One of the fundamental truths of setting up any business is to get over this small hurdle!
It’s a business not a hobby!
Once you realise this your business will be functional and progressive!
Every business starts with someone who has a hobby. Perhaps it is that you like to solve real world problems. Think about this blog for a second. You are here with a community of people who want to learn how to improve their ability to sell on a market stall. Your hobby got you interested in it!
Perhaps your hobby is making interesting art and your day job is business analytics. Either way when you begin to make the step towards self employment you are starting the slow walk towards something you love.
I am always inspired by Sir James Dyson. He was an engineer by trade, working on solving and improving products during the day. At night and on the weekends he works away at trying to improve the vacuum cleaner.
He strikes upon the idea that there is another way and develops the first bagless vacuum cleaner. His hobby, of fixing real life problems, turned into a business and in his life he had to make the switch too.
No longer could he nip out to the garden shed and tinker away all weekend, his time now would be devoted to growing his business and making one of the most useful vacuum cleaners in the world.
Knowing When to Make the Switch
This is always the tricky point of any hobby/business. I think the easiest way to tell when to make the move is when you are successfully making sales! That is the moment everything is changing for you as a Market Trader.
You cannot start growing your business and still be making runs to the warehouse or doing all your own book keeping. That is precious time taken away from your business growing time!
Your efforts need to go into business growth and develop all the aspects of it and that is when other people become involved in the process.
All the while you are ‘playing’ at your hobby and selling on the side and have a day job, requires you to divide your attention. Your hobby is your stress relief. When that changes to a business, your stress relief just became the BIGGEST stress in your life and you can no longer enjoy your hobby.
Creating a business from your hobby will make your most passionate enjoyment stressful and at the same time, draining. It will result in you disliking your hobby and eventually hating it.
Remember when you eat a chocolate. That first bite is lovely. Eating a whole bar is satisfying. If you are going to eat a chocolate bar every hour of every working day and over the weekend just for ‘fun’, can you imagine how much you are going to dislike those chocolate bars!
It is going to get stressful and as this is your hobby that you still want to be involved in and still take it to greater heights, then some things need to change. Realise now, you cannot do it all by yourself!
The best word to learn in business is delegation. The act of giving tasks to other people to help achieve the overall goal of your business. Of course when you start out you are in every role in the company. You are the delivery driver, the banker, the accountant, cashier and general handy person. However as you grow that is impossible for you to keep doing.
Take Lord Alan Sugar. He starts out selling from the back of his car. He also takes portrait photos in the market place, develops them in his flat and then sells them within a short time of taking them. He is running all over the place. When he makes the decision to grow, he has to start employing people to do tasks that give back time for him to focus on growing.
His passion for selling is uninhibited and he can continue to develop his ‘hobby’ into a global empire. He could not of done that by doing every job and still focussing on his hobby all by himself!
Can You Still Have Your Hobby?
Of course, but take a look at what you derive pleasure from doing. If you like making wooden sculptures, then look at the parts that bring you happiness. Then get others to clear the road for you to enjoy those parts of the process.
Perhaps you like growing vegetables, then allow others to sell the vegetables on the market stall or have someone deliver the goods for you on Market day. Perhaps someone could help with weeding or harvesting. Notice how your hobby can still be enjoyed even though you are dedicating more time to growing a business that is developing and growing.
Where Does it Lead?
You will find that your creativity is unleashed by focusing on the parts you enjoy. You begin to develop new ideas and the more stressful elements for you are given to people with the expertise to grow and develop your business. An accountant likes working with numbers and working through problems on paper. If that stresses you out you are going to lose far more sleep trying to do it all when on the other hand you can relive that stress and focus on something you do enjoy.
With creativity comes growth. When Sir James Dyson developed that first vacuum cleaner he didn’t know that there would be many different ways of creating and using his designs. Today his company has developed cordless vacuums cleaners and hand dryers that are market leaders. His company runs the James Dyson award program and is recognised as a British Inventor.
You will walk down many new paths too, and your hobby will also develop in new and exciting ways.
Your hobby, is what you play at, your business is where you focus on getting the best deal for your customers, and to do that you need to remove the obstacles that slow you down and inhibit your progress. It is essential that by focussing on the parts of the hobby you most enjoy and delegating to others, you will after 10 years still be enthusiastic for your hobby and highly motivated in your business.