As a business adviser I’m constantly approached by people who possess extraordinary skill or talent to do or make something. Through their own admission, many of them are not business people, but they have a burning desire to turn their hobbies into a profession. This article provides simple, step-by-step instruction on how to make it happen, and offers key considerations that should be taken into account when doing so.

Most people who are passionate about their hobbies often find them cathartic or therapeutic. While this is beneficial for you, the monetization of your hobby must have inherent benefits for others. For example, a painter who enjoys painting relishes the process of painting. The sense of accomplishment that comes from finishing a “work of art” is their reward, and that may be enough for him/her. In order to successfully turn your painting hobby into a profession that will sustain you, you will have to make the distinction between the craft and the product and determine which one can be monetized to successfully pursue and obtain additional financial rewards from others who find value in what you have to offer.

Painters such as Leonardo da Vinci, were employed by kings to paint portraits. They were paid for services rendered (their craft). Their paintings (their products) which were not commissioned works of art, were sold for fortunes – usually after their deaths.

For the person who wishes to turn their hobby into a profession, they have to decide if they are going to sell the services of their craft, or a resulting product made from it. Getting paid from the mastery use of your craft essentially puts you in a service position that requires work that can only be done by you. Anyone can sell a product made by you. Investigate the pros and cons of each option. In many cases, you will have to do both.

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