Exactly what is a hobbyist? The word hobbyist is pretty self-explanatory – it is a person who spends their free time engaging in an activity (or hobby) that brings them pleasure.
For example, if your grandmother or nan enjoys knitting in her free time, she is a hobbyist. But what is the difference between a hobbyist and a professional?
And how do you transform your hobby into a profession that actually pays you money? Take a look at this in-depth guide to find out!
A hobbyist is a word to describe someone who does something as a hobby. A hobbyist engages in certain activities in their spare time that bring them pleasure.
For instance, in your free time, a hobbyist might like to knit, grow vegetables (see also ‘How To Start A Microgreen Business?‘), paint, play music, or do something else!
What is a Hobbyist Vs. a Professional
You might know of a hobbyist who enjoys sharing their hobby with others.
This might include teaching others how to engage in their hobby of choice or even selling things they’ve made while engaging in their hobby.
But does this make the hobbyist a professional? Not necessarily. There are a few key differences between a keen hobbyist and a working professional.
If you’re considering turning your hobby into your profession, take a look at the information below.
First of all, it is important to discuss expertise.
Generally speaking, to be a professional, you need to be a particularly skilled practitioner. You also need to be committed to always expanding your abilities.
We know many hobbyists, and their expertise is often vast – especially if they’ve been doing their hobby for quite some time.
In fact, some hobbyists likely are experts in their chosen hobby.
However, many hobbyists out there aren’t necessarily committed to progressing their hobby.
For instance, someone who enjoys playing piano might be content to simply learn their favorite songs.
Similarly, someone who enjoys knitting may just want to be able to knit winter hats (see also ‘How To Start A Hat Business?‘) for their family and friends.
If you want to become a professional in your hobby, you will need to constantly be progressing in your skills and expertise to stay on top of your game and competition.
Salary is also a large distinction between a hobbyist and a professional. Professional activities are associated with a career, and as such, a salary (ie getting paid).
A professional pianist, for instance, will charge for their professional services.
This isn’t to say that hobbyists can’t, or shouldn’t, charge for any work they may complete for someone else.
For instance, if you enjoy knitting (see also ‘Can You Make A Career Out Of Knitting? Find A Knitting Side Hustle For You‘), and someone asks you for a scarf, you may want to charge them for your materials and/or time.
However, as a professional making items of clothing, you would likely have a shop (online or in-person). The clothing items will be consistently priced, and you would pay yourself a wage.
This is an important distinction.
If you are hoping to transform your hobby into your profession, you will need to ensure you can make your hobby profitable enough to live comfortably.
Many hobbyists keep a part-time job while they transform their hobby into a business (see also ‘How To Grow Your Hobby into a Business (A Hobbyist’s Guide)‘).
Level Of Professionalism
This is likely the most telling indicator of a professional over a hobbyist, and it is closely tied to the sections above.
Even if there aren’t explicit standards of behavior associated with a certain profession, the general public always expects a certain level of professionalism.
This isn’t to say that hobbyists don’t have a professional demeanor.
However, generally speaking, hobbyists who choose to share their hobbies will do so in a much more relaxed, informal way.
If you want to turn your hobby into your profession, it’s important that you obtain an appropriate level of professionalism.
This will mean that your customers feel safe purchasing your goods and services, and will likely come back.
Finally, it is important to mention enjoyment. People tend to engage in their hobbies simply because they love doing them.
However, people start businesses for a huge range of reasons, with enjoyment being just one of them.
For many people, turning their hobby into a profession sounds like a dream.
However, it is important to note that you will be spending an awful lot of your time away from your hobby, as you will need to manage the business side of your profession.
For some, this can take away the enjoyment and pleasure they get from their hobby.
So, be sure to really think about what you want before turning your hobby into your profession.
Talk to small business owners or other hobbyists you know who are selling their wares to understand what your life will be like.
Turning Your Hobby Into Your Profession
If it is your dream to turn your favorite hobby into a career, congratulations!
This is a big leap and can be scary. But if you are well-prepared, it may change your life for the better!
Take a look at these tips and tricks for turning your hobby into your profession below.
Start Slow And Small
It is very exciting to turn your hobby into your profession, but it’s important not to get ahead of yourself.
Starting slow and small to get a good idea of what life will be like as a business owner.
If you will be selling your work, seek out some local markets or try an online place like ETSY.
You can open an ETSY online shop and begin listing your products for sale for only $.20 cents a listing! Check out “Etsy for Beginners” by Noelle Ihli. It sells for less than $8.00 and is the first in her “Ultimate Guide to Selling on ETSY” series. This book helps you set up your shop and upload your listings so you can start making sales faster.
Connections are very important for small businesses.
It’s important to form good relationships with other small business owners, particularly those in your local area. They can help you by spreading the word about your goods to their customers or by selling them in their shops.
Make A Realistic Plan
Making a plan is important – and it’s also important to be prepared to change your plan!
With a good plan, you’ll be able to take steps to reach your goals and feel as though you are on track.
A hobbyist is a person who spends their free time doing an activity that brings them joy.
Hopefully this article helps you understand what a hobbyist is and how you can turn your hobby into a career.
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