I love entrepreneurship and I get happy goose bumps when I hear about stories where someone takes what they love and puts action behind it to create a more secure future for themselves.
Oftentimes it’s not that someone is unhappy in their job or career, but rather there’s a passion stirring that calls them to do something more with their life. Maybe they just want to to have more time freedom.
Or maybe there’s a creative spirit in them that’s gonna burst if they don’t get the chance to express themselves. Or perhaps they just want a change or they have a dream to do something specific and a job gets in the way.
Pulling from your own inner strengths, your interests and current knowledge base, you can set fire to a great little side business that can eventually turn into something much bigger.
If you’re interested in creating a little side business doing what you love, heck, just get started down that path.
Don’t over think it or ponder about it too long before you actually take action. If you do that, you may talk yourself out of it. You’ll start to find reasons why you can’t instead of nurturing the spark that wants to break out in full flame.
The good news is you don’t need a one year, two year and five year plan. And you don’t need a lot of money. Take $100 and get started. Did you see my post yesterday about the interview with Maria Forleo and Chris Guillebeau? He’s the author of The $100 Start Up. You’ll enjoy that if you haven’t listened yet.
Take for example my own story. The cost I invested that opened a bazillion doors for me was some paper, embellishments and time to create.
What started as just something I loved to do in my hobby industry, ended up on QVC. Who’d of thought? I sure didn’t!
My story is truly one of following my heart and passion and just having some doggone fun along the way. Be brave, step out in faith and determination and just get started.
By the way… your project will evolve. So be flexible and be excited about that. Stay in anticipation that things are going to get exciting. Odds are you’ll set out to do one thing but find one path leads to another and eventually you discover where you’re suppose to be what feels fabulous to you.
This happens because someone will take notice and take action to introduce you to someone else and BAM!… a door opens. Or, as you go along, you’ll find yourself more keen and aware of how to market what you’re already doing in a new and different way to cater to an entirely new audience.
That’s what I did.
Do You Ponder About The Possibilities of Something Outrageously Fun and Get Paid?
Tell me the truth…
Are you ever sitting at your job thinking,
“If only I could (fill in the blank of what you love) and make money?
I’m gonna tell you YOU CAN!
The path is fun, it’s curious, it’s adventurous and a little (or a lot) unknown but that’s OK because you’re enjoying the journey.
You enjoy talking about it, thinking out loud with family and friends about it, coming up with more and more ideas on how to promote yourself and what you want to do.
You may even find yourself staying up extra late and getting up extra early because you’re enjoying what you’re doing so much that you hate to put it down and can’t wait to pick it up. This was / is the case for me with my money making hobby.
You’ll find a great sense of freedom in the process of getting to the end. But then are you really at the end? Most likely no! There’s always more and more opportunity and doors to walk through with the very thing you’ve built up for yourself.
I’ve had this happen a few times. I’ve taken what I’ve done branched out into various paths yet its all related.
I Took My Hobby And Turned It Into Cash
I love to scrapbook. It’s my hobby. I started scrapbooking when I was about 11 years old.
FYI: Scrapbooking is taking your pictures that you’ve shoved in a shoebox or crammed in a junk drawer and display them in an archival album to enjoy and preserve for a lifetime and beyond. We all love taking pictures of our parties and travels and special friends but then what? Well, seems they sit in digital form or hang out in processing envelopes stashed away forever.
Here’s a sample of a scrapbook page I did documenting my daughter’s summer with her friend while they played in the warm rain. I woke the girls up in the morning and told them to get their swimsuits on and go play. That was 13 years ago and they still talk about it today. Memories… stories… people… places… our lives.
So I help people get those pictures into an album for family and friends to enjoy.
1) organizing their photos
2) Teaching them how to journal the “who, what, where and when”
3) Create basic pages with just pictures and writing (more journal style)
4) Adding embellishments
5) Preserving documents and memorabilia (those news article, concert ticket stubs and brochures, etc.)
6) Adding various techniques from stamping, inks, washes, paints, brads, eyelets, tearing and sanding, etc.
Okay, so.. scrapbooking is what I love to do. That’s my hobby. (so when you get an email from me and I tell you I’m goofing around with friends in my hobby industry, you know I’m packing my tools and papers and pictures!)
Here’s how my scrapbooking career started…
I wanted to be a designer for manufacturers but knowing that the competition is fierce (every scrapbooker wants to do that it seems), I pondered how I could do that.
Reading through a scrapbook magazine around this same time, I saw a page design contest sponsored by one of the elite manufacturers at the time called KandCompany. I said to myself… “BINGO!”
I can’t even remember what the prize was… I think $500 in products and a little bit of winner’s fame, I don’t know. After all, I was not in this for the prize money, I was in this to gain exposure and get the attention of the company. And, I knew other manufacturers would see my work as well if I could place.
Looking through the contest rules, I saw that I could enter multiple pages so I got to work. I spent the next 10 days or so creating my best and unique pages, mixing and matching their papers and using every technique I could think of to show diversity.
When I was finished and the deadline approaching, I ended submitted a small portfolio of about 20 pages. But I didn’t just pack up my pages …. I thought “presentation”.
I bought one of their own company albums and put all my pages in there. It was really a beautiful representation of who I was as a designer.
Let me ask you this…
Do you think anyone else did that? Probably not.
Do you think my presentation and 20 of the best pages I could create grabbed the attention of the judges among the thousands of entries? Yes.
Do you think it was probably the talk at the water cooler? (The lady who sent in 20 pages in a beautiful album for display?) You bet.
