Make your hobby a businessBy Randell Tiongson on January 8th, 2010
I had a meeting with the CEO of Fern-C earlier. Amazing success story for the CEO and the company but that’s not what I’m writing about.
The CEO mentioned that he loves really nice expensive cars but he also understands that buying those nice cars cost you a lot of money, especially at the rate they depreciate. Solution? He started trading those expensive cars — buying them, using them and selling them at a profit. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too?
Hobbies can be expensive and really hurt the budget. Having a hobby is great but what if your hobby affects your budget already? Instead of enjoying your hobby, it starts becoming stressful. If there’s some way you can make money out of your hobby, that would really be a great idea! I have met so many successful entrepreneurs who made a business out of their hobbies. Even if your business will not rake in millions for you, the mere fact that the cost of your hobby is reduced because of the said business, that’s good enough for me.
Allow me to share with you my hobby. Ever since I was about 8 or 9 years old, I love keeping aquariums. My passion are Salt Water (Marine) Aquariums because its really challenging yet fulfilling. Running a marine aquarium can be financially challenging especially if you are not doing it right. In 2007, my hobby friends and I toyed with the idea of making a business out of a hobby that’s becoming to be financially challenging. By January 2008, our idea (also our childhood dream) of having a very reputable Marine Aquarium hobby shop was born — Marine Hub.
Two years after, Marine Hub has become one of the most respected Marine Aquarium hobby shop in the country with a solid following. Our clients ranges from students, professionals, businessmen, showbiz personnel. We have moved from just trading equipment to distributorship, livestock importation and custom built systems. We have outfitted beautiful systems for homes, offices and even a hospital. Earlier, I was speaking to a group of Architects and they invited me to exhibit in their annual convention. Admittedly, we were not sure if this crazy idea of ours will turn out into something and there were many times when we thought of closing shop. While there are still a lot of issues we need to fix in Marine Hub, we can say that this business will stay on for quite some time.
Opportunities are there for those who are open-minded and willing to take some calculated risks. Another lesson I learned in this venutre is the value of partnerships – in Marine Hub, we are 5 owners. While it is way easier to run a business without partners, I believe in the value of leveraging — 5 heads are definitely better than 1, and not just financially. There are some times that we don’t agree in our business directions but we all have deep respect for each other to agree on a consensus.
Well, next time your hobby is hurting your wallet — think about making a way to earn from it.
Here’s a sample of what we can do at Marine Hub (located at the back parking area of Metrowalk).