THE BLOG
12/10/2015 07:55 BST | Updated 10/10/2016 06:12 BST

Six Steps to Making Your Hobby Profitable

As human beings, we are more likely to become experts at the things we enjoy because doing them doesn't feel like 'work' and we unconsciously put a lot of time and commitment to it (these are formulas to be an expert at anything). With this in mind, I wonder why people do not make their hobbies their full time jobs and make lots of money out of it.

As human beings, we are more likely to become experts at the things we enjoy because doing them doesn't feel like 'work' and we unconsciously put a lot of time and commitment to it (these are formulas to be an expert at anything). With this in mind, I wonder why people do not make their hobbies their full time jobs and make lots of money out of it. The honest reason for this is that most people do not know how to monetise their hobby. I have written 6 easy steps to monetising your hobby.

START EARLY: It all starts with your mind-set; anything that happens in the physical must have already taken place in your mind. A wise person once said, "The enemy is not after your body but after your mind". You must decide in your mind that you want to make money out of your hobby. You must do this as early as possible because this way you have more time to fail and LEARN from it.

DO IT FOR FREE: I know it sounds crazy you are starting out with a plan to make money out of this hobby, so why am I doing it for free? When you start out, you don't have a brand or a reputation; the sad truth is that nobody will be willing to pay for your service. So do it for free, but ensure you carry out your service as you were being paid a premium for it. I remember when I started out hosting shows, birthday dinners, parties etc. I did it for free. There was one particular graduation dinner I hosted for free. After the event, the sister of the celebrant approached me and said "Ife you did a fantastic job, this night would not have been the same without you" and she gave me some cash in an envelope. That was the first time I ever got paid hosting anything, now I get bookings and I can negotiate prices because I have a brand and a reputation from doing free events exceptionally well.

"The ability to do something exceptionally well without getting paid is greatness in the making, it says a lot about the person's character" Ife A Tokan

PROFESSIONALISE: This is so essential. People will only take you seriously if your business looks serious. Thank God for the Internet and other technologies, now you can get the tools you need to make your new hobby look professional. Get a business card, logo, website, join a professional network of your industry. I have a friend who started out as a make-up artist over a year ago, she is an ACCA student full time. She has professionalised her hobby with a logo, business card and even a professional Instagram account, she even has plans to start a website. Her clients take her seriously because she takes her business image seriously which encourages them to pay top dollar.

DEVELOP YOURSELF: Will Smith said something: "Talent you have naturally, but skill is only developed with hours and hours beating on your craft". There are a lot of tools out there that you can use to develop yourself, YouTube videos, e-books, webinars etc. There is so much out there. Get a mentor, someone who is more experienced than you are. This will not only help you develop, but it will also quicken your development process because your mentor would have made some mistakes that s/he will help you avoid. I know an upcoming artist who is slowly monetising his hobby he is a lawyer by profession. Part of his development programme is investment in his tools, me and you see a pencil as a simple tool to write. In his eyes every type of pencil he purchases has a purpose to create life to all his drawings. He has even gone as far as purchasing selected pencils from Japan and another selection from the States, he has over 400+ pencils, which have been categorised into Oil, Wax, Watercolour, Lead etc. You get the picture: he is investing in his hobby.

DO NOT KEEP QUIET: Let everyone know what you are about, tell your friends, publicise yourself on social media. Social media is so powerful; it is a great tool to use. There are various tools you can use to keep the public updated on your new hobby and how you could render your service to them e.g. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter etc. A personally story, when I had my graduation dinner I needed a photographer, coincidentally I went through my snapchat story where I saw a friend's story of taking pictures at a wedding in Turkey (he does this on the side of his main job) immediately, I picked up my phone to book him. The key to not keeping quiet is consistency, any social media platform you plan to use make sure you are consistent with it. Side Note: Avoid the naysayers, people who want live an average lifestyle; they will try to discourage you, never give into their negative criticisms.

NEVER EVER GIVE UP: The road to success is not smooth; those who understand this from the get go benefit from the treasures of failure. Failure is a good thing because you gain more wisdom when you fail than when you succeed. Failure is life's coach, it teaches you one way not to do it. Failure also sets you up to be a great mentor in the future, you would be able to add value to your mentee by giving advice on what not to do based on your experience (this will cause your mentee to respect you). Remember having a tunnel vision on your goal only gets you closer to it, if being successful was easy everyone will be successful.