Source | Entrepreneur : By Brian Hughes
How many of us are unhappy with our day jobs? We dream of leaving behind the 9-to-5 and following our dreams; of leading a life where we get paid for doing what we truly want to do. That’s the essence of entrepreneurship. The desire to love our work.
But how, exactly, do we do that? How do we take a hobby, like brewing craft beer, gardening or photography, and turn it into an income-producing business?
For most of us, the answer is not as simple as quitting our jobs and going for it. Instead, there are decisive steps we can follow to realize that dream . . . and still get to eat. On a regular basis.
1. Ask for honest feedback.
You’re not the best judge of your work, and neither are your family and friends. You need a mentor — an experienced professional –and honest feedback. Before you can make real money, your work has to be remarkable. Everybody has a camera, but not everybody understands lighting and framing. Even some professional photographers can’t seem to capture the drama of a moment.
Certainly, no one dreams of being mediocre. That’s not what dreams are about. You need to know your idea is good enough to succeed and your skills are up to the task. If possible, you need to find a community of experts willing to share knowledge and examine your work with a critical eye.
You should also consider a learning environment, where you can find an expert teacher, one-on-one feedback and fellow students to discuss the finer points of your craft. One option is Learning with Experts, an online school that helps hobbyists polish their skills under the tutelage of expert teachers in a group environment.
This option is kind of perfect: You get individual instruction and a critique of your work, plus a built-in, knowledgeable focus group.
A second option is Mogul, a worldwide platform that reaches 18 million women per week and provides personalized mentorship in the form of a 24/7 digital advice hotline. Still another option is LinkedIn, a platform that is arguably the best place to search out expert mentors and peers, alike. LinkedIn has been touted as a place to help users create a network of trusted allies.