Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious via photopin cc

Looking to start a business?

Or would you rather have a J-O-B… maybe that hobby would be fun, perhaps you can profit with that?

To clarify, hobbies, jobs, and startups are great ideas. Just be sure to approach them in the right way.

Webster’s Definitions:

Hobby – an interest outside one’s general occupation, particularly for unwinding.

JOB – routine work that someone does to earn a paycheck.

Business – a venture of making, purchasing, or offering products/services in return for money.

Can I turn my hobby into a business?

You can. But it won’t be your hobby any more. We all ought to have a diversion in life…something you do on special occasion or to relax.

I love awesome BBQ (like I’m the only one, right?). I love cooking it, hanging around the smoker and seeing it reach perfection.

However, imagine a scenario where I needed to get up each morning at 3am to put meat on the smoker and get everything prepared for my customers. Would I like it as much? Would it transform my enthusiasm into drudgery? Possibly.

Owning a BBQ smokehouse has around 22,418 more “jobs” to it than simply smoking some brisket from a lawn chair. I would need to have a full comprehension of the restaurant business before making my BBQ pastime into a business.

At that point I would need to get another hobby!

What if I make a business out of my current job?

Ok. Suppose you have killer welding abilities at the place you work at presently. Why not open a welding shop in your town and satisfy all their welding needs?

But your welding skills were just one part of your previous employers company. How did they attract customers? Who purchased the supplies? Who did the bookwork…managed the utilities?

You might need to trade in your welder’s helmet for the various business hats you’ll end up wearing. At that point, are you doing more jobs than the just the welding, at which you excelled?

But won’t I be more relaxed if I great my business like a hobby?

Sure…if by “relaxed” you mean “failed”. You just can’t run your business the same way you treat your hobby.

I took up biking and it cost me $300 for a used mountain bike. Fishing is fun and got a fly rod for Christmas last year. I purchase a few flies each time I go to Bass Pro.

However, I can stop fly fishing for a time and not have any effect on my salary, employment or business.

That’s the reason it’s a hobby… you don’t HAVE to do it.

And, in the event that you switch or stop a hobby,

you likely won’t miss a car payment.

You can start and stop hobbies often. Nobody will mind. Well maybe if you have 28 fly rods and only use them once every 4 years, your wife might comment on it! But that topic is for another day.

Run your business with intention. Create SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound). Define the jobs within the business and the people that should be doing them.

Organizations ought to be run diligently (with the proper time off for those hobbies). Try not to “wish” or “hope” things get completed… dole out every one of the tasks BEFORE you open for business. You’ll have enough surprises without making them yourself.

Brian Richardson runs He helps veterans start their own business through coaching, training, classes and trusted resources. Pick up a copy of his unique resource list at

SBA Connecticut District Office

Veterans graphic


Sign up for Boots to Business ReBoot, an entrepreneurship training program for veterans and their spouses.


Boots to Business REBOOT is a two part training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership as a career vocation, an outline and knowledge on the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in opportunity recognition, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources.

This event is an Introduction to Entrepreneurship. Veterans of all eras are eligible; Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves, and their spouses. This course is instructed by SBA and its partners who are skilled business advisors. Additionally, there will be a panel of business experts to answer questions.

Part two is an eight-week online Foundations of Entrepreneurship course instructed by a consortium of professors and practitioners led by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.

Day:     MONDAY
Date:    2 NOVEMBER 2015
Time:    10AM to 4PM
Reservoir Place – Great Room North, 1601 Trapelo Road, Waltham, MA  02451
The Workshop is FREE and Lunch Will be Provided

Seating is limited – RSVP deadline- 18 October

For More Information, call: 413-785-0484
Registration Link: RSVP

Guest Speaker: SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet


Entrepreneurship Training Program for Veterans 

Boots to Business RebootVeteran Owned Business InfoReboot Sponors



October 27, 2015

8:00 am to 4:30 pm


The Innovation Center

1636 Popps Ferry Road Biloxi, MS. 39532


For More Information:

Call: Mark Scott (662) 325-4990



Lance Foster (228) 863-4443 Ext.


Click to edit this placeholder text.

Brought to you by:

SBA Mississippi District Office

Veterans Business Outreach Center at

Mississippi State

SBA Michigan District Office

Starting or Growing a
Veteran-Owned Business?

Sign up for Boots to Business Reboot, an entrepreneurship training program for
veterans and their spouses. Part one is a one day Introduction to Entrepreneurship
course instructed by SBA resource partners.
This course’s curriculum includes steps for evaluating business
concepts, foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan, and
information on SBA resources available for accessing start-up capital and additional
technical assistance. Part two is a
eight week high touch instructor-led online course called Foundations of
Entrepreneurship which is available to those who complete part one the
Introduction to Entrepreneurship.

Date: Thursday,
October 22, 2015
Time: 8:00 am –
4:00 pm
Location: Grand
Valley State University
The Bicycle Factory
Room 330
201 Front Avenue SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

For more information please contact VetBizCentral at

To register:

Seating is limited to the first 50 veterans.

Brought to you locally by:
Small Business Administration
Michigan Small Business Development Center

Cosponsorship Authorization # 15-2110-147. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

SBA Fresno District Office

GROW your Small Business with the State of California’s
Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise & Small Business Certifications!

Each year, California’s Procurement Division purchases nearly $10 billion of goods and services ranging from pencils to temporary labor for state agencies, institutions, community colleges, technical institutes and other organizations.  A percentage of these purchases are ‘set aside’ for firms that are certified by the state as Small Businesses and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises.

This FREE webinar will teach you the step by step process to be certified as a Small Business and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise. Hear from experts with SBA, the Veterans Business Outreach Center, (VBOC) and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) who can assist you for free.  Learn how to obtain these certifications, market to contracting officers, and GROW your company with government contracting.

Click here to register for this free webinar: