Should You Turn Your Hobby Into a Career?

Beads - Hobby



Should you turn your hobby into a career?

I get asked this a lot. Usually it’s because my client is worried that they will get sick of their hobby and it won’t be fun anymore.

While this could be true, I think there’s usually more going on than this:

1) When you begin trying to make money from your hobby, you have to make a lot of decisions that are based on what your potential customers or clients are looking for. Sometimes this doesn’t fit with your creative vision. So you might feel like you have to compromise – and that’s rarely fun. But, depending on how you define success, you may or may not be better off compromising.

2) Perhaps you’ve always viewed your hobby as a way to escape the “real” world. If you turn your hobby into your career, how will you escape? Something to consider is that when you are really enjoying what you’re doing all day – you may no longer feel the need to escape.

3) Perhaps you’re afraid of either success or failure. The fear of success is having to live up to your potential. The fear of failure is never getting the chance to live up to your potential. Again, what matters most is how you’re defining success. If you are solely using money as your benchmark, you’re missing the opportunity to allow yourself the chance to grow, take an important adventure, do something that most people only dream about.

Should you turn your hobby into a career?

You tell me! Please comment below…


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

6 Responses to “Should You Turn Your Hobby Into a Career?”

  1. I have some experience in this and found that when I began getting paid for my hobby (snowboarding) it did 2 things. #1 it made me refine my craft much faster than just being a hobby ever did, and #2 I got burned out faster than I think I would’ve if it had remained a hobby. Thanks for the interesting article Jen!

  2. You bring up two really interesting points, Noah. First – the opportunity to refine your craft – gotta love it! And second – what if it’s NOT meant to last forever as a career? It’s a viable option to do something you love for a short time and then move on to something else. I know that the need for security is really powerful, and a lot of times we make our decisions based on it, but what if we didn’t? Would life be more rich, fulfilling and fun?

  3. This is a great topic and one that I love discussing. Thanks for the great read

  4. Thanks, Karen! I know you’re an excellent career coach, too. What do you usually share with your clients on this topic?

  5. Thanks for a thought provoking question. I’ve been pondering this for quite a while. Like Noah, I’ve been researching and practicing to get greater mastery to motivate and teach people past 50 to be more in tune with the physical part of themselves. While I enjoy working with clients, there is a whole business side to making it a career that is less fun. I still go back and forth between what I want out of this. Kind of ‘can’t give it up, but don’t want to fully go there either’.

  6. Thanks, Christine. I thought about including a version of this dilemma in the article – so I’m glad you raised it in the comments. If you decide to make a business out of your hobby, you definitely have to be willing to wear both hats. Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone. With that said, though, learning the basics of business is not that hard. And as your business grows, it’s really smart to hand over certain tasks to professionals.

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