Turning my passions into a potential career?
January 21, 2015 11:25 AM   Subscribe

I moved to a new city where I can more or less pursue doing what I want. But how turn the things I love in my everyday life into a career path?

This past summer my husband and I moved to a new city because of an incredible job offer he received. So we're settled here, looking to buy a house in the spring, and putting down roots for the foreseeable future.

We're pretty financially stable--no debts other than our rent, no kids now or ever--but I would love to contribute to the family income. I have been picking up temp admin work here and there and I don't mind, but I'd like to start working towards doing something with subjects I love: vegan food, craft beer, pretty much anything cat-related.

I volunteer for various groups around town (local radio station, some animal rescue groups), so I can network if necessary. How to turn my passions into a job path? Especially if you're feeling unfocused and adrift?

Note: my husband is very supportive of anything I want to do; he just wants me to be happy and believe in myself. I realize I am very lucky.
posted by Kitteh to Work & Money (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
From what I understand, craft breweries where you brew and sell your own brews is an extremely easy hobby to turn into a business. In my city, 5 craft breweries just appeared overnight last year as people made their hobby into something others can enjoy.

One place just has beer taps and popcorn, with a chalkboard with what's there and how much, and the alcohol content. Usually there are just 3 or 4 types and 2-3 of those types are sold out.
posted by bbqturtle at 11:29 AM on January 21, 2015

Are there any vets nearby? I was a "ward tech" (meaning a poop scooper/animal feeder, and I was trained in giving shots) when I was younger and it was a path that led a lot of the techs to get trained to be full veterinary techs. Not good money at all, and the work is kind of icky a lot of the time (the poop never bothered me, but holding down a guinea pig while a boil was lanced and drained nearly had me pass out), but you're around animals all day long and interact with them probably more than anyone else in the vet's office.
posted by xingcat at 11:45 AM on January 21, 2015

You've heard of Cat Cafes? Maybe you should open a Cat Brew Pub. A gastro pub with vegan food.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:53 AM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

Do you want to start your own thing/be your own boss, or have a job working for someone else?

Ideas for working for someone else:
1. Job at Animal Shelter or non-profit that rescues cats, or a certain cat breed.
2. Job at a CSA, farmer's market, non-profit that advocates for local/vegan food.
3. Job at a healthy or vegan restaurant, grocery store/co-op, or food manufacturer.
3. Job at a brewery, cool beer store, cool beer bar, beer distributor.

Ideas for working for yourself:
1. Cat grooming or catsitting.
2. Organization that rescues/rehomes a specific cat rescue breed.
3. Craft beer distributor (source wholesale craft beers and sell them to bars and restaurants in your region). Requires licensing.
4. Vegan food CSA/monthly package subscription service (order wholesale and distribute fun and delicious vegan food to your subscribers each month).
posted by amaire at 11:53 AM on January 21, 2015

Aw, your "being realistic" tag makes me sad. But if you want to get into small business, there are tons of possibilities, the ones above all sound neat. I remember that you're in Canada; there are resources for would-be entrepreneurs. Search for "business development" programs in your town - some of them may be able to set you up with mentors to help you do your research, develop a business plan, prepare proposals, all of that. I've heard that TD's small business loans are supposed to offer pretty fair terms.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:59 AM on January 21, 2015

Best answer: Regarding the "unfocused and adrift" part - have a hard think about your experience, your strengths, the things that excite you, and the things your community might need and want to pay for. (And, you can learn new things, people do all the time.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 12:03 PM on January 21, 2015

Best answer: I've recommended this book before, but I think it might fit your situation: Making a Living Without a Job.

In particular, the idea of creating "multiple profit centers" or a portfolio of several mini businesses. The theory is that it is easier to create several small sources of income, rather than one that would deliver the same amount on its own. Also, it is an opportunity to do a bit of everything you like and diversifies your income streams.

So for you, it could be a cat sitting business, as well as a seasonal vegan lunchbox delivery service that operates only on a Friday (e.g. see Goldilocks Lunch Box) and a craft brewery tour that you run once a week (I had a great time on my Brewvana Portland Brewery Tour), as well as continuing some temp admin when you need to pick up a bit extra.

And see, you look at those and think on its own, to build those to a size that would be a complete income could be a lot of work. But the first $200 a week on each of those is easier to make - you don't have to make it a massive success, just see a bit of success.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:12 PM on January 21, 2015 [7 favorites]

Best answer: I just looked through some of your postings. You seem also to care about certain social issues and to enjoy writing.
posted by amtho at 3:14 PM on January 21, 2015

Decide that what you want to do is all that you are going to do. Do that thing and nothing else for income. No waiting tables, no retail, no dead-end office job, none of that crap. Be prepared for some financial insecurity, corner-cutting/penny-pinching, and general poorness. In the end, though (unless you are a total idiot), you will figure out how to make it work.
posted by sexyrobot at 7:51 PM on January 21, 2015 [3 favorites]

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