5 Fears to Overcome in Turning a Hobby into a Career

Photo Credit: healthyplace.com

Photo Credit: healthyplace.com

What you do as a job does not always define who you are.  There are plenty of doctors who love baking, office assistants who dabble in jewelry-making, accountants who enjoy writing crime novels, and store clerks who delight in woodwork.  These doctors or accountants or any others who take pride in their careers have fulfilling hobbies separate from their nine-to-five and that is just fine with them.

What about those who enjoy their hobbies more than any job they will ever or currently have? Maybe they went into medical school because their parents wanted them to, or the only skills they have are ones that “won’t get them anywhere in the workforce” so they take any job they can get.  Their definition of a life purpose may have been harder to find until that first knitting class or cookbook.  If you love something so much and spend a lot of time doing it, why not make a change?  Like one towards turning that hobby into a career.

I know what you’re thinking:  “I can’t make money off of organizing people’s closets or dog walking or writing short stories,” or whatever the case may be.  What if you can?  Your hobby can and will make money with the right amount of time, work ethic, and savings.  It’s not going to be easy, there will be plenty of rejection, and it can get scary not knowing where your next paycheck will come from.  I, myself am striving to eventually make a living as a blogger and writer who may also have an online store for crafty stuff I make, but the following fears hold me back every day and I am not alone in feeling them:

  1. It’s not a “real job.”  What will my friends and family think?
  2. This is not worth the risk.  What if I fail?
  3. I’ll never be financially stable.  How will I make a living or even start saving money for this?
  4. Am I good enough?  There are plenty of hobbyists out there more successful than me.  Will I ever be that good?
  5. It won’t be fun anymore.  If this is all I do, what if starts feeling like a chore?

How can we overcome these fears to make way for all the positives ahead?  First, make sure that this big career decision leans towards a life purpose that defines you and makes you happy to get up for work every day, not towards how to get rich quick for not much effort.  Once that’s cleared up:

  1. Start saving some money for your future hobbyist career while you’re still working that nine-to-five.
  2. Take your time in making this jump.  Do you need to continue working part-time to start your hobby part-time, before quitting completely and hobby-ing full-time?
  3. Take risks that you can manage.
  4. Network with other hobbyists you look up to.
  5. Consult friends and family for advice.
  6. Increase your personal capital.  Would you consider going back to school for new skills?
  7. Stay positive!
  8. Accept that rejection will always come but success is always around the corner as long as you keep at it.
  9. Do your homework.  Know exactly what you’re getting into instead of jumping in blind.
  10. Are you willing to start your own business for this hobby or use that hobby to jump into another similar career in that area?  Like that jewelry maker turning into an assistant buyer at a jewelry company?  Or will that woodworker work from his garage and sell his pieces online, at trade shows, etc?

If your fears are the only things holding you back from leaving that unfulfilling job into something more worthwhile, use time to your advantage.  There will come a time when you realize they are not worth the fuss.  Life is short and all those clichés will start to ring true.  All the help and support out there points you in the right direction.  Overcome these fears and there’s nothing left but success in turning that fun hobby into your bread and butter.

About Mandy Norman

Mandy is a content manager and designer by day, and crafter/hobby writer/thinker by night. Her relationship with her cat, giraffes, music, and caffeine are borderline unhealthy, but nothing stops her from speaking her mind and “making things look pretty.” She mans two blogs in her spare time, whatmandythinks and whatmandyloves. See All of Mandy's Posts

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