Monday, June 4, 2012

*Series* The business of being Mama, Part 1: Is it a good idea to turn your hobby into a business?...

A good read on The Stay-At-Home Mom. I did it for 7 years and resent when people say it's a mindless. I loved being able to raise the kids like that and work now that they are in school full time. I don't think it's healthy when women don't support each other.

Being a stay-at-home-Mom certainly has it's ups and downs.  The most obvious Down is that when you stop showing up for work at the office, the office stops printing your paycheck (those jerks, right?!).  But moms are the absolute rock stars of the world at multitasking.  Therefore working from home is a pretty great option for a lot of you, and since you're reading this post, you think so too.  The unfortunate thing is that between the bazillion other tasks you have to accomplish in a day, figuring out how to open the next Fortune 500 company from your living room seems a tad daunting.  So, I'm not going to be using this series to talk about any get-mega-rich-mega-quick schemes.  Sorry.  Stop here, if that's what you were hoping for... What I'll be chatting about this week is how to supplement your household income enough to poke your head back out of the debt pool for a little air.  I don't make mega-millions with my work-from-home business (I don't even make mega-thousands), but I do make enough that I can now have a bit of my own petty cash, and take myself to get a massage once in a great while without having to ask Hubby for the dough.  Sounds, fun, right?  So let's get started...

First things first; Please, for the love of God, don't kill the joy you find in your hobby.

There are huge advantages and disadvantages of turning your hobby into a business.  Let's start with the one really big disadvantage:
~You're turning pleasure into business (in the totally legal way here.  Folks, please get your minds out of the gutter).  A hobby is something that's usually done because it's a fun, creative outlet to relieve stress, and it's something that gives you pleasure.  There's a very fine line you walk when you take that sacred thing and attach a price tag to it.  If the orders start pouring in and you're now doing your hobby on someone else's terms, because you have to, will it still be fun, or will you have just ruined your happy place?  This is a monumentally important question to ask yourself before you get started.  You don't want to get 3 years down the road, and be loathing the thing you used to love.  Although, if you made it through all those ex-boyfriends, you can probably get through this just fine too.

Now that I've totally bummed you out, let's go back to a sunshiny place, and talk about what good can come of this:
~Money!  Your very own big-girl paycheck again!  AND, it's money that you earned by creating a product with your own two hands that people liked enough to hand you cash for.
~Pride.  See above.
~An identity other than "Mom."  Mom is the very best thing I've ever been called.  It's a privilege like none other I've had.  But it does have it's days when I feel a bit cut-off.  I usually find that a trip to the Post Office to mail out a few orders is a really welcome interaction with other (adult) humans.
~You're the boss.  You decide what your hours, wages, and days off are going to be.  You don't have to put in for any vacation requests or see H.R. for approval on getting a new coffee maker.  It's all you, Baby.                                         

 And, just in case you were wondering, here's what I did to avoid ruining my hobby, and still make some coin;  I didn't pick my very favorite thing in the world, and try to turn it into a business.  I picked my second favorite thing.  That way, I'm still totally enjoying the "work," and my happy hobby place is still intact.

Tomorrow we'll be learning about where to go next.  So you've made cool stuff, huh?  Now how do you get people to buy it?  Stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by,

No comments:

Post a Comment