How A Passion-Driven Business Can Help You Find Purpose

Your side hustle can be an opportunity to earn during the recession and help you discover your place in the world.

J. Angelo Racoma
Sep 15 · 4 min read
Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash

You might have heard about how actor Ryan Reynolds recently sold his shares for part ownership of Aviation Gin for a total of $610 million. Years prior, he invested into a minority stake in the Portland, Oregon-based distillery and became the brand’s ambassador.

A few years after, Reynolds got the payoff. His personal interest in gin made him some good coin — not to mention great publicity for his marketing chops, which involved his characteristic dry humor.

Hobbies are mostly personal passions that you pursue, mostly for recreation or spending downtime. Sometimes, it’s for personal achievement.

Aytekin Tank, CEO of JotForm, says that even successful entrepreneurs explore their personal passions to unwind and recharge, because “not only are hobbies fun ways to pass the time, they also increase our productivity, creativity, memory, and mood.”

If you have a hobby and you’re good at it, consider the possibilities of turning it into a side hustle. You can even turn it into a full-fledged venture if you find the right market and workflow.

Whether you are into music, writing, photography, crafts, or cooking, etc., there is a market for things you create if you know how to properly monetize them.

You can practice finding solutions.

One of the common apprehensions of not following through on a passion-based project is fear that we are not good enough. However, if you have a solution for some pressing need, then you already have a market for your passion-driven work.

Mike Smith, Founder of impact projects The BAY and Skate for Change, has shared on Entrepreneur how “focusing on what’s broken isn’t as important as trying to fix it.”

The moment when everything clicked was when I realized you didn’t have to be the best at your passion or hobby to make it a business ... What I realized was these are the industries I wanted to have an impact in.

For example, I’m a big fan of Winters from Guangdong, China, who is an amateur radio enthusiast like myself. Winters is capable in DIY chip design, and he is fond of building digital radio hotspots based on the Raspberry Pi computer and fabricated digital voice modem chips.

He has since become the go-to provider of both DIY kits and assembled devices, which he ships to radio enthusiasts all over the world. These hotspots provide a way for radio amateurs to connect our digital radios to networks that let us talk to people around the world.

While Winters does have full-time work as an engineer, his side hustle brings him recognition in our community as someone who is willing to build good products, help fellow enthusiasts, and earn extra money from the side business.

You can overcome your apprehensions.

What if your hobby involves a talent, like having an aptitude for music or writing? These are certain things that you need to develop in order to be commercially viable.

You don’t necessarily have to go full-on pro mode if you are a musician, for instance. A side hustle can be something as simple as providing music lessons to a beginner.

I have a musician friend, Echo Singson, whose brother Chino is also a professional musician. To cope with the lack of gigs and production sessions during the pandemic, he offers customized guitar lessons.

That in itself is a side hustle for Chino, who is the guitarist of popular Filipino band Itchyworms. Bands are also shifting to subscription- or fans-only content through platforms like Patreon, where artists and content creators release exclusive content and media on a regular basis for paid subscribers.

If you need to improve your skills, you can take a class to learn how to make something more commercially viable. There are even free classes on Coursera for just about any field of interest.

You need to find your “ikigai.”

The common problem with a passion-based business is that you might end up losing interest in your hobby when you are pressured to earn money from it. What’s important here is finding balance. You can find this through “ikigai.”

Ikigai is a Japanese concept that refers to your reason for being, or something that also loosely translates to “raison d’être.”

Ikigai is a balance of four factors. “This balance is found at the intersection where your passions and talents converge with the things that the world needs and is willing to pay for,” writes CEO and Startup Founder Chris Meyers at FORBES.

Image for post
Image for post
Image credit: Bodetree, adapted from Francesc Miralles

Ikigai is also a strategy covered by corporate and enterprise productivity consultants. In the book, Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life, by Hector Garcia and Francesc Miralles, the authors provide practical tools to discover your own ikigai (this is an affiliate link).

Ikigai reveals the secrets to their longevity and happiness: how they eat, how they move, how they work, how they foster collaboration and community, and — their best-kept secret — how they find the ikigai that brings satisfaction to their lives.

The Takeaway

In their book, Garcia and Miralles interviewed at least a hundred residents in a Japanese town who lived past 100. Many of them have not retired even at old age, since they were still passionate about what they were doing, which was also a source of income.

A passion-based business can be a good opportunity to find your purpose and happiness while making a business out of it. It’s a matter of providing solutions that are marketable and ensuring you remain happy amid the potential pressures of doing business.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness and fulfillment.

Sign up for Elevate Weekly

By The Ascent

A weekly tip to live a better, more sustainable life and help humankind live up to its fullest potential. Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

J. Angelo Racoma

Written by

Venture builder for startups & enterprise, media strategist, community manager, licensed radio amateur, upcoming children's book author - https://N2RAC.com

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 120,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

J. Angelo Racoma

Written by

Venture builder for startups & enterprise, media strategist, community manager, licensed radio amateur, upcoming children's book author - https://N2RAC.com

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 120,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store