As kids, we’re told to follow our dreams. “Go for it.” “Do what you love.” “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything.” Many people follow that advice. However, when they enter the working world, they realize it’s not easy to follow their passions because let’s face it, it’s expensive to follow your passion.
The key to this endeavor is to learn how to monetize your dreams. While you don’t necessarily have to follow the below steps in order, each step can help you forge your own path. Here’s how to turn a hobby into a career.
Get A Gold Star Education
Formal education is a practical route because the curriculum maps out your journey. You also learn from experts via professors and guest speakers and can make connections with your classmates and other people you meet at school.
Charutha Bandara is a recent Indiana University-Bloomington graduate who studied computer science. He’s now on the path to turning his hobby into a career by being an aspiring software developer who collaborates on open source projects on GitHub.
While many people decide not to go to college and teach themselves the information they need to follow their dreams, there are pros and cons to that route, as there are for every road.
If you can afford college, then you’ll have the time and space to learn in great detail about your hobby in the form of a major. If you can’t, try talking to experts or shadow someone in your desired industry. Learn as much as you can from online resources, courses, internships, etc.
Network Until You Drop
Networking with like-minded people might be over-hyped because the most important ingredient is that you do the work, but you never know what a connection can lead to.
While that might sound like wishful thinking and you always have to work on your craft, making positive connections with people is how you can break out. After all, there’s a reason people say it’s not what you know, it’s who you know, although what you know is still important (see: above).
Work That Side Hustle
Many people have a sense of urgency when following their dreams. They want to quit their 9-to-5s as fast as possible to pursue what they love. Everyone’s situation is different, but you still have bills to pay. That’s why it’s a smart idea to start your business on the side.
Starting your hobby as a side hustle while you have a job can take the pressure off. Your job can also support your side hustle.
Plan For The Unplannable
If you’re serious about turning your hobby into a career, then you need to make a realistic plan. It’s important to put time and effort into your business plan and make sure you’re covering every aspect of the work you want to do to the marketing of your business. Many unprepared owners don’t lay the foundation neatly enough. While you’ll do a lot of learning on the job, you have to include as much as possible in your plan, which includes how you’re going to pay employees, clients, and write checks.
Processing payments can add up, not to mention you need a system that’s reliable, efficient, and professional. Incorporating check printing software allows you to write, print, and mail checks with ease, whether you’re sending payments to employees or clients. You can also send checks in bulk as well as automate payments from your preferred devices.
Money is how you turn your hobby into a career and software can make check writing, payment processing, and invoicing hassle-free.
Be Persistent, But Let Your Dreams Morph
Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something, especially if it’s what you want to pursue. Be persistent when following your dreams. But also let your dreams morph.
You don’t have to continue to follow a concrete dream just because you said you would. Your dreams are allowed to change, but only you can make them come true.