I took third place and was notified via a phone call. However, during this call, I also received a personal invitation to be on their design team. At the time, this was the most exclusive, sought after design team to be on. I was thrilled.
They sent me prototypes to work with for new products coming out.
They flew me to retailer conventions to work the booths and do make and takes.
It was a blast to walk into Michaels Crafts and see my work on large display in-store billboards and on product packaging.
My work was featured in a hardcover specialty book, in several free idea pamphlets.
How exciting to see my work on the cover of QVC’s weekly show schedule and then shown during the craft show.
That opened doors and I received invitations to teach at conventions, at scrapbook stores and events.
That opened doors and lead to being asked to be a guest on TV craft shows.
And so on and so forth. And the sky is still the limit for me. I can pick and choose what I want to do based on my time and interest and of course, my fees.
I’m a Scrapbook Designer and Work from My Home Studio
A la carte that I offer is ….
– custom design scrapbooks and/or pages
– store displays and samples
– teaching classes at stores, conventions and retreats.
– design consultations
– buying shows with retailers
– product demos
– creatives and designs for manufacturers
Another of My $100 Start Bright Ideas
Author and Training For Foster Parents and Social Workers
I served as a foster parent for 15 years as well as I’m an adoptive mom. I understand the confusion and low self esteem these precious children come with.
They’ve been tossed around.
They don’t know who they are or why their life is as it is.
They are delivered to my door with a bunch of mismatched, used and too big/little clothes in a black garbage bag, if that.
They don’t trust anyone.
They feel like they don’t matter and are confused about what love is, if it exists.
And worse of all, they don’t even know it’s not their fault.
I used the making of a scrapbook for every child that came through my home as a way to organize and make sense of their life for them. The results of this was astonishing.
I made pages for them featuring them as a value and loved human being. I bought them new clothes and took pictures of them. We went on family outings, we cooked together, did chores together, took vacations together and talked about family traditions.
We researched their family history and celebrated who they were.
I took pictures of their school and invited teachers to write a note about how glad they were to have them in class and write some positive feedback that I could save into their book.
They set goals and shared dreams and we put those in their books.
If they played sports, I took pictures of them and cheered them on in life and in their books.
I saved special drawing and school papers, ticket stubs and brochures of the things we did together.
And the list goes on…
Think of your own life, your own memories and momentoes of your past, they’re special, yes?
And it was all documented in their very own lifebook.
I saw kids come to life. I saw confidence and self-esteem improve. It was amazing. They would sit and look at their books over and over and over … day after day. They could see that they were not trash and they didn’t deserve to be delivered with a trash bag of junk. They were incredible kids and loved and wanted very much.
As I noticed how these books effected each child, I saw a much needed element for their lives.
I wrote a book called “Loving Through Lifebooks” and created a live hands-on training for foster parents and social workers on how to make lifebooks (scrapbooks) for foster and adopted children.
I took my book and materials to the State of Kentucky, shared my experience and the results I saw in the children. Partnering with my Mom, my best friend and advocate for foster and adoptive kids (my parents have cared for over 410 kids and counting) the laws at the legislative level were changed mandating that every child in the State of Kentucky have a lifebook.
My cost for this project?
The cost for this project was nothing more than time to write, about $60 at an office store for printing and binding a couple books and $40 in some sample scrapbook materials to demo what the workshop would look and feel like to decision makers.
Since then, I’ve taught at the National Association for Foster parents and have done training all up and down the State of Kentucky. I’ve sold my workshop books and received compensation for training.
Another of My $100 Start Bright Ideas Using The Same Hobby
I Offered Exclusive Classes for My “Fan Club”
Every month I taught classes to my fan club. We made 6 pages for the month which allowed them to stay up to date with their family history albums. They received special deals that nobody else got and they loved it. I did that for 3 years.
So you can see how it can just keep branching out.
Home Based Business Heart Passion
I wanted to have a home based business in the travel industry but I didn’t want to be a travel agent. Nope, No, Nada. I loved to travel myself, travel is something people love talking about and if you ask 1o people what they’d rather be doing than what they are currently doing, they’d say they’d like to be on vacation.
Imagine being here. It says relax.
I found a travel home based business that fit my model for what I was looking for. I use my product, love my product and find joy in sharing my product.
While this product isn’t one of my own creativity, rather, I’m an affiliate for the company and receive commissions when I refer the travel product to someone and they buy. It’s a perfect fit for me because I’m able to stay within the scope of my heart passions and the commissions give me the lifestyle income to be free from a boss and create my days how I love.
Guess what? It frees me up to scrapbook more, travel more and be with family more! Talk about a match!
Do you see how it all goes together?
Do what are your passions?
What can you do with skillsets on the side?
What can you do part time to fund something you want to do in starting your own business?
Really think about what you want to do. What’s in your heart of hearts?
If you could do anything in an area you are passionate about, what would be?
In what way can you generate an income doing that?
Or do you not want to create your products, but rather sell a product as an affiliate that makes you excited?
Are You Ready To Set Sail?
I challenge you to reach inside your creative thoughts, brainstorm with your family and friends and see what you can come up with.
Let go of the fear of the unknown.
Let go of your inhibitions.
Let go of the negative naysayers and ignore them.
It’s time for YOU to step into who you were created to be. You were uniquely designed by God with special gifts and talents, interests and passions. People are waiting to see your work, or have your influence, or become better people because you stepped out with a desire to share who you are with them.
Life is short.
You get one chance before its too late and then you live in regrets. Don’t do that.
I’m cheering you on my friend!
Have an awesome ‘breakthrough’ day!
PS: What happens if you have more than one passion? Read this article to see how you can use multiple passions to your advantage.Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net