TURNING YOUR PASSION INTO A
THRIVING SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS
The age-old adage, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”, resonates with many of us. The allure of turning a cherished hobby or a burning passion into a profitable business is tantalising yet intimidating at the same time. It was my own pursuit of self-determination and finding meaning in work that led me to embark on this path.
My journey began when I was still a student. My fascination with niche products including puzzles and apparel which were not readily accessible in Singapore and the prospect of importing them for sale was irresistible. I dealt with box shops, online orders and every store willing to provide me shelf space to sell my wares with an untampered sense of excitement and wonder. Every sale, every transaction, felt like a result of my own efforts to make an indelible mark on the experiences of my buyers, to whom I felt an invisible connection.
It was also at the time, a testament to the self-determination that one may struggle to find in a typical 9-5 job. Yet, the draw of self-determination is tempered by the reality of effort, work, and the need for wide knowledge to ensure the sustainability of the business. It also tends to be a rather lonely endeavour, as the path of an entrepreneur, is one that involves risk which may be frowned upon by certain friends or family who perceive stable employment as the ideal path that everyone should follow.
My own experience was also one that faced many challenges. One would think that as a lawyer now, I’d have all the paperwork sorted from day one. However, as a student who had yet to enter university then, driven by passion and the trust I placed in my close partners, I dabbled in the risky realm of running a business without formal paperwork. There’s a very unique kind of heartache in making tough decisions with partners who are close. Having walked that path I can say with conviction that the value of paperwork isn’t just legal protection (while in and of itself is indispensable); it goes beyond that to being about clarity, commitment, and shared vision.
THE DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD OF TURNING
YOUR PASSION INTO AN ENTERPRISE
Embarking on the journey to monetise your passion carries a seldom-discussed caveat: that it may alter your relationship with that very passion. Rather naïve as I was back then, I thought that this would never happen to me (even in my wildest dreams).
When hobbies transform into business obligations, the initial joy can sometimes eventually be overshadowed by the day-to-day challenges. However, finding continuous joy, fulfilment, and refining the craft is what keeps the passion alive and burning. It’s an ongoing endeavour of love, dedication, and the relentless pursuit of improvement.
The transition to being an entrepreneur entails a transformation in the responsibilities shouldered by you. The personal and financial commitments needed to run a business are substantial, requiring at least a fundamental understanding of the various business functions including marketing, sales, finance, operations and law. This is why making that leap may seem intimidating and scary – it requires deep introspection and an assessment on your own readiness, your resources, and your resolve.
THE CORNERSTONE OF SUCCESS
Turning passion into a business can be the most exhilarating journey of your life. But the road is fraught with challenges that require more than just passion to overcome. In the intricate dance of business, passion may lead, but it’s the decisions informed by knowledge constant learning, and adaptability that define the rhythm.
While passion for your hobby or business may be the starting point, sustaining a business and running a profitable venture lies in blending it with knowledge, preparedness, and continuous refinement. My journey is a testament to this truth. If and when you choose to dive into your entrepreneurial dream, do it with open eyes and an informed mind. Your passion deserves nothing less.