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Hobby, Job or Business? -

Hobby, Job or Business? – Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious via photopin cc


So, you want to start a business…

Oh wait, would you rather have a job?…but hobbies are fun, maybe I can make money with that.

Just to be clear, hobbies, jobs and businesses are all great endeavors. But they all need to be approached in different ways.

Per Webster:

Hobby – a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation engaged in, especially for relaxation.
Job – the work that a person does regularly in order to earn money.
Business – a commercial enterprise of making, buying, or selling goods or providing services in exchange for money.

Why can’t I turn my hobby into a business?

You can. But now it’s not your hobby. Everyone should have a hobby to enjoy and divert their mind and body from the day-to-day work load.

I love great BBQ (who doesn’t, right?). I even love cooking it, sitting around the smoker with friends and enjoying the fruits of my labor.

But what if I had to get up every morning at 3am to put meat on the smoker and get it all ready for the masses? Would I like it as much? Would it turn my passion into drudgery? Maybe.

Owning a BBQ restaurant has about 21,378 more “jobs” to it than just smoking some brisket from a lawn chair. I would need to have a full understanding of the restaurant business before making my BBQ hobby into a business.

Then I would have to find a new hobby!

Can I take the job I have now and make a business out of it?

Sure. Let’s say you have mad welding skills at the factory you work at, currently. Why not open a welding shop in your town and fulfill all the area’s welding needs?

But your welding job is likely, one aspect of the bigger picture. Where did the customer come from? Who bought the supplies? How is the bookwork completed? Who pays the utilities? How did the sales person get trained?

Those are all hats you might have to exchange for your welding helmet. At that point, are you doing the job you excelled at…welding?

If you treat your business like a hobby, won’t it be more relaxing.

If by relaxing you mean “failing”, then yes. You can’t run a business like a hobby.

I took up mountain biking and it cost me $300 for a used bike. I enjoy fishing and got a fly rod for Christmas one year. I buy some flies every time I go to Bass Pro.

But I can stop fly fishing one summer and not have any impact on my income, job, business or more importantly, the people that depend on me for their income or well-being.

That’s why it’s a hobby…you don’t HAVE to do it. And if you don’t, you probably won’t lose that big sale or miss a mortgage payment.

You can start and stop hobbies as often as you want. No one will care. Ok, maybe if you have 32 fishing poles and go fishing once every three years, your wife might chime in. But that is another topic!

Run your business with intentionality. Make usable, measurable goals. Define the jobs within the business and the people that should be doing them.

Businesses should be run diligently (with the appropriate time off for hobbies). Don’t “wish” or “hope” things get done…assign all the jobs BEFORE you open your doors. You’ll have enough surprises without creating them yourself.


Bottom Line: Get a hobby, do your job(s) and build your business.


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About Brian Richardson

Entrepreneur, father, grandfather, Christian, start-up fanatic