Do you have a Hobby or a Business

Last Update: January 27, 2017

A post by Mel some time ago got me thinking about whether I have a hobby here on WA or a business.

https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/onmyownterms/blog/...

So my question is: Do we have a hobby or a business. Now let us be clear, you can have a hobby and it can also be a business or turn into a business. AND the question then is: can you have a business that is just a hobby? The answer to that one is: I doubt it.

Many people say, yes they have a business. But that answer may not stand up to scrutiny. What would your business need to "look like" to distinguish itself as a business and not a hobby only?

I like to think in pictures so I did a Google search 1. Hobby Images 2. Business images



So the two search images a very different. If a fly on the wall was observing you would they see that you have a hobby or a business (that could be a hobby too). For example

  • Do you have a business plan .. is it written written?
  • Do you have a financial (money) plan (budget)?
  • Do you have a work plan?
  • Who is on your Team (eg. Lawyer, Accountant, Mentor etc)?
  • Have basic accounting in place?
  • Have the basic registrations required in your jurisdiction been done?
  • Do you have legal issues such as copyright covered?
  • Do you have a have a Brand strategy?
  • Do you have a marketing strategy?
  • Do you have a sales strategy?
  • And more .. there are more skilled people here than I who could add to this list.

So look at what you are doing .. are you operating a hobby or a business (and to be clear, something that can be a hobby can be a business so don't use the terms to confuse).

Because here is the deal: if you treat your business as a hobby you will see hobby outcome/results, if you treat your business as a business you will get business result .. which do you want?


Cheers, William.

Stay Focused, Move Forward.

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viyee Premium
Hi William, I would like to build a business and also like to have fun with it. Cheers! :)
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KiwiGeorge Premium
Well, that certainly puts the cat among the pigeons! No gloves being used there, William!

Not sure where my 30 hours a week on the ground not-for-profit plus 30 hours a week WA and prep time fits into all of that?

I guess you are going to tell me that it's a hobby!.....full time one...lol

Can you have a business that makes negative profit?
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WilliamBH Premium
LOL Thanks George .. I think " a business that makes negative profit" with no plan to make a Profit is called "A Hobby" .. love you comment. Cheers, William.
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KiwiGeorge Premium
Ok, that gives me something to work on, however having started to look into what paperwork has to be done if one wished to be registered as a charity....there are more hoops to go through than to set up as a business!
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Kerryanne Premium
Hi William,
I am attempting to build a business. Hopefully I am successful at it. It's only early days at this stage.
-kerryanne
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WilliamBH Premium
You can do it Kerryanne, and thank you for the comment .. Cheers, William.
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harley1101 Premium
Right now it's a hobby, enjoying learning and taking my time taking everything in. I'm Ok with that, quite content and having fun and if I go full time down the road, cool!
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WilliamBH Premium
Good choice Michael .. Cheers, William.
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VeronicasLuv Premium
Oh my!!! Sadly I cannot answer in the affirmative to most of those questions. Thank you William, this one will definitely be added to my favorites.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thank you so much Veronica! Cheers William.
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JPride Premium
My hope is to turn my hobby into a business!
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WilliamBH Premium
Great Josephine .. good choice. Cheers, William
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Temujin1 Premium
Awesome post. Thanks William.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thank you Peter .. Cheers, William.
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Mike-Writes Premium
Excellent points, William. Thanks for the great share.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks so much Mike .. appreciate your comments.Cheers, William.
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Ultimateless Premium
So true, William, even though we socialise here a lot our main focus should be our online business which is why a plan is absolutely essential or we are just spinning our wheels.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thank you for you valuable input Michael.This topic has had some interesting and valuable comments. Cheers, William.
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TimMcKinlay Premium
Great post! This is a key principal to achieving your goals.

In order to achieve real results online, you must treat this like a real business. Because it is a real business. Goes back to the old saying I think "you reap what you sow". If you put in 'hobby efforts', you'll get back 'hobby results' but if you build your business, you'll grow and scale your very real income.

Having said that, I don't think you don't need to be an expert on all of the above elements to generate awesome results. The individual methods of getting results and running your business will vary, but the key principal of taking your business seriously will never change. This is the most important concept in my view.

Anyways, that's my thoughts. Thanks for sharing a great post William :)
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks for read Tim. Very valuable points you make in your comment. Thank you. Cheers, William.
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Matstabler Premium
Thats a great way to look at things william. I have always told that if you find something you love, it will cease to be a chore and your `job` will be enjoyable. I`m enjoying myself at WA, but in terms of business plan and havent really thought about it.

