The #1 Thing You Need to Turn a Hobby into a Business

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.

  1. Knowledge can be taught.   You can take courses in business management, marketing, or any other topic you want to learn to better yourself and your business.   But passion can’t be taught.  All businesses have highs and lows.  It’s your passion for what you do that will keep you pushing forward.
  2. Running your own business takes perseverance and dedication.   If you don’t have a passion for what you do, you’ll lose interest.   In other words, you’ll give up.
  3. A business requires a constant flow of ideas to grow and thrive.   If you have a passion for what you do, you’ll put in the time and find the ideas.  In fact, inspiration comes easy when you are doing what you love.  However, if you hate your job, how much extra effort would you really put into it?
  4. Experience can be gained.  Experience is defined as practical contact with an event.  You will start to gain experience the day you start your business.   Your experience will grow as your business grows.   Did you know Sir Richard Branson had no business experience when he started his record mail order business in the 1970’s?   His passion saw him through.   Experience was something he gained over time.   Look at him now!

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.

 

Tina Birkley

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