This week, we’re talking about how to decide whether to turn something you love to do in your spare time into a money-making side hustle. Listen now:

Listen to ⁠Amanda Brenneman Brown’s episode⁠.

Got questions or want to be featured on the podcast? Use the voice message button or link on the episode page or email

Don’t forget to subscribe and download the episodes in your favorite podcast app so you won’t miss any of our future episodes with other side hustlers and experts to help you deal with some of those small and large issues that come up when you’re running a side hustle. I’d also love it if you could share this episode with any of your friends you think would be interested. Finally, please leave a review and a rating in your podcast app — this is huge for helping us find new listeners.

Get notified of new episodes and other updates by email. Sign up today. You’ll also get access to the Grow Your Side Hustle resource library, with useful tools to help you turn your side hustle into whatever you want it to be.


Hello, and welcome to season two, episode seven of the Grow Your Side Hustle Podcast, the podcast for entrepreneurs who want to grow a side hustle into their main gig or a side income stream.

I’m your host, Jennifer Roland Cadiente. And today we’re going to talk about whether you should make the thing that you love into a money-making endeavor. I know a lot of people are nervous, you know about making it into something that they have to do to make money. So you just want to look at a few things to help you make the decision of whether it’s going to be right for you.

So first, is this, think about the thing that you make or do as a hobby? Have you ever given it as a gift? Have you ever done it as a one off thing for pay? Or a special request for a friend? Like you know, if you knit? Have you, you know knit a particular project that a friend had asked you to do or has offered to pay you for? And if so, how did it go? Did you enjoy changing what you do to meet other people’s specifications? Did it make you feel unhappy to not be doing things exactly the way that you wanted to?

And if you’ve done it as a gift, or you know gifts for people, did you enjoy doing it in bulk, as opposed to you know, just doing something one at a time for yourself? And when you did give it out as a gift, or, as special requests for friends, what response did you get? Did they like it? Did they think that there were changes that they would want you to make. So you want to look at what people told you and their feedback. And if it’s something durable or something that people use again and again, are they still using it? Because you know, a lot of times we’ll get something, and we’ll think that we love it right there at the beginning. But it might not be something that we continue using. And that’s true with a handmade item, a service, or you know, even something really fancy and expensive that that we got as a gift.

Is it something that you’ve noticed other people are able to make a living, selling? You know, you you might think, Oh, the thing that I do is so specialized and perfect, and nobody else does it. But that might also mean that there’s no market for it. So you do want to find people who are doing something similar. They don’t have to be doing exactly what you’re doing. You don’t have to do exactly what other people are doing. But you just want to see if there is a market for the thing that you make or the thing that you do.

The other thing you want to look at besides your level of enjoyment with doing your side hustle as a business, is to look at your level of commitment and your goals. What are your goals for turning your hobby into a side hustle? Are you hoping that it’s just going to be something you do on the side to make some extra money over the long term? Are you hoping that it will become your main thing?

Is it something that you can start with a small investment? You know, there are going to be some costs involved. No matter what you’re doing, even if you’re offering a service that doesn’t require you to buy a lot of inventory.

But if it’s something that that you’re going to need to really invest in, you’re going to have other questions to ask about, you know whether you’re going to break even if you’re going to need to take out a loan. If not, where will the money come from? So that is probably going to be another episode bringing it back Start maybe on, on funding a small business.

But if it’s something you can start with a small investment of money and time, then it’s worth trying for sure. If your goals are to turn it into your main gig, think about what it would take look at the costs of each thing or each service that that you provide. Look at how much you need to make in profit per item. And how many of those items you wouldn’t need to sell to get to the income level that you want to get to.

As always, when you’re thinking about income level, consider the expenses that your employer pays in your day job that you don’t think about. They pay half of your payroll taxes. Things like your Social Security investment, your Medicare, things like that, you’re going to pay the full percentage of those. So look at that on your on your pay stub, and also look at the cost of things like health insurance or internet, we probably already have internet, but you might need to upgrade to a faster level of service to be able to handle the work that you’re doing at home. Do you need to take continuing professional development, look at the cost of training that you’re going to need to need to go into. So all of that in addition to the cash that you want to be able to, to use for your personal expenses, your bills, all your family obligations, that all needs to be added up to figure out what your income needs to be if you want to replace your day job with your side hustle.

And then how committed are you to turning your hobby into a moneymaker? You know, if you want to go back and listen to Amanda Brenneman Brown’s episode, I think, she made some really good points about how failure was not an option for her. She’s pivoted, she’s changed her business to meet the changing market needs. So she’s not doing what she thought she would be doing when she first left her day job. But overall, her business has continued, she has continued to put the money into her family that she needs to. And that’s because she’s committed to making the changes, making the investments, putting her time and energy toward being successful. So you need to look at how committed you are to making this happen.

And finally, do you have an exit strategy? If your side hustle doesn’t take off the way that you wanted it to? Do you have a way to either get out of it, turn it back into a hobby. If you if it happens after you’ve left your day job? Do you have a plan for reintegrating yourself into the working world? If not, do you have another way that you would be making money and, earning the income that you need to earn. None of us like to plan for things to not go the way that we wanted them to. But it’s important to know that you have a way to still take care of yourself. As you’re looking at the goals that you want to hit income wise, and sales was also look at, you know which benchmarks you need to hit in certain amounts of time. And what benchmarks if you drop back down, when you’re going to want to look for a part time or full time job again, or when you’re going to completely divest if there is inventory and supplies that you’ve purchased, what are you going to do with those, those things? Because, say again, that you’re a knitter. The amount of yarn that you buy, for example, for doing hobby knitting is probably a lot less than the amount that you would buy to do it commercially. You probably can get through what you’ve bought over time. But do you need do you have the place to store it? If it’s not going to be a money-making endeavor? Do you have the inclination to keep it around? You know, you may have some negative feelings about, about knitting, if you know your knitting business didn’t take off the way you want it to. So just think about physical things, think about emotional things, think about money. And make sure that you have that exit strategy mapped out.

I have put together a little quiz handout that you can use to help yourself think through these things. If you sign up for the email list, you’ll get access to the resource library, which will have that in there. I hope to see you on the email list, and I’ll talk to you next week.

Would you like to be featured on the Grow Your Side Hustle podcast? If so,