The Not So Shocking Reality Of Running An Online Hobby Business
Sounds fun, working on a hobby everyday, right? Well… It is. It’s OK. If you must earn a living, there are worst ways of doing it.
But, this isn’t one of those posts where I describe how easy it all is, and how I make tens-of-thousands of pounds a month.
I’m also not here to gloat, because you could be doing it too. This is about describing what it is, practically speaking.
Routine and Procedure
I’m grateful to online business owners who share their routines and procedures. Their Apps and Resources. While you can’t expect the whole story to be laid out in one post, you can take pieces and test them on your own situation.
With so many variants to an online business, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way to get things done. People find a niche and roll with it.
In that spirit, I thought that I would share The Good and The Bad of running an online hobby business.
A Hobby Business: The Bad
Let’s cover the bad first, so we can end with the good. Here we go:
1. You have to work really hard to build something in the first place.
I know there are loads of people saying how they turned-on their very first iPad, created an online bank account, set up a blog, and BANG. They were millionaires, re-occurring-ly so, on a monthly basis.
That’s not to say it doesn’t happen. It’s gotta happen to someone. But, most people have to work really hard to build something.
2. Once you create an online business, you have to maintain it.
You have to create new content, and dependant on the niche, that could mean weeks of work. All without the promise of payment, or even a wage.
3. There are people who won’t think twice about stealing your work and outright calling it their own. Then, there are others who would like to ‘edit’ your work and call it their creation. This speaks for itself.
4. Social media and publishing.
If, like me, you’re not a real ‘social’ type, then social media can be a pain. Thankfully, Pinterest is great for interaction, without the interaction.
As anyone with a website knows, a lot goes into the publishing stage. In addition, with a hobby business, you may have different online vendors, email lists, adverts, and more to complete every time you publish something new.
It’s not difficult. It’s just ‘administration’, which if done in an office, would be pure hell.
5. Finally, you have the sheer amount of hours involved, trying to keep a small business running at its full potential.
You could easily spend 14 hours a day working on the business, day after day for a prolonged period of time. And all of that work could have been simply to comply with a law or standard. Maybe, to improve a function or the general aesthetics of your website.
A Hobby Business: The Good
Some of that Bad List sounded awful, but it’s really not. It’s fantastic.
Truth is, number 1 on this Good List, makes it all worthwhile:
1. You don’t have a boss. No ‘colleagues’. None. Not one.
This may not sound great to you, but it’s the very reason I struggled so hard to get here. I really hated ‘the working world’.
2. Most of the time, you’re hobby’ing. That thing you’d be doing anyway.
There are other daily actions which have nothing to do with the hobby, but on the whole, the hobby is centre stage.
3. You get to play to your strengths.
I know what my strengths are, and can labour over them all I want.
4. You decide if you want to work, or if you need a break. Be it 10 minutes, a day or a week, you make the decisions.
5. You control your time. There are tasks which must be completed most days, but they only take an hour or so.
You get to wake up when you want, work from the comfort of your home, and finish when you want.
In the down time, you can focus on other hobbies (like a blog!).
6. Finally, if your business is successful, and the internet does that thing where a million people visit your tiny corner of it, and all decide to throw their wallets at the screen, then, then you get to reap the rewards.
Well done if that’s happened to you. -It’s your dream, your application of it, and your reward.
This Good List could have gone on forever.
None of these points seem momentous in isolation. But together they profoundly changed my life.
As always, take the good, the useful, and leave the rest.
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