From passion to profit – how to make money doing what you love

Tired of being a wage slave? Love to turn your passion into profit? Read six tips to help you make money doing what you love. 

Most of us have a passion or hobby – from music, photography, writing or crafts, to coding, gardening, yoga or baking. But it’s rare that our day job allows us to practise these interests.

But what if you gave up your day job? And instead of being a wage slave for someone else found a way to get paid for doing what you love and turning your passion into profit?

Six tips to help you make money doing what you love

As aspirational as this may sound, it’s much more possible than you think (just take a look at some of our real life stories for inspiring examples).

So if you want to escape the drudgery of a job that doesn’t fill you with joy, here are six tips to help you take the first step to turning your passion into profit.

1) Passion is great, but don’t count on it alone

Passion is a great starting point for a business, but it can also blind you to the reality of the business you want to launch. You can get so caught up in the dream that you don’t properly consider every aspect of running it – including the inevitable barriers and downsides.

Building a business is completely different to enjoying a hobby – especially in the early months and years when much of your time will be consumed with dull but essential business tasks, like accounting, admin, customer service, and sales.

You also need to be strong enough to weather disappointments and set backs. What if no one buys your products or services in the beginning? Or if a supplier lets you down? It can be hard to sustain your passion after weeks of bad news.

So how can you prepare for this, and make sure starting a business is really the right choice for YOU? Make sure you’re realistic right from the start.

Be honest about what starting a business will really involve, and the full range of tasks you’ll need to undertake. And talk to other entrepreneurs about their journeys. Find out what it’s really like at the coalface of a business, and ask yourself whether your passion will be able to survive the tough times.

Read three easy ways to test whether your business idea will make money.

2) You need to fill a gap in the market

The surest way to establish a successful business is to find a gap in the market and fill it; to look for a problem that’s not being solved right now, and find a way to solve it.

This can be delivering a much-needed (but not yet existing) service, or a clever improvement to one, or selling products that are different from, superior to, better than, or easier to obtain than what is already available.

So think about your passion, and ask yourself:

  • When do people need or want this?
  • Is someone doing this or something similar already?
  • If so, how can I be different or better?

It’s also wise to listen to what people complain about. Do you often hear people moaning about the same thing, or wishing something existed? Observe people and the world around you and be open to ideas about how you can fill any gaps.

For example, you may have a passion for selling clothes online. How can you source or create different products, or offer a service or stock that isn’t currently available? And, importantly, do people actually want that difference?

3) Get out of your comfort zone

Starting a new business will inevitably take your out of your comfort zone – from tackling new tasks to putting yourself in new situations, such as networking. And while this may seem scary at first, it’s also a fantastic opportunity to overcome your inhibitions and grow as a person.

Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t mean that you immediately have to be comfortable, nor does it mean that you need to become an expert, but it’s be a step in the right direction towards growth and competence. As Michael Gasiorek says:

“Find techniques that can not only help you get outside of your comfort zone but also work on improving your weaknesses. You don’t have to become a guru. Just familiar enough in that area so that you’re more comfortable and can deliver what people need and want.” 

4) Know where you can drive your business

Once you’ve settled on a business idea, you need to decide where you’ll actually run it. In the past you’ll probably have set up bricks and mortar business –  a shop, cafe, workshop or office. But the internet offers many more options today.

Not only can you run your business from home with just a laptop if you need, but you can also sell your products without ever needing to sign a lease on a shop, thanks to sites like Etsy, eBay, Shopify, Amazon, etc.

Websites like Etsy, Amazon, and eBay use a unified system for all of the shops within its database, while websites like Shopify cater to businesses who want to personalise their shop, and build their own brand.

Read four things you need to set up an e-commerce store.

5) Practice your passion

When you start a business that centres around a personal interest, it’s easy to assume that you’re already expert enough in it to sustain your business. But successful entrepreneurs know that businesses and markets change, and you need to adapt to these changes to stay relevant.

This means remaining passionate about your passion, and willing to learn – reading voraciously around your interest, seeking new opportunities to acquire skills, and staying on top of the latest developments.

To an extent this is inevitable. Many entrepreneurs live and breathe their startup, and you almost can’t help becoming a world-class expert in your passion over time. But in order to learn and adapt, you must be willing to accept that you need to, and can, learn from others.

It’s also essential to have an open mind and listen to feedback. So create opportunities to speak to your customers and find out what they think of your products and services, and what’s currently missing or can be improved.

6) Prioritise having fun

When you’re a passion-based entrepreneur, you can risk losing interest in your business in tough times – when things go wrong, when you work hard but don’t make a profit, and when the mundane routine of some business tasks becomes boring.

So always remember why you started your business in the first place, and try to preserve your love for what you do. Your business should never be your whole life, and it shouldn’t overwhelm you. Make sure that it sustains, not drains, you by prioritising your passion and your personal life.

And lastly, where you can outsource tasks you don’t enjoy or aren’t good at to others. But choose carefully, and try only to work with people who are just as passionate as you about your ideas or products. Model your business according to your personality, and let your passion be the centre of it.

Ready to turn YOUR passion into profit?

As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Not only is a self-owned business a fulfilling task in itself, but centering it around something you’re good at is a great way to continue with your passions professionally.

So, what are you waiting for? Show the world what you can do, and make a profit out of it!

Now read these articles, and get started!

If you’re ready to take the next step and turn your passions into profit, you’ll find lots of helpful advice in these articles: