A hobby can be turned into a business but a business can never become a hobby. There are some rich and famous people who have the luxury to conduct business while indulging in leisure. For the lesser mortals, business and leisure don’t go hand in hand. Any business requires serious investments, be it material such as money and infrastructure or immaterial as time and effort. Here are some of the many reasons why you should treat your business like a business and not a hobby.
A hobby is more of a pastime in which you have substantial passion. A business can never be a pastime. There are serious consequences. You may lose money. If you have employees, then those jobs are at stake and hence their livelihoods. If you have products or services that people depend on then you are risking that and your consumers or customers will be left high and dry if you fail to deliver. A hobby is absolutely personal. No business is completely personal. A business will have direct and indirect impacts on the lives of many people. A startup can still be treated as a hobby till there is serious money in it and the potential or actual impacts on others. Beyond that point, a business must be treated like a business.
A hobby has a lot to do with emotion over pragmatism. Most hobbies develop out of sheer love for something. There is little or no aspiration to monetize the skill or whatever you are creating. The purpose is to give form to your feelings or the skills you possess. Essentially, a hobby is about emotions. A business can stem from a particular or cluster of emotions but it can never be managed or run emotionally. You must always have a pragmatic take on your business and that will not happen if you treat it as a hobby or an emotional endeavor.
A hobby often has to dabble through spells of procrastination. You cannot allow procrastination to seep in when you are running an actual business. There are deadlines in the real world, bottom lines and real money at stake. You cannot take your own sweet time to develop or deliver something. Treating your business like a hobby will be the recipe for disaster and sooner than later your enterprise will cease to exist or be unsustainable. Also, a hobby is principally about personal satisfaction. A business is not.