Thanks fo the reminder.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks for reading and for the comment .. yes the Post is just some food for thought. Cheers, William.
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ArmaniTol Premium
Good observation, William. I always thought that the two words were interchangeable. After reading your post, I guess they do have some differences.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks Armand .. it is just food for thought :)

Cheers, William.
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BooBish Premium
"If you treat your business as a hobby you will see hobby outcome/results, if you treat your business as a business you will get business result." Excellent point. But what can we who have no business experience do about business aspects? As much as WA has in terms of training, it apparently only covers subjects directly related to website creation and making website known to others. (There's no training on business or financial planning or work planning, etc.)
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WilliamBH Premium
Good question Jean. If I did not have a background in business I think that I would start with doing google searches. You may need to try some variation to the search terms to get the answers you are looking for. Also the authorities in your jurisdiction may have seminars and training on organising and operating a small business.

Cheers, William.
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BooBish Premium
Okay. Maybe SCORE which has volunteers. I know there was one when I lived in Arizona, not sure in California, but probably. So much to do, have to stop being so lackadaisical about things in order to get things done. Thanks.
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WilliamBH Premium
Just start somewhere with baby steps. If you are not doing this already start with planning and then tracking something. EG a planned schedule for the week, of everything .. cleaning time, shopping time, cat time etc .. and then market it as you go with what you actually did. And one of the activities on your schedule for next week is time to look at what you need for a business. When we are starting out here at WA you will mostly likely not need registrations etc but you will need some type of plan.

Cheers, William.
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BooBish Premium
So should I do a business plan, maybe a simple one? Should there be predictions or projections of earnings so that appropriate action is taken to meet it? At this time, I'm just trying to put in a minimum amount of time. I set up my camera today and shot some pictures of myself because I wanted a new image for my About page, and then got carried away with taking selfies, taking up way too much time with that. Sometimes I find it hard to control my actions.
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WilliamBH Premium
Ok .. what you have said really makes the time schedule thing very important.

For Business Plans I just Google this .. http://www.inc.com/larry-kim/top-10-business-plan-templates-you-can-download-free.html

#3 The One Page Business Plan might be a good place to start.
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BooBish Premium
Okay, I'll take a look at that. But what if one plans on following a schedule yet doesn't follow it? In any case, I'll just look at the business plan link for now. Thanks.
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WilliamBH Premium
Well that is actually the point .. you will see how far you go off schedule .. then restart each week and try a little better to keep closer to the schedule. I wrote a Post about being 1
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BooBish Premium
Yes, that's kind of what I'm doing right now. I'm trying to apply myself 20 hours a week and keeping track. Even 20 hours is a bit challenging, although I'm not that busy of a person, since I'm currently unemployed and have no children. I think my self-control issue may be partly because I was never guided much growing up. That was of course long ago, but what one experiences in formative years can have an influence even when old. Anyway, I'll work on it. Thanks.
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BigEvent Premium
Hi BooBish, I really liked Williams information he provided us with. I had recently been told that what some of us could benefit from is having some financial education. There's quite a few financial educational institutions; including some free ones like investopedia.com.
Cheers, David.
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BooBish Premium
That's a good idea, financial education. I'm not a money-oriented person and wasn't educated on it growing up, but now that I want to do a business (mainly to achieve something meaningful), I think I really should learn about money. The other day I was reading "The Science of Getting Rich" which inspired me to maybe make it a game of seeing if I can get anything that I set my mind to, and so I thought of going from rags to riches and getting a BEAUTIFUL home. (I currently live in a 2-bedroom apartment.) Anyway, need to get serious if one is to go from hobby mode to business mode.:)
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BigEvent Premium
Hey, keep your dreams alive! It's funny how in school I was always taught how to get a job in the corporate world, but I was never taught how to manage and keep money as a business owner would. There's a world full of opportunities, knowledge here in WA is power! I wish you great success.
David.
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BooBish Premium
Yes, David, knowledge is power or, more precisely in this case since business is the focus, FINANCIAL knowledge is power. I think Napolean Hill said one has to have a money consciousness in order to have lots of money. Right, the world is full of opportunities. William's post opened my eyes to needing to learn about finances and become all business in terms of business. Thank you. Best to you too.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks David for your comment and insight. Yes my belief is we all need a financial education.

