An Unconventional Guide to Paying for College

Turn Your Hobby Into a Business Worth $1 Million

turn your hobby into a business

Let’s suppose that you have a hobby which you love. This hobby could be anything from fixing bicycles, creating model train villages, playing paintball, sewing, writing/blogging, creating websites, or even driving. You are passionate about this hobby, and you would be perfectly content spending 8 hours a day working on your hobby.

What if I told you that you could make over $1,000,000 by turning that hobby into a business?

It’s entirely possible, and here is a real life example.

Personal Finance Blogs Equal Serious Cash

I read an article this morning that rocked me to the core. First, because I did not realize that this had happened, second, because I had no clue that this was even possible. The article was a list of personal finance blogs that have sold for 1 million or more.

First, I had no idea that Get Rich Slowly,  Bargaineering, and Consumerism Commentary had even been sold. That should be read as a compliment to their former owners and current publishers. Second, they were sold for staggering sums of money!

All of these blogs had been created out of a hobby, a passion for writing, and a need to get their financial lives on track. The end result was a business that made them a fortune.

I have interacted with all three of these bloggers, and I know that they have worked very hard to reach this goal. They have also all been blogging for several years, so their success was not overnight. They have positioned themselves as experts in their fields, and have been financially rewarded for their efforts.

How to Turn Your Hobby into a $1,000,000 Business

$1 Million seems like a fairly tale. It seems like such an insurmountable goal that it is not even worth setting. However, I bet you that all three of the above personal finance bloggers would have told you the exact same thing if you had asked them several years ago.

What changed?

The path to a $1 million business begins with a realization that your hobby can indeed be turned into a business. Like any good business, you must have a plan. Your plan does not specifically have to state it eventually being sold for $1 million, but it does have to include a plan to make a profit, and to expand.

For example, if you are passionate about playing paintball; how can you turn your passion for paintball into a profitable business?

I would suggest learning how to repair paintball guns. When you go to play paintball with your friends, you can charge a small fee to fix the guns that malfunction. Your friends will be willing to pay you because they can have them fixed on the spot. You have a captive audience.

Then you could branch out to buying and reselling paint. Out in the woods, or on the field, players will always run out of paint and need more. If you have the supply they need, you can turn a quick profit. Buy low, sell high!

With the profit you make from these sales, you could then rent a piece of property and create your own paintball field. You can furnish it with scrap junk, and players will likely flock to your location. Then you can charge entrance fees, sell paint, sell paintball guns, and even sell concessions. Before you know it, your passion for paintball has turned into a real business.

Then an investor may swoop in, see the progress you have made, and offer you $1 million to buy your business outright. They will likely even hire you back on to run the show.

Any hobby can be turned into a business.

I would recommend taking the following steps once you make the decision to take your hobby to the next level:

  • List the needs of people you know who also participate in your hobby
  • Place a star beside the needs that you believe your business can fill
  • Detail your plan to fulfill the top 3 needs on your list
  • Spread the word to your friends about your new services
  • Create an expansion plan to scale your business as it grows

Don’t Lose Your Passion In Your Business

One of the most common problems with starting a business out of a hobby is that many people quickly lose their passion for that hobby. There is a fine line to be walked, and many people quickly become complacent in their business because the joy in their hobby has been overtaken by the stress of a business.

Finding the right balance, and keeping your passion are what will take your business to $1 million.

In my experience, the key to keeping the passion for your hobby is to still participate in that hobby outside of your business.

If you write for a profit, you should carve out some time every day to write for fun.

If you create websites as a business, have a coding party with your friends.

If you sell model trains, invite some kids over to check out your model train village.

If you start a limo driving service, take a joy ride in the mountains.

Don’t ever forget what initially attracted you to the hobby in the first place. Focus on that, never lose your passion for your work, and someone might write a post about your $1 million business in a few years!

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6 Comments

  1. I was wondering who was going to write about this – there are some very handsome rewards for those that keep at it for long.
    Jeff @ Sustainable life blog recently posted..Why Saying No is Good SometimesMy Profile

  2. This is great information and certainly encouraging. But sometimes turning a a hobby into a business can be tricky. Sometimes a hobby is best left a hobby. My husband loves golf and worked at golf courses for years. It got to the point that he couldn’t even look at his golf clubs because he was so frustrated with his work; it turned him off from something he loved. He took a few months off and is back to loving the sport but it did teach him that he needs to leave golf as a hobby, not a career. If anything, he’ll coach golf at a local school but that’s about it.
    Jana @ Daily Money Shot recently posted..Money Tune Tuesday: Count on MeMy Profile

    • @Jana – You are right. It is very important to avoid burnout, and sometimes it gets to a point where you have to realize that your hobby is just not destined to be a business. Most hobbies though have some aspect of them that can be separated out for a business, while still maintaining a large measure of fun.
      MoneyforCollegePro recently posted..Sneak Peak at the 2012 – 2013 FAFSA ApplicationMy Profile

  3. This is a great example, and especially among PF bloggers, there are some great examples of how to turn a hobby, or passion into profit. It is sometimes hard to find that balance between the business and your passion. I am really hoping to find it, though, because staying consistent is tough!
    Sherrian@KNSFinancial recently posted..Pay For Spray: Firefighters Let Another House Burn Down Over $75My Profile

    • @Sherrian — It certainly can be tough. However, these awesome examples of people in our field who have made it bit continue to give me inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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