Hobbyist Or Entrepreneur?

How do you know if you’re a serious hobbyist and not an entrepreneur?  It may seem difficult to know where one crosses over from one to the other, but there are a few important clues that will pinpoint where someone sits on the business spectrum.

You’re passionate about what you do.

There’s a lot of difference between doing what you love, loving what you do, and doing what you must to pay the bills.  If you do what you love, you’re passionate.  If you love what you do, you might be passionate or you may have found a job that comfortably fits your skill set.  If you do what you do to pay the bills, that’s a matter of necessity and most likely not your passion.

You aren’t interested in business outside of business hours.

If you aren’t reading books, magazines, newspapers, and blogs on topics of interest that affect or impact on your business, and if you aren’t learning more about your area of business interest, the entrepreneurial bug hasn’t bitten you.  If you don’t ask other successful entrepreneurs to mentor you or to give you constructive criticism on what you do or to act as a sounding board for your ideas, the entrepreneurial bug hasn’t bitten you. It may at some point, but it hasn’t bitten you yet.

You aren’t shy about passing out your business card.

Whether it’s to a potential client is immaterial. When you interact with others — whether it’s with a business card or a short introduction to what you do, a quick comment on social media that links to your business or an email introduction to connect others with each other — they should come away knowing at least one thing about you: your passion.

You aren’t embarrassed to tell friends and family what you do.

When a friend or family member asks you what you’re doing these days, do you give a vague description that could fit any number of jobs, or avoid answering the question?  If you shy away from sharing what you do with those who ask, you aren’t passionate about what you do.

If you weren’t being paid to do what you do, you wouldn’t do it.

There’s a saying about not wanting to do something for love or money.  If you feel that way about your business, you’re not an entrepreneur.  An entrepreneur is so passionate about what he or she is doing, that they would do it even if the only reward was in a job well done.

You’re pretty sure you aren’t a hobbyist.

Unless it’s your main occupation or profession, you’re a hobbyist and not a serious entrepreneur.  Yes, you may be spending as much money on your hobby as you would if it was a business, but it’s not a business.  It’s a very expensive hobby.

You’re pretty sure you’re an entrepreneur.

If you’ve seen the opportunity to make your passion your main occupation or profession, written an effective business plan, set-up your business, assumed all the risks of undertaking a business, and depend on the profits generated by your passion, then you’re an entrepreneur.  It may have started as a hobby originally, but once you cross over into making it your profession, you’ve successfully entered the land of entrepreneurs.

Elyse Bruce

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One Response to “Hobbyist Or Entrepreneur?”

  1. mutanatia Says:

    In the realm of employment (as in working for someone), if an employee reads up more and learns more about their area of employment, their employer, etc. (basically, doing everything you said above, but as an employee and not self-employed)… would you call that (at the very least) going “above and beyond?”


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