had with my dad back in 1982.  I clearly remember the year because in school we were introduced to Orson Welles and “War of the Worlds.” I remember the panic of people and how they reacted.  There was mass chaos.  I asked my dad if he remembered the radio show…and he did.  He shared with me that although he knew it was a radio show and not an actual event, what took place illuminated the development and current state of mankind.  One thing I miss about my dad is the type of conversations we had…we talked about a lot of different topics.  This one in particular got me interested in exploring – mainly the cosmos and ancient philosophy.

I hold a belief and position that humans are evolving.  We’ve experienced life through an industrial age, a technology age, and moving into a new age; sometimes I label this new age as consciousness age, while other times I label it quantum-something.  I’m not sure how to label it, but I do believe that this is where we, as a species, are headed.  I also believe that the 1977 launch of Voyager 1 & 2 (along with their 117 images of Earth, greetings in 54 languages, plus other Earthly artifacts) supports that one day Voyager will reach beyond the outer edge and we will experience something as a species that can only be imagined.

Personally, I think this is a great time to be alive. I wonder what I will experience throughout my lifetime.  I can only imagine what my children, grand children and great-grand children will experience.

I’ve often wondered about putting together a personal time capsule which I would reopen at a designated time in the future (like when I’m a really old lady) or collect for a keepsake for my children…with the inspiration from the folks at NASA and to celebrate Voyager 1…I’m off to do just that!

All the best,

Deb

 

Hobby Turned Business

Labor Day.  What did you do on this holiday?  Some people worked.  Some spent time with their families and friends to celebrate the last weekend of Summer.  The day for me was filled with a blend of preparing for back-to-school, time with family, and reflection; reflection of what Labor Day means with recent awareness and conversations; primarily asking the questions: Is your job a job or is it something you love to do?  Is there something you love to do that you wish could turn into a business?

Reading articles about employee satisfaction and engagement, job satisfaction, and social media postings about people’s thoughts about their jobs often times the revealed information is that most people find a job just a job and not very fulfilling. Which means that most people aren’t really doing what they want to do or enjoy doing.  Of course, there are many reasons why, however, there’s always another way to do things.

Ask people about their hobbies and they’ll share interests from custom making bbq sauces, competitive bbq cooking, canning, custom auto-motorcycle painting, woodworking, cake decorating, knitting, singing, photography, fashion blogging…the lists go on.  The one consistent factor about all of these conversations is how the person’s tone of voice and excitement levels increase when talking about their hobbies. Their enjoyment of loving the hobby is very apparent as they talk at lengths about their loved interest.  So, here’s my question:  Can you turn your hobby into a business?

Now before you say “ah, yeah – no!” let’s think about some known people who did turn their hobby into a business.  The first person that comes to mind is the late Paul Newman with Newman’s Own salad dressings and other food items.  The story of how his hobby-turned-business is well known and an example of making a love of labor into a reality.

Another hobby-turned-business is Mrs. Field’s Cookies.  The story of Debbi Fields is inspiring to those with a skill they love to do and wish it could transform into a business.

Now while both of these examples are related to food many people posses a skill that’s their hobby which they love to do!

In these days of uncertainty, what skills or hobbies do you have?  Is there something that you love to do and wonder how to turn it into a business?  Think about it.  If the answer is yes, then learn from those who’ve done it!  Read up on their stories, learn from their successes/mistakes and put together a plan.  Who knows, the next inspiring hobby-turned-business story could be yours!

All the best,

Deb