People often times stress themselves out over the next great business idea when, in reality, they don't need to look any further than their own hobbies.
One man's pain point is another man's hobby. In other words, it's likely that your hobbies -- while enjoyable to you -- are something that someone else hates and is willing to pay for. Or, maybe you find customers that nerd out over the same things you do.
The point is we're living in a time when people can easily turn their hobbies into cash. Here are three examples.
Selling collectibles on Etsy
I did a little Etsy experiment during my epic 2015 Spring Cleaning.
You see, I'm kind of a nerdy hippie who collects crystals and gemstones as a hobby. As I was decluttering, I noticed my collection had gotten a little out of hand. I'd have multiples of the same stone or simply outgrown some of them, so I decided to see if I could sell them on Etsy. After all, I figured people needed to buy stones to make jewelry.
Well, I was right. While it's not a full-fledged side business (I simply don't have the time), it does make me a little extra money here and there.
Blogging and writing
In case you don't know the story of how I became an award winning millennial financial blogger, here's the short version: I've always been a writer and found a way to make money doing it.
I built websites on Geocities when I was 12. I wrote about my teenage angst on Xanga when I was 16. At 20 I was still messing around with LiveJournal. As soon as I graduated from college I started a blog about how I was trying to figure out adulthood -- except that time I got fancy and paid for my own web hosting.
Blogging has been a hobby for most of my life. And now it's literally my job. I found a way to turn my passion for writing into my livelihood -- and I'm just one example of many.
Organizing people’s stuff
I recently interviewed a friend, local fashion designer and professional organizer for my podcast. She mentioned how she's always been into three things: eco-consciousness, fashion, and organization. Even as a little girl she was sewing her clothing and running her elementary school's Save the Earth club.
Fast forward about 20 years and it's now her career. She spends her days organizing people's closets and raising awareness about sustainable fashion.
If you're trying to find a business idea, don't make the mistake of overlooking your own interests, hobbies, and quirks. If they are able to provide value to someone else, you can probably make money doing it.