Cheers, William.
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BigEvent Premium
Thank you! I'm currently reading this book by Robert T. Kiyosaki called: The Business Of The 21st Century, he's also the author of the book: Rich Dad Poor Dad. He explains that there are 4 classes of people in this economic race: The Employee, The Self-Employed or Small-business owner, The Business owner and The Investor. It seems much better to be business-minded as an owner or an investor to achieve financial freedom rather than working a 9-5 and being taxed so much more. There is so much information I've read that really opened my eyes up! You should check this out someday :)
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks Davide .. Yes I have read all of Kiyosaki's books. Again, thank you for your contribution. Cheers, William
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BigEvent Premium
You're welcome, I'm glad this could help.
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Colker Premium
I often refer to my being on WA as an hobby, but in reality I know its a business and I intend to treat it this way. I am presently going through the lessons to get a kick of what is required, that s an investment of time and resources. My first website is my demo for learning the ropes, though can turn out to be profitable. The next website will be a more meaningful business. I even have my exit strategy in the back of my head, even though I feel it would not be necessary.

In the future I plan to invest more cash and time resources in same to give my self a better chance to beat the competition and to claim my authority. The next website will have a clear strategy for implementation.

No lawyers, branding and so forth in fact not yet, but accounting for sure. My intention is to have a dedicated account for receipt and payment where this project is concerned, further on I will have an accounting software to record details.
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WilliamBH Premium
A lot of good thoughts there Collin .. thank you for reading and commenting. Cheers
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MKearns Premium
Definitely working on a business related hobby!
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WilliamBH Premium
I like it Mike! Cheers, William
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JeanBrickley Premium
At this point I'm still very much a student and my site is probably more like a hobby but I hope to turn it in to a business sometime soon.
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WilliamBH Premium
Great Jean, I think that is where a lot of us start .. thank you for your comment. Cheers, William.
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Daniel-F Premium
BRAVO!!!!!!! EXCELLENT EXCELLENT POST!!!!!
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WilliamBH Premium
Thank you Daniel .. Cheers, William.
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GautamWorld Premium
Hi William,

I want to treat my business as a hobby.

Cheers,
Gautam.
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WilliamBH Premium
Great Gautam .. that is a good choice .. everyone is different. Thank you for your comment. Cheer William.
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drjec Premium
It took awhile, but I moved form hobby to business about two months ago.
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WilliamBH Premium
Great Jim .. my change took a while too .. Cheers, William.
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jtaienao Premium
I agree William. Hobby is for pleasure and enjoyment. Business on the other hand is for results i.e. money, gain, results,etc. I choose the business approach. Thanks for sharing.
Jerome
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WilliamBH Premium
Great Jerome .. good choice. Cheers, William.
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DShensky Premium
It's how you treat it---if you don't want to earn an income it can be a hobby to learn new skills but if it's a business you need to have a different mentality such as a band you monitor it and market it like a real busineusiness owner but instead of it being a brick and mortar store with a physical presence it's a store online that's open 24/7 and you monitor it and market it like a real business---you're selling products or a service or both
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WilliamBH Premium
Yes Great! Thanks Davida for your Comment. Cheers, William.
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Paul1916 Premium
Started out as hobby William but i'm really focussed on it now and I want to turn it into a part time business...
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WilliamBH Premium
That is great Paul .. thanks for commenting .. Cheers, William.
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drcmaint Premium
Still trying to figure this one out. But I'm thinking that it's a business.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks John .. great comment .. my thinking is to at least have the concepts on the table. Cheers, William.
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Gordon-D Premium
I'd like to think that mine is a business, but the way things are going it could very well turn out to be just a hobby.
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WilliamBH Premium
LOL .. I get it Gordon .. thanks for dropping by. Cheers, William
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kasage00 Premium
both of my sites have been viewed as hobbies but are in the process of being turned into businesses.
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WilliamBH Premium
Good Job Karin .. Cheers, William
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HarveyBrown Premium
Thanks William, I have viewed my site as a hobby that will eventually turn into a business. I have been in business for several years, and that one does have most of the items you have listed, especially the business and marketing plans.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks Harvey .. just things to consider. Cheers, William.
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Joy3 Premium
There are some requirements for an activity to be classified as a business. If those are missing then it just isn't a business. Enjoyed the discussion.
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Marlene2 Premium
I like how you have graphically illustrated with the accompanying questions
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks Marlene .. Cheers, William.
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Marlene2 Premium
Okay!
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minitrio Premium
Very good point, thanks for sharing. :)
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks Marek .. Cheers, William.
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xanfo Premium
Thanks for sharing, is good knowing the distinction between business and hobby,if you're just trying to earn a little money on the side or you want to turn into full time.hobby doesn't generate losses whiles business attracts taxes etc.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks Alexandra .. Cheers, William.
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reanna1 Premium
Thanks for sharing, William!
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks Rebecca .. Cheers, William.
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KMeyer Premium
Interesting perspective of how we perceive our businesses. Thanks for sharing.
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WilliamBH Premium
Thanks Kevin .. Cheers, William.
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