Turning Your Hobby Into a Career: Are You a Fox or a Hedgehog?

Do your hobby skills have what it takes to take you to the next level?

What if someone told you that every day, you could wake up and do something you love, have a God given talent for and will get paid well for doing? Sounds like a pretty good deal, huh?? More and more, people have been able to achieve this by converting what is considered their hobby into a career.

A hobby is something that you are passionate about and do for enjoyment. You can become an expert in your hobby thru inherent ability or practice. By combining your passion and expertise, it is possible to successfully convert your hobby into a career. As quoted in Forbes magazine online, and outlined by Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, this idea is referred to as the “Hedgehog Concept.” Each recounts the story of The Hedgehog and the Fox (by Isaiah Berlin). Despite being continuously attacked by the fox, the hedgehog, a simple creature, survives by doing one thing that it is passionate about and at which it excels and outsmarts the fox! In keeping with this concept of taking a simple pleasure (hobby) and doing it well (expertise), you may be able to turn your hobby into a career, but first, you should ask yourself these three questions:

What are you passionate about?

Is there something that you love doing as a hobby and are deeply committed to? Are there careers that would allow you to do it on a regular basis? You may or may not be able to turn this passion into a moneymaking venture, but this is a good starting point!

What are you great at?

To answer this question, you need to be completely objective. You may need to consult a third-party to get an honest and fair assessment of your level of expertise before investing time and money.

What drives your economic engine?

How much do you need to earn to live comfortably? What are your expenses? Are you willing to pursue this passion via an indirect method and still be happy? For example, if you have a passion for and are an expert in writing poetry, would you be willing to teach a poetry writing class for a living rather than make a living trying to publish poetry? It is a good idea to create a formal business plan surrounding your passion to determine the feasibility of earning a living wage while pursuing your hobby as a career.

If you have been thinking about going down this path, contact your AthLife advisor who can direct you to the resources available to assist you in formulating a business plan.