Are you sitting in your bed daydreaming of escaping the corporate or academic grind to start your own business?
Do you play with different ideas, but struggle to find how to turn your passion into one that could actually make you a living?
I’m here to tell you that you are overthinking it. Here are the easiest ways to help you leverage what you love into a new path.
Side-launch or side hustle
More often than not, it’s beneficial to start small by building confidence, knowledge and experience before you go all-in. If you quit your job based on your passion, you may put yourself in a vulnerable position.
Take your time. It’s important to properly vet the market for the product or service you are offering. Be sure your idea solves a problem and/or adds value. You want to offer something that is indispensable. Make sure there are enough people out there who need your product or service and that they are willing to pay for it.
See how it grows and develops. When you start small, you have the opportunity to see if this is truly something you enjoy. You don’t want to drain your savings account, only to find out that your business isn’t something you actually like doing.
The main difference between a passion project and a real business is sales and revenue. Give yourself time to test the viability of your potential business.
Treat it like a business
When starting your own business, it can be hard to stay motivated and organized. Unlike the typical 9-to-5, entrepreneurs setting off on their own don’t have anyone telling them what to do or when to do it. It’s also easy to lose focus and forget to prioritize your side hustle when it’s not yet making you money.
It’s important to treat your new endeavor as a professional business right from the start. Set yourself a work schedule with weekly goals, just as you would in your day job. When interacting with customers and clients, ensure you act professionally.
There was once a time when, in order to launch a business, you had to have a physical brick-and-mortar location (especially for retail operations). But having a physical location often comes with a high price tag that can be daunting for startups. Now, however, there are a number of tools available for entrepreneurs that will allow you to reach consumers without high startup costs.
These online tools can help you do everything from advertising your business inexpensively to connecting with new clients. But one of the greatest benefits of online tools is being able to sell products at minimal cost. Hire a competent website designer to build a website that will let you sell your products without first having to be contacted.
Put It On Social Media
Social media has become the single most powerful marketing tool ever made. After all, where else can you freely get to advertise pretty much anything (with some exceptions of course)? If you happen to love knitting ugly Christmas sweaters, why not show them off on Instagram or Facebook? Why not share your expertise in a tweet on Twitter, or through a cool video on YouTube?
Now more than ever, the opportunities to put yourself out there are endless. Take advantage and experiment with your hobbies on social media. If you’re open to showcasing your work online, this could be a great way to start monetizing the stuff you love to do as well.
Since I recommend you side-launch the business, it’s important for you to find a balance between getting the word out to potential customers and clients and maintaining your job security. You shouldn’t worry about starting to leak information, but to ensure your employers don’t start to question your dedication, it’s important to stress that this is a “side project” when talking about it.
Once you’ve made a point of emphasizing that this is a side hustle, don’t hesitate to share your new endeavor with your co-workers, friends and family. Add it to your email signature, post it to social media and perhaps even consider writing a press release. Tell as many people as you can as fast as you can. You never know where new business is going to come from. The wider you spread your message the quicker you will grow.
Many entrepreneurs have started by just practicing a hobby or exploring a talent or passion. These have later gone on to become full-fledged, successful businesses. So why not yours?!
Have more questions? Follow up with an expert here and enjoy a free consultation.