One of the tasks I (Andrea) do for a client in my role as a virtual assistant is to answer phone calls from my client’s customers. Last week I answered a call from a woman who needed to cancel her services. She told me that she couldn’t afford to pay anymore because the business she had started wasn’t going in the direction she thought it should be going. She said “I’m not sure if this is a business or a hobby for me.”
That really struck me down. I know it’s hard to start a business. Especially when you’re doing it all on your own and you start with nothing, or next to nothing. Every dollar you spend is important, and every action you take you hope and believe will be the one to “change everything.”
But to come out and say - is it a hobby or an actual business? That’s tough. And scary. How do you know if what you’re working on is a sustainable business or is just something to keep you occupied? How do you know if you should stop investing in what you’re doing? No one can really answer that for you but you.
So - are you putting all your effort into what you do, or are you just having fun with it? One other thing to think about is that, in the beginning, it has nothing to do with how much money you’ve made. You may not make any money your first year, but you may still have a business.
Another thing to think about is this. A business is something you’re going to be doing every day. And if you’re not doing it, you’re thinking about doing it. A hobby is something you can pick up on the weekend when you’re bored. Example: You love to knit. Business: You knit specialty gloves, hats and blankets with your own brand of awesomeness. You sell off your website. You sell in local stores. You sell at farmer’s markets. You sell wherever anyone will let you sell. And you knit. Constantly. In front of the TV. At your son’s football game. Hobby: You knit when you’re bored. You put together some socks and mittens maybe once a month and sell them on a Facebook page.
Maybe you’ve got a hobby and you’re moving it into a business. Or maybe you have been running a business and you’re done with it, and just want to do it for fun, just occasionally. Both are absolutely fine. You just need to know where you stand so you’re putting in your best effort.
Frankie and Andrea take turns sharing stories. Just good talk over a cup of coffee.