Turn your hobby into a career

Work is often thought of as a burden, mundane and unbearable ... well, at least for those who are unsatisfied with their jobs.

Hobbies, on the other hand, are something enjoyable, intriguing and exciting. Have you ever thought of what it would be like if you could spend more time investing in your hobby than work? Perhaps you can do both at the same time.

What is a hobby?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is defined as ďsomething done for pleasure in your spare time.Ē

It could be collecting stamps and bottles or something more detailed and intricate like needlework and scrapbooking.

Do you think that your hobby is marketable?

Letís say, you love scrapbooking but you donít have time to do it. Would you hire someone to do it? Would you trust that person to create a scrapbook for you? How about starting a scrapbook business?

Starting small

It may be best to start small and test the waters, as well as your patience to do this for money, before making it a full-fledged career. For example, if you have a knack for photography, why not take some photos and upload them online? You could build your own website or subscribe to websites such as Flikr, or you could use social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter.

Practice, practice and practice. If you want to be a better photographer, take up classes and courses or join forums. Then slowly take in a few customers and build up your contacts.

Read up and find out

Once you get the momentum going and have a steady number of clients, you might want to consider going full time.

Before you go forward though, stop and think about whether being an entrepreneur is your cup of tea. List all the pros and cons, including the things that you need to know.

Be sure to do thorough research as there may be some aspects that just arenít you Ė such as balancing the books and collecting payment. You will need to have ample savings for overhead costs for at least a year, or so, because you might not be making a profit in the first year. You also need to give your business time to grow. Don't expect to have an instant hit and clients lining up from Day One.

Yes, I'm ready!

Once you have made up your mind, donít forget to do your homework. Get proper help from those who have already been in the business. First-hand experience is always the best. What may work for someone may not work for you. If you donít know anyone who has a business, try to seek advice from government bodies near you. Websites can help you, too.

Get proper training and be mentally and emotionally prepared.

Just because you love animals and manage to get them to sit and stand doesnít mean youíre cut out to be an animal trainer. So, be honest and realistic.

Good luck!