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Turn your hobby into a career

You’ll often hear the phrase, “Find something you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.”

While the sentiment is sweet, it can be misleading.

“Work is called work because it’s not play. Once you depend on something to put food on your table, it becomes something different. It’s no longer ‘that thing you do for fun,’ it’s ‘that thing you have to do for survival,’” says Chrissy Scivicque, a contributor to Forbes magazine.

If you really want to turn what you love into a career, it’s going to require commitment and you’ll need to be prepared for the line of separation between the “fun part” and the “hard part”.

In fact, there will often be days when all you get to work on is the “hard part”.

There are no formulas to ensure the transition from hobby to career will be a success, but there are ways to make the process go more smoothly.

• Talk to successful entrepreneurs. Things can often start off rocky; try soaking up as much advice as you can to help through the roadblocks. The U.S. Small Business Administration (www.sba.gov) is a great resource for aspiring business owners.

• Don’t limit yourself to one idea. If you have a specific idea for a company but the market appears flooded, instead of limiting yourself, explore a broader spectrum in the same line of work.

• Determine if there is a customer base. In order for your business to be successful, you will need customers who want to buy your product or services. Some basic market research will help you determine if there is a need for your services and how strong that need might be. The stronger the need, the more likely your idea will resonate.

• Fully commit. If you aren’t ready to make a full commitment, be it a financial or emotional investment, then you consider putting your plan on hold until you snuff out your reservations.