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Experience is not a precursor to success. It’s not even a requirement. No amount of experience will lead to success if you don’t have a passion for what you do. It explains why someone with little to no business experience can turn their hobby into a multi-million-dollar company. It also explains why a new company conceived in a corporate boardroom can nose dive into a multi-million-dollar bankruptcy. Experience can be gained, but passion is a prerequisite.
Chewy.com is currently a dominant force in online pet food sales. While Petsmart.com had 2.2% of the market share before acquiring the company, Chewy.com has an impressive 40.5%. Yet, the founders had no experience in the pet food industry when they began. In fact, they started out with the intention to start selling jewelry. They’d even purchased inventory. The only thing missing was the passion.
“I always wanted to do something with pets, but I couldn’t figure out how to monetize it,” Chewy chief executive officer Ryan Cohen said. “I said, ‘This jewelry idea, we’re not passionate about what we’re doing. This is a much better opportunity.’ I understand the customer — because it’s myself. So we built the company.”
But why is passion so much more important than experience? If you’ve never been self-employed before, your lack of experience may be what holds you back. Don’t let it.
Nobody starts out at the top in business or in any endeavor. Think of athletes, musicians, writers, and artists. They don’t start out with experience – or instant success. But they all have passion. Passion drives you forward. It leads you to gain knowledge and experience. Sometimes success may come in baby steps with one step forward and five steps back, but it’s the passion that keeps you going, learning, and growing. If you have a passion for your hobby, you already have the most important ingredient you’ll need for success.
Turning your hobby into a money-making business is easier than you think. You don’t need vast experience or copious amounts of capital. You don’t even need a prize-winning idea. Every hobby you can think of has some sort of business application. This means that that no matter who you are or what your hobby, you can turn it into a business, selling products or services that people want to buy. The only thing you need is the willingness to start.
Take as an example Angie Higa. Higa worked in the banking industry for 30 years, but retired early to take care of her granddaughter during her daughter’s military deployment to Afghanistan. Her favorite hobby had always been designing and sewing. After catching a cold on a seven-hour flight because there wasn’t a blanket available, she decided to turn her love for sewing into a business. Ms. Higa started Sky Dreams, a company that manufactures travel blankets and pillows.
Angie Higa is just one example of how easy it can be to take your hobby from pastime to business. Take a look at these other people who did the same. They are proof that getting started can be easier than you think when you have the hobby and the willingness to begin.
So, what’s your hobby? Take inspiration from other people like the ones above to turn your hobby into a business. Age, experience, and investment aren’t important factors. You simply need a willingness to begin. Think about it for a moment. What product or service could you offer? Come up with some ideas, and we’ll talk more about it later in this blog.