Monday, February 1, 2010

Turn Your Hobby or Passion into a Business by Christy Strauch

Today's guest blogger is Christy Strauch, author of Passion, Plan, Profit: 12 Simple Steps to Turn Your Passion into a Solid Business.

In 1989, Christy Strauch, took a job as a sales representative for a small IT company with $50,000 a year in sales. Christy had an MBA in finance and marketing from UCLA and a dream of making a difference in business. Fifteen years and 3 mergers later, Strauch was a partner, took the company public, and sold it.

In 2005, with over 9 years experience working for nationally known companies such as IBM, Carnation International and Capitol Records, Christy decided that it was time to follow a lifetime calling to help small business owners learn to prosper doing the work they love. Considered an expert in small business, Christy has been interviewed by the Los Angeles Times and the Scottsdale Daily Progress, among others.

Throughout her career, Christy has received numerous honors. She won several regional managers awards during her tenure with IBM, has been honored by the Arizona Small Business Association, received the advanced Toastmasters Silver designation and earned her Certified Professional Co-Active Coaching (CPCC) certificate from the Coach Training Institute, as well as her Associate Certified Coach (ACC) certificate from the International Coach Federation.

In 2005, Christy formed Clarity To Business, a coaching and consulting practice. To date has worked with over 300 small business owners, from artists to real estate agents, helping them to both do what they are passionate about – and to make a profit.

In this hands-on workbook, Christy Strauch gives creative people and small business owners the tools they need to help them understand the purpose their business or skill serves in the world; serve their best clients even better; and get clear on "Number," the language their business speaks to them. Passion, Plan, Profit takes a light-hearted and semi-painless approach to helping readers create a useable, fun plan to run a successful business. No one is "too creative" to make money doing the work they love.

"Turn Your Hobby or Passion into a Business" by Christy Strauch

Want to start a business based on your hobby or passion? Here’s what you should do.

The first thing you have to know when you are evaluating whether or not to turn your passion into a business is your level of commitment.

Having a hobby is a lot like being single—you can work on your hobby (i.e. go out on a date) when you feel like it, or stay home in your pajamas and watch TV if you don’t. Hobbies don’t demand anything of you (just like that casual date you had last night). You can work on your hobby every free minute you have, or put it down for a year, or change your mind and forget about it completely, with few repercussions.

A business, on the other hand, can be very demanding. Deciding to cross the line from hobby to business is like committing to getting married. If you decide you want to make your hobby into a business, you have to commit yourself heart and soul. If you decide to turn your passion into a business, you’ll be making the decision to go from happy-go-lucky hobby kid, to grown-up business adult.

You know what making a commitment looks like. There will be days when you don’t feel like working on your business. But since it’s now a business instead of a hobby, you’ll have to do the work anyway, or figure out how to delegate it to someone else. Your commitment will force you to take actions that scare you; take risks that might frighten you, or do things you don’t enjoy.

But just like with a marriage, if you pick the right work, the work you love, turning it into a business can be deeply fulfilling, not to mention fun and profitable.

It boils down to one question. Are you ready, willing, and able to commit?

Do you have what it takes to turn your passion into profit?

The skill of successfully owning and running a business doesn’t require a specific genetic trait, or possessing the set of secret rules from a small business society that only allows five selected people into their membership every three years. What it does require is:

• A willingness to learn, at a deep level, who your perfect clients are and how to market to them.

• The perseverance to keep going when things are tough.

• The training to understand what your business numbers are telling you.

• The ability to flow with change.

If this all sounds too scary, then you should consider keeping your hobby a hobby.

But if you think these challenges sound interesting, stimulating and fun, you’re the right candidate to turn your Passion into Profit. Ask yourself these questions:

1. Do you love your hobby enough that you’d like to do it regularly, as work?

2. Would you like to become a professional at your hobby; to step up your level of skill at it so you would be considered one of the best in your field?

3. Would you be willing to spend time marketing your work?

4. Are you willing to work on it even on days you’re not in the mood?

5. Can you weather setbacks (a client firing you, someone not paying who promised to pay, a downturn in the economy, plus a host of other things that happen to every business owner).

6. Are you willing to learn new things; such as new ways to market, updated ways to do your work, etc.?

Christy Strauch is the author of Passion, Plan, Profit: 12 Simple Steps to Convert Your Passion into a Solid Business. In addition she is president of Clarity To Business and has worked with over 300 small business owners, from artists
to real estate agents, helping them do what they are passionate about – and
make a profit. Her book is available at She is currently at work on You Hate to Market, and What To Do About It, which will be available Fall 2010.

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