Paying for an expensive hobby is one thing, but monetizing one is the true alchemy of life. Hobbies and businesses are two very different things, however here’s how you may be able to turn one into the other, and have a lot of fun doing so:
Businesses vs Hobbies
Let’s get this straight – businesses make money, hobbies typically cost money. Host Andrew Baxter says it’s important to distinguish between the two if you really want to bring your passion across the bridge to make an income from it, as it’s going to involve a little more thinking (which we’ll touch on later). However, for the most part and for most people, hobbies will typically cost us money. Whether it be building model train sets, riding horses or surfing – these are all activities that you may love doing albeit can often break the bank to undertake. Particularly if you’re a hardworking, dedicated hustler – you’ve got to have something you enjoy doing to fully immerse yourself in to take away the stress of your life – even if it costs you a few bucks. How much is too much to spend on a hobby? This is really a personal decision, as how you spend your loot is totally up to the individual and what you see as worth it. Nonetheless, our view is that it is good to spend money on stuff you like doing, as long as it makes you happy.
Monetizing an Expensive Hobby
Monetizing an expensive hobby becomes a challenging exercise, particularly when the hobby itself hasn’t ‘chosen’ you so to speak. Co-host Mitch Olarenshaw uses the example of playing AFL for fun and one day end up being drafted to a professional team – whereby you would essentially start getting paid to undertake your sporting hobby. Where the hobby has effectively ‘chosen’ you is a nice bonus, but seldom happens for the average person. The other side of the coin, and the tougher one at that, is making money from a hobby that youhave chosen. There are a couple of methods to doing this, says host Andrew Baxter, one being is a business sponsorship deal whereby your business sponsors your hobby. This could be very tax effective for you (chat to your accountant on that) as an ‘advertising’ expense on one side of the ledger and something you enjoy doing on the other side – a win win situation. Alternatively, doing something you love and setting up a business to teach people to do the same is a great way to make money from a hobby also. This is easier than you think to do – if you like to surf, set up a surf school. If you like to ride horses, teach people how to ride horses too. The trick is to set up the business strategically, but more importantly with the right intentions.
Don’t Blur the Lines of Enjoyment
It’s a great situation when you start charging a fee for doing what you love, however, many fall into the trap of starting to blur the lines of enjoyment. When a hobby becomes a business, it’s very easy to lose sight of your passion for that particular activity. Pursuing a hobby for money alone is a dangerous trap and can result in falling out of love with the very thing you once enjoyed doing so much. Host Andrew Baxter says to ensure money isn’t the focus of your hobby, rather, it’s treated merely as the bonus that goes with it for doing it well. Find out what you love, work out what you’re good at and then see if you can start charging a fee for it. If this happens to be lucrative for you and enough for you to live off – happy days.
Building a Business and Marketing your Hobby
Given you’re enjoying the hobby as much as when you started and are now looking to make some more money from it, the next step is to build your business. First things first – have a plan. Having some strategy behind what you’re doing is crucial to building and maintaining a business, even if it is your hobby. Next, curating an image via social media is where most will likely start to market their business. As a low cost and effective way to reach a large number of people, having a presence on Instagram and Facebook for example, are great ways to share your message and promote your hobby. Without marketing your craft you’re unlikely to have many customers and so getting this right early on is crucially important.
Passion for Profit
It’s a perfect storm when you do what you love and build a successful business from it. Like any business although, you have to have a plan. Very rarely does undertaking a hobby result in making some real dollars on accident, rather, you have to be deliberate in your actions if you wish to create this ideal situation where you turn your passion for profit. Having a strategy for scale, service levels, marketing, and the rest of it are all factors to consider when building a business -even if it happens to be your passion. Like the famous philosopher, Allan Watts, once said – do what you love and if you’re good enough at it, you’ll become a master. Once you’re a master, you’ll be able to charge a fee for whatever that is. That, is how you monetise a hobby.