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Should you turn your passion into profit?

The danger of monetizing your hobby and what you should do instead. 

An age-old adage proclaims, “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life!” 

The modern version of this career advice is to monetize your hobbies and passions. 

Many entrepreneurs try to find a business venture that aligns with their interests and values. That is an incredible way to feel energized and proud of your work. 

However, increasingly, folks are trying to monetize every possible opportunity in their lives.
This blog post explores the detrimental effects of such a cultural mindset. 

We live in the age of gig-work and side hustles.

More than a third of working millennials have a side gig.

Most of us can’t live comfortably with only one source of income. It’s the sad reality created by late-stage capitalism. 

So, it’s understandable that we’re tempted to monetize everything we can in order to support ourselves. 

Enjoy drawing your pets? Turn it into a pet portrait business. 

Taking pottery classes? Sell your mugs and cover the class expenses! 

Got a cool camera for Christmas? Take portraits on the weekends for extra cash. 

Write frequently? Start ghostwriting!

Seems harmless, right? 

In reality, considering how to monetize every hobby we have is detrimental to our mental health. 

We need outlets beyond work. And once you monetize a hobby, it becomes work. There’s no way around that. Even a side hustle requires time, resources, and energy to maintain. 

I learned this lesson the hard way. I wanted to be a fine artist after graduating college. I worked so hard to get my work into galleries and art fairs. The more I worked to try and sell my art, the less I enjoyed creating it. It sucked out all the joy I once felt, and I hit a creative wall. 

Once I shifted into marketing, I was able to make art for fun again and simply enjoy the process. 

Finding the balance between life and work is crucial to our overall health. We deserve to rest, minimize our mental load, and make time for simple joys.

Easier said than done.

Our society is burning out at a rapid rate, with 59% of Millenials reporting burnout. I can’t help but hypothesize that the burnout rates are due to the immense pressure to maintain financial stability in an increasingly expensive and unequal society. 

Entrepreneurial opportunities beyond turning your passion into a business

We want to enjoy what we’re spending 8+ hours a day working on. 

Rather than turning your favorite hobby into a business and risk losing your passion for it, consider the following: 

  • What you’re naturally good at. What do your friends consistently ask you for help with? 

  • Something tangential to your passion

    • For example: I knew I wanted a creative career, and once I decided not to pursue fine art, I discovered marketing. It’s a creative career in a completely different format. 

  • A gap in the market that aligns with your skills

  • Reflect on what you’re craving in your life

    • Do you want to be outside more? Consider gardening services. 

    • Love animals? See if folks need pet sitting. 

    • Enjoy entertaining? Plan children’s birthday parties or help hosts create dinner party menus. 

  • Identify what your priorities are and find a business idea that aligns

    • For example, I want to be able to work from anywhere with a wifi connection, so my business is web-based and targets online businesses. 

Find something you’ll enjoy doing that won’t destroy your current hobby or creative outlet. 

Have a business idea you’d like to discuss?

[set up consult call] 

Working to live, not the other way around 

We’re on this planet for a very short time. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend my entire life working so hard that I don’t enjoy it. 

Beyond societal reform (which must be implemented for true economic equity), each one of us should remember that our value is not determined by our productivity.

As small business owners, it can be easy to fall into the productivity trap. We feel that we must always be hustling to ensure our success. 

Remember to take time to cultivate your life outside of your business. Make time for your hobbies and quality time with people you love. 

Having a social life and personal activities are crucial for a healthy and balanced life.

Why hobbies are important: 

  • Reduce stress 

