Every day millions of people who work in Punch and plug, the 9-to-5 job, waiting for when they can go home and spend quality time doing something they enjoy. But some of these activities can be turned into a profitable business if done right after. All the most effective employee is someone who works for themselves doing something that they love. To some this might be a pipe dream; — there are very few professional hub-cap collectors, for example.

But to the vast majority of wage workers, the idea of turning their marketable hobbies into a business may seem like an unobtainable goal as financial pressures such as rent, family and basic necessities like food come into the picture. Yet there are millions every year that do turn their passions into a semi-steady paycheck. In this article, we’re going to explore some of the questions to ask yourself when considering the leap.

These questions should be considered carefully and realistically, when we are working from our passions we tend to be blinded by them, so having a realistic idea of where you stand is essential.

Question one: Would you still enjoy your hobby turned business?

Like many things in life, doing something you enjoy under pressure from employers, or clients can turn a passion into a nightmare. Some people find that when they make something they love into a full-time career they listed pleasure they used to derive from it. This is a good time to do some soul-searching and even a little bit of research to determine if this is what you really want to do.

Question two: Is your hobby something you can market?

Consider the Baker and the stamp collector; both of them through experience and become very skilled in their field and both of their passions at people who would be attracted to them for one reason or another, however one of them is much more likely to succeed as a business than the other. Consider the fruit of your efforts, is it something people would purchase? In what quantities? Are you skilled enough to produce that quality day in and day out?

Question three: are you prepared to put in the time and effort required to make your business successful?

Everyone has seen at least one harried manager or another, stressed about meeting deadlines, budgets, or a plethora of other concerns. Imagine that as you, only without the steady paycheck to draw from. Any business owner will tell you that 9/10 of a business is operation, which takes time and effort in more energy than you would think until you’re actually doing it.

Final question: Will your new business scale?

This can be a very difficult question to answer for anybody, “many hobbies don’t allow for much leverage and so have a natural limit to their growth,” says Rita Gunther McGrath, an associate professor at Columbia business school and an author on entrepreneurship.

For example the demand for your particular product might be a local demand which would limit your ability to sell that product outside of that market, however with global integration, and the Internet, it is possible to reach a much larger audience this will become part of your basic research when you begin to study the precepts of starting a new business.

Just as are millions of people who punch a clock everyday, there are hundreds of thousands more who will turn their hobbies into businesses that go on to provide a personally and financially rewarding career for them. With structured goals and an honest self assessment, you too can decide if the path of the entrepreneur is for you.

However, it bears repeating that the career of the self employed is not for the faint of heart and, of the myriad of things that can go wrong, sooner or later one of them will, making it exceptionally important that you do the research on your particular hobby or passion, learn all about how to start a new business correctly so that it prospers, and above all, be prepared to share your creations with the world. It’s a terrifying journey but you are the captain of your own ship.