"Quarantine" can be a chance to pursue neglected hobbies—and make some money while doing it.

Online businesses have seen a recent surge in popularity, more so than normal. This is due in large part to the unexpected time spent at home in efforts to increase social distancing. But with the economy affected the way it is during the COVID-19 pandemic, others have seen a surge in unexpected and unwelcome anxiety over how they’re going to make money (Hi! It’s me!).

Some people, though, are seeing this as an opportunity. Everyone has hobbies, right? Some people have creative hobbies, or things they like that are easily marketable……..See where I’m going with this? While this might not seem like an ideal time to start a business, there are people who are making it work. Case in point: Zach Kornfeld of YouTube’s The Try Guys.

If you are familiar with The Try Guys (and if you frequent YouTube, you probably are), then you know how much Zach likes tea. You probably also know how open he is about his health issues. These are the main reasons he gives for why he wanted to start a business making and selling tea.

There are a series of videos in which Zach maps his business journey, and he gives some great advice. The first one (check it out below) involves a challenge where he sets a budget and tries to get things started using only that money. SPOILER ALERT: He does not succeed.

The whole series of videos (there are six total) goes into detail about the process involved in first deciding what you want to sell, then choosing your business model and name. There are also useful tips for designing your website and business logo, which include using your personal and professional network to help with the parts you don't have experience in (I can't draw, so I would definitely ask my artistic friends to help design the logo—and I would pay them, obviously!). 

Zach isn't the only Try Guy to make and sell a product (Keith worked with a hot sauce company to create a chicken sauce for those with sensitivity to spice), but he is the only one who has created his own company independently of the group. 

Now, I know not everyone has access to the same resources that Zach does. When you work in social media and live in Los Angeles, you have easier access to a wide network of folks. Don't let that discourage you, though. I have people in my life who are running and starting businesses right now, and they don't have these easy, at-your-fingertips connections. If you've got the time—and let's be honest, who doesn't have time right now?—then you can do some research and ask around your personal network to find what you need. 

Oh, in case you were wondering: Yes, I bought Zach's tea. It tastes really good.

Do you want to turn your hobby or passion into a business, or know someone who does? Tell me what you want to sell! I'm always looking for new products to try!