National Hobby Month.
Every year, at the beginning of the year, our nation celebrates National Hobby Month. 2017 can be a much more interesting year if you spend some of your time honing skills and pursuing special interests. Hobbies get a boost from blogs and how-to websites at this time of year.
What? You didn’t know it was National Hobby Month?
Well, you aren’t alone.
Yet according to the U.S. Census Bureau, people in the United States spend around five to six hours per day on leisure and sports activities, their personal interests / activities, and hobbies. It takes into account that weekend days are more filled with hobby pursuits than weekdays. Still, that’s a lot of time doing something for no other reason than it interests you.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics , watching TV was the most popular use of leisure time in 2014.
I think we can do better than that. It is, after all, National Hobby Month!
The list is not, obviously, all-inclusive, but it does give you some hope if you haven’t found a hobby that suits you.
Discover A Hobby.com also has a list that is more than 300 items.
With the prevalence of hobbies, crafts, and DIY posts on Pinterest, there is sure to be something you want to do with your spare time.
If you have spare time.
It’s a known fact that we all make time for the things that are really important to us, and for many, hobbies are important. Even a few minutes a day can help you start and keep a hobby.
Some of us spend so much time on our hobbies that we decide to turn it into our business. Whether it’s blogging, reading, making. or doing, there is probably a niche you can fill with the thing you love.
Here are a few tips on how to make your hobby into a dream job.
The market changes, and what was once popular may wane in demand. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up doing what you love. Instead, you need to be ready and willing to make changes to your business to keep it relevant.
Turning your hobby into a business takes word. Hard work. Probably more work than if you had a “normal” 9-5 job. A schedule is the best way to be sure you’re moving toward your goal. Commit to at least 15 minutes every day of doing something related to your business.
Don’t go it alone.
You have family, friends, peers and professionals who can help you succeed in making your hobby your profession. Listen to what they say, even when it’s criticism. It’s possible that you are so close to a problem that you can’t see it, and the perspective of other people can help you solve problems you might not even realize you have. Join a Facebook group or find a networking group that focuses on what you love doing.
In addition to joining groups that target your hobby, think about those that spotlight small businesses, too. There’s valuable information resident in other people.
Keep it simple.
It’s easy to go overboard with your ideas and try to focus on too many things at once. You can go really big and still keep it simple. Stick to one aspect of your hobby until you are successful with that area, and then expand. Nothing creates success like success.
Stay true to authenticity.
Your brand is unique. It is the thing that sells your product, even more than what you do. Nothing is more important than finding your voice in the public arena and staying true to it. Your vision shouldn’t waver based on what somebody else is doing. Be authentic.
So should you turn your hobby into a business?
There are some cons to going professional with your favorite pastime. Making 25,000 (fill in the blank here) may not be as satisfying as the few you make in your spare time. Maybe your hobby isn’t worthy of being a business. Just because your friends and family admire your work doesn’t really translate into market research. There may not be a market for your interest where you live. Or perhaps your hobby isn’t deep enough to sustain your interest long enough to make a business out of it.
Maybe you just need to have fun with it. And remember to celebrate National Hobby Month.