We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
Whether or not an entrepreneur should make their hobby into a career is a large debate within the business community. This path does not work for everyone, but through the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program, I have been able to take my hobby and turn it into a premise for my business, The Mod Market.
After injuring myself racing motocross, I decided to try a safer motorsport hobby so I turned to automotive tuning. I love the artistic expression, representation of individual taste, and illustration of a car enthusiast’s personality that each vehicle embodies.
While helping my fellow enthusiasts modify their cars, I learned that there is a large financial risk in making purchasing decisions for vehicle customisation. I decided to try to solve this problem, which was something I was dealing with as a customer on a daily basis.
In my opinion, entrepreneurs should not be afraid of ruining their interest in a hobby by turning it into a business; doing so allows people to enjoy every single day of work, and the ability to improve on something you are already passionate about.
If you are looking to start a business out of a hobby, my advice is to make sure that you are interested in developing a better understanding of its general industry and what makes it tick. To continue to pursue your hobby by developing a business around it should not be the purpose of the business.
As an entrepreneur, why would you devote your attention and hard work to something for which you are not passionate? Who would be better at creating a business than someone who is immersed in the industry because of their excitement and passion for it?
My startup would not have been possible without the MBET program, which has been a supportive and nurturing environment for me to turn my idea into a viable business. I was able to prepare myself for the ups, downs and pivots that a new venture goes through, while being able to test my idea in the MBET program’s safe climate.
Rachel Bartholomew is a student in the MBET program at the University of Waterloo. She recently graduated from York University’s Bachelor of Administrative Studies program with Specialized Honours in Management. Rachel also specializes in technology management and managing information systems.
Rachel is actively involved in her own start up, The Mod Market, as well as Human Velocity, a startup based out of Waterloo, Ontario.
About The Mod Market
The Mod Market is a 3D simulation software and service that provides valuable information to car enthusiasts and allows them to visualize the endless possibilities of modifications they can make to their car.
The Mod Market is located in Waterloo and is set to launch for beta testing in late March 2014.
To learn more, visit www.themodmarket.com.