You don’t know why you started doing it.
You don’t really know why you love it so much.
And you certainly aren’t doing it for anyone else.
It is our hobbies that define us more deeply than anything else in our lives. It is what you do with your time when there is no burden of expectation, financial gain, or personal need of an ego boost. It is what we do with the greatest gift of all.
However, slowly but surely there is a growing movement that is hijacking this vital element of our identity. With the evolution of social media and these incredible mobile devices there is a emerging segment of society that believes the best way to take control of our lives is to become an entrepreneur.
Sure it is an easy argument to make. Wouldn’t you prefer to make your living selling your homemade scarves rather than loading boxes on a truck at the local plant? Or how about opening a store to display and sell your handmade jewellery rather than pushing papers in a 10 x 10 cubicle for 40 hours per week.
The answer is not as clear as you think it is.
The problem is that when we turn our hobbies into a business the “why” fundamentally changes, or gets massively overshadowed by the goal of turning a profit. Yes you like making 1 scarf, but do you like making 10,000?
With that kind of success you are forced to partner with a friend who knows how to build and maintain your online store, you have to field dozens of customer complaints daily, there are 50 – 100 employees to manage, and a manufacturing facility to maintain. And yes, you are also likely getting wealthy from it all. But man, what you wouldn’t give to just sit down on a Saturday afternoon and knit a scarf.
But there is no time for that.
You need a new marketing plan for the slower summer season, perhaps you want to infiltrate the southern hemisphere so at least part of your customer base is in winter at all times. Time to book some flights to meet with local distributers in Chile and New Zealand. In order to pay for this expansion you’ve had to give a portion of your company to some investors who are now trying to convince you to change to cheaper material to increase profits. You refuse but they manage to convince your initial partner of the idea and together they force you out.
Don’t get me wrong I think there are many people out there who would be incredibly happy with this kind of lifestyle, but what are the chances it’s the same person who likes to knit scarves while sitting in their rocking chair?
Not everyone in the world is an entrepreneur waiting to happen.
For a long time I thought I was. I looked tediously through my childhood photos, artwork, poetry, projects, sport accomplishments, and so much more. I was desperately looking for that one passion that I could turn into a money maker. I’ve tried writing blogs, posting videos on YouTube, and creating gigs on fiverr. The truth is that I really liked the functionality of each of those platforms but I have always hated the money making aspect.
The shameless self-promotion, the manipulation of video thumbnails to get more clicks, the strategic commenting to get views and follows. I hated it all. I just don’t have it in my blood to go out and grind for growth. Other people do and that’s great, but it is not me.
Since I have come to this realization I have become a lot more satisfied with where I am in life. I really do have things pretty good. My plan right now is to get back to having and developing those hobbies I most enjoy. To pay attention to who I am and what I like and pursue them on a much smaller scale. I simply need to focus on staying healthy, being a good dad/husband, and having a little fun along the way.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com/Kostikova Natalia