This is part of a new series where I'm going to examine specific "general skills" that people learn in fandom and their hobbies. I talk specific skills quite a bit, but fandom also teaches you general or "metaskills" that can help your career quite a bit.
First up – your fannish and hobby activities teach you good business sense.
This may seem contradictory – running an anime viewing, an MMO guild, and suchlike is not a business. You don't make money. You may not make product. You may barely keep the group going.
But consider what a business really is – it's something that accomplishes something for people. A business is about organizations and positions and processes that get certain results to happen. Many of your activities are "business-like" even if you don' make money (and hey, some businesses are pretty lousy at that too).
But in reality, many of your fannish activities are pseudo-businesses, and in the case of conventions and the like, businesses in everything but name – and in the case of some convention, they are businesses too. You've quite likely been running something akin to a business, or part of one for years or decades in your fandom.
Changes are you also picked up some good business sense:
- You understand process and organization.
- You have an intuitive feel of how to run things and get results.
- You have the ability to work with people to get things done.
- You understand the importance of results.
- You have the ability to detect when a "business" is going wrong.
- You may have even more extensive skills from your activities – like accounting, clerical work, etc. Large-scale fannish activities can teach you some specifics of a business.
So, here's something for you to do:
- List all your current fannish activities that are like a business, and what position you play in them. After listing them, ask what is the "full" business of those things you do. Running a convention's "full" business would be event planning, doing fanart's "full" business would be running an art studio.
- List your past fannish activities that were businesslike. Do you see any trends?
- What of your fannish activities, right now could you make a business?
You may be surprised how much business sense you have.
– Steven Savage