Hobbies help round us out as people and fill in the cracks to define us—they help make us who we are. Perhaps you have a hobby like pottery, sewing, baking, scrap booking, or candle making, but have never really invested enough time to sell your work. If you’re like me, you may also never spend quite enough time on any of your hobbies to finish them. Don’t worry, this doesn’t make you a bad hobbyist, just one with great, untapped potential.
We all know someone who is a proverbial poster-child of hobbying. He or she is absolutely enthralled with their hobby, and no one’s surprised to see that person’s talent. If this person is you, you’ve no doubt started to notice your house beginning to fill with the results of your talent, even if you’re still unable to recognize yourself as a wildly talented individual. Well, it’s time to stop wondering where to put your next masterpiece and get that hobby to provide for itself, if not more.
Why should hobbies just drain the pocketbook? With a shift in our culture towards handmade things, there’s a huge value markup on people who possess talents outside of a traditional 9-5 job and a care enough to invest the time required to produce items of quality. Eventually, as with most hobbies, you will begin to be overrun by a beautiful array of your work until selling has become the only option!
If you have a hobby that’s marketable, why not get started and turn it into some passive income? Instead of letting your favorite activities have a hay-day with your hard-earned money, turn them into profit. I have confidence that you’ll figure out what to do with all that extra cash.
Start a Hobby
If you have a hobby, skip this, or read it for the fun of it, but having a hobby is pretty important if you’re plan is to sell things you make. This passive income thing is pretty cool, don’t miss out. It goes like this: you + something you love doing = income. Best math I’ve ever done (says the math-phobic hobbyist that is me).
If you don’t have a hobby, find one. There’s crocheting for those with patience for tedium, car remodeling for those with larger hobby budgets and a propensity for speed, perhaps woodworking is more your speed—just don’t get anything caught in the spinning lathe. If you have something you kind of like to do, and maybe people have even told you you’re good at it, go ahead and stun yourself; go on the internet and shop for whatever it is you make. Then do some math. How many items are you turning out regularly? How much faster do you think you could work and still enjoy it? Now, what could you be making in a month? A year?
If that’s not enough to convince you, do some more math. Get an estimate of what you’re spending each month, or would be spending…add it all together. Don’t leave any little bits out. Imagine if you made money instead of spent it. There, as you imagine that, the feeling you’re having is what it would feel like if you went for this passive income thing.
Believe in Yourself
Assuming you already have a hobby, or have recently decided to acquire one, the hardest thing you’re going to have to do is muster the courage to get started. This is a business in which the inventory occurs naturally, just as you do what you love. You’re already going to be buying supplies, the expenses are like black magic for your bank account, so wave your wand and banish the bank gremlins. You have the skill to do this.
If you’re not sure, invite someone over to give you some honest feedback. Make sure it’s someone who loves you, but can be honest. Maybe even have that person bring someone you don’t know, ask them to bring the most painfully-blunt person they know and then ask their opinions. If they hate your stuff, then nothing changed. You can go on spending money on a habit you enjoy. Chances are, if you enjoy your hobby, you’re probably good at it. So, when the terribly blunt person tells you they like your stuff, you have to believe them. You have talent. If the bluntest person to walk the Earth just told you your work is charming and lovely, you already have a customer base.
And just like that, you’re in business.
Social media is exploding the business world. Make a Facebook page for your brand new business and start charging people. Get on eBay, create a PayPal account for security, and hire a talented photographer (or a friend who knows a bit about cameras) to take pictures of your work and start selling. If you have questions, find other people marketing hobby-like items and ask them for pointers. Today, all you need is a laptop and an email address, and you are in business. Welcome to passive income my adventurous friend!
Do you have a hobby you enjoy doing that can double as an income maker? Are you already a hobbyist? Share your online shop’s URL! We want to see what you make–hobby-wise and income-wise.