If you love your work, but have always dreamed about expanding or growing your hobby—what about a side-business? Or—if you are unhappy with your current work—what about starting a side-business to see if it might become a doorway to a new career?

While you have the financial security of your current employment, consider using that stability to explore the market demand for what you’d like to do, research relevant training, and learn about the ins and outs of running a business.

Mary has a stable job in the financial sector, but her heart is really in creating organic health products. She has been reading, researching, talking to others in the field, growing her own plants, and concocting amazing skin/hair products in her kitchen. She is “market testing” her products with friends and family, taking classes and working with a business coach.  She sees herself transitioning from her current job in a few years at retirement age, and then growing her business full-time.  Her side-business is what keeps her excited and fulfilled when her daily job becomes stressful.

Mark was in a government job for many years- doing website and design work.  He has been doing websites on the side for a number of years because of the freedom to be more creative than his day job allowed. As his job became more tedious and bureaucratic, he realized it was time for him to leave and really do what he loves.  Today his life is busy with numerous projects and several businesses.  He wonders why it took him so long to leave!

Tom has spent 15 years in the tech world, however his real passion is photography.  He has been doing head shots and weddings on the side for many years- and his creativity and passion are expressed best in this work. After a recent layoff, he was prompted to “take the leap” and go full-time with photography. While the first few months were bumpy and anxiety producing, he has never turned back or regretted the decision. Doing photography never feels like work to him.

What do you love that makes the time fly for you: is  it writing, designing, organizing, cooking, writing code, carpentry work, or something else?  Think about how you might turn your talent into a business.  Talk to others who have done so. Take some business classes.  Join an entrepreneur group.   Get a business coach. Create a focus group or pilot project. Explore the financial aspects involved.   Dream.  Take your time.

Let it be fun!