Turn Your Passion Into Profit

Making a living doing what you love doesn't have to be a pipe dream. Here are some tips on turning your hobby or favorite pastime into a profitable business.

They’re Making It (Prima Publishing, $22), author Niki Butler Mitchell profiles dozens of successful young African Americans who’ve started their own businesses. She says those who’ve become successful aren’t afraid to risk failure.

“Consistently, I see there’s a definite fear of failure when it comes to facing the problems that come with creating a business,” says Mitchell. “These business owners have doubts and insecurities like everyone else, but they have the ability to look at the solution rather than focus on the problem. They have tremendous belief in their abilities.”

Thompson definitely relied on faith the day he walked away from the world of high finance. “It was definitely a risk, but one worth taking,” he says. “I make a living doing what I love, and at the end of the day, whether I sink or swim is based on what I put into it. I can live with that!”

Resources for Hobbyists
Thinking of turning your hobby or favorite pastime into a business? Here are some resources to get you started:

The Best Home Businesses for the 21st Century: The Inside Information You Need to Know to Select a Home-Based Business That’s Right for You
(Putnam, $15.95) by Paul and Sarah Edwards, the gurus of home-based business, explores the best opportunities for self-employment in the next century, including personal chef, elder services, fitness training, Web merchant, computer design and much more.

The New Color of Success: Twenty Young Black Millionaires Tell You How They’re Making It (Prima Publishing, $22.00) by Niki Butler Mitchell profiles scores of young African American entrepreneurs who have turned their ideas and passions into profitable business ventures.

Black Enterprise Guide to Starting Your Own Business by Wendy Beech (John Wiley & Sons Inc., $19.95) offers a one-stop definitive resource for everything today’s entrepreneur needs to know to launch and run a solid business.
Nobody’s Business But Your Own by Carolyn M. Brown (Hyperion, $14.95) is a great mix of case studies, resources and practical suggestions for starting and maintaining a business from scratch.

American Association of Minority Businesses Inc., P.O. Box 35432,
Charlotte, NC 28235; 704-376-2262; www.website1.com/aamb. Assists minority business owners in building their managerial and technical skills. Sponsors motivational business development seminars and programs throughout the year.

American Institute of Small Business (AISB), 7515 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 201, Minneapolis, MN 55426; 800-328-2906; www.aisbofmn.com. The Institute has a number of publications for the small business owner and the self-employed, including Business Plan Example ($24.95) and How to Set Up Your Own Small Business ($98.95).

Hobby Industry Association, 319 East 54th St., Elmwood Park, NJ 07407; 800-822-0494. Conducts market research and sponsors trade shows for manufacturers and companies in the craft and hobby industries.

U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd St. SW, Washington, DC 20416; 202-606-4000 or 800-827-5722; www.sba.gov. A source for information on industry research, financial resources, business plan writing and technology trends.

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