You probably know “business” consultants in your circle of friends or people who give marketing advice to people who love their hobbies.
In the past, I was one of these consultants with good intentions. I thought that people with brilliant “results” in their hobbies should work self-employed. Self-employed seemed to be the solution to almost everything as I love(d) to work that way.
Therefore, I was a crusader for this type of occupation. Typical sentences were:
- You are so great in “PLACEHOLDER”— have you ever considered making a living out of it?
- Why don’t you earn money with this?
To speak the truth: I did a disservice to a lot of people by doing this.
And I have allowed myself to be pushed in this direction as many freelancers, entrepreneurs, and coaches are promoting this lifestyle.
But it would be too easy to say that society is to blame — it was my choice to use the above-mentioned sentences.
As in many cases, well-meant is not well done! It is important to have hobbies that stay hobbies besides what everyone else says.
#1. Hobbies are allowed to be unprofitable.
Just because you are good at something does not mean that you have to earn money with it.
An excellent friend of mine is a wonderful vegan cook. Even though I am not that developed to engage in it fully — I enjoy it.
He shares pictures of his creations on Instagram. The good thing is — he loves cooking and, in the second step, shares images of his meals. He wouldn’t dare to earn money with it as this would crush the easiness of his actions.
One day, he might open a restaurant, but for now, his primary focus and passion are on cooking.
Another outstanding friend produces a podcast about (German) soccer together with his former work colleague. And listing to both is so much fun! They find beautiful and humorous soccer stories from all over the world.
There is no intention detectable to earn money with this hobby. It offers them great feelings while producing, and they receive incredible feedback from their 200+ listeners.
Understandably, it is the ultimate dream to pursue this path. Thus, when you enter this world, you should be prepared for a lot of work involved besides the fun.
I know that many quotes out there give you the impression that work shouldn’t feel like work — and they are right.
BUT: just because you are the biggest Casanova in town does not mean that you have to do this professionally. You could instead just enjoy the ride.
#2. Isn’t one job enough?
One of the most striking arguments against turning hobbies into business is the following:
“One job is enough. ”
And all other (side-)hustles should be hobbies. Otherwise, you fritter all your attention to different playgrounds instead of focusing on what is truly important: to be happy with what you do.
And this involves nothing else than happiness — no money, no power, no esteem — just joy, laughter, and moment of bliss.
If the job does not offer the above — change the job instead of stressfully trying to turn your positively distracting hobbies into cash-cows.
Otherwise, you will cripple both. You end up with a job you hate and with a hobby that lost all its lightness.
On the other hand, if turning the hobby into a job — be sure that it will only ultimately succeed if you put all the power into it.
At one point, you have to decide — part-time working won’t lead to full-time payment.
#3. (Re)discover the fun in your (business-driven) hobbies.
One day, there might be the opportunity to earn (little) money with your hobby. And there is nothing wrong with it.
At this point, it would be wise if you observe your own thoughts about your new approach. There is a big difference between doing something for fun or doing it only because of the possible results.
My own definition of hobbies (and life) is:
“Have as much fun as possible without caring too much about the results.”
By focusing on the process, you enjoy every minute instead of waiting to be paid by the results.
The best thing to do is to remember the fun in any activity (even in jobs) and think of why you started in the first place.
There must have been a reason why you choose it — and at least for hobbies, it has to be another reason than money.
I still play with Lego, as I love to construct things. And time flies by when playing with Lego. The same applies to writing and reading.
And if this memory is not valid anymore — you are not tied to this occupation — you can change again:
As a flexible person, I tried many hobbies, such as fencing, martial arts, chess, and alike. Not one of the mentioned hobbies had the same impact on me as writing, playing with Lego, or meeting friends.
They did not give me any joy as the process was not pleasant. Therefore, I quit those.
Reducing stress (by focusing on the results) and finding out your why (you started) is a beautiful way to reanimate your hobbies. Discovering the why starts with listening to your heart and the feelings that are evoked with those activities.
In a world driven by results, figures, and money, it is great to have an area to turn-off your engines.
Just like meditation, hobbies can help to calm your mind and reduce your stress level. Besides that, they grant you valuable times with friends or things you love.
Therefore, you may want to think about the following statements:
- A hobby that lets you forget the time is worth more than being paid for it.
- A job that does not offer you moments of bliss won’t get better if you turn your hobby into a side-hustle.
- Results are not everything — the process covers a longer distance and should be pleasant.
I wish you a wonderful time with your (new/old) hobbies and as always — please enjoy the ride!