I am a little bit tired (and by a little bit, I actually mean really tired) of hearing about how you should create a business from your greatest passion in life. Well, you can really screw up your passion for something by having to earn a living from it. So, here’s the other side of the coin- six key reasons why you may just want to keep your hobby a hobby.
Hobbies are all about you!
Having a hobby is a total self-indulgence. It is something that you can do that is mostly- if not entirely-you-centric. While you may think you can have a business that is all about you, you would be wrong. A business is about your customers. In your business, you only get a say if it jives with your customers’ wants-otherwise, they don’t buy from you!
You may kill the magic
Do you remember when Dorothy and the gang peered behind the curtain to find out the Wizard of Oz was kind of a douche bag? Or when you found out that Santa Claus wasn’t real? Or when you figured out that your parents weren’t superheroes, just people with flaws? It sucked, right? Our hobbies are about escapism. There is a bit of magic and fantasy in them. When you make that your business, you are privy to the nuts and bolts. That kills the magic.
We need downtime
We weren’t designed to always be “on”. We need time to recombobulate and relax. And if you are earning a living in from your hobby, then WTF are you going to do in your free time?
There’s a good reason a hobby or passion is not called “work”
By name, work is work and fun is fun. Sometimes, work can be fun, but it’s not called that for a reason. Can your hobby take that? Once you depend on something to earn a living, to put food on your family’s table and to pay your mortgage, it changes your relationship with it, introducing emotions like stress. Do you want to do that to your passion?
Passion doesn’t guarantee success
There’s no relationship between loving something and being good at running a business related to doing that something. A passion for cooking lasagna doesn’t automatically qualify you to run an Italian restaurant or start a food company (neither does a passion for eating lasagna, for that matter).
You’ll do less of what you love
Your job when you run a business is to run a business. Ask how many hours the photographer spends shooting photos, the foodie spends baking and the wedding planner spends picking out linens and flowers vs. doing a bunch of crappy administrative tasks. It’s a bit out of balance. Just because you love doing your hobby, you don’t get to do that particular facet of it 100% of the time when it becomes your business.
At the end of the day, while you absolutely need to be passionate about making your business a success, but you don’t need to make a business from your greatest passion in life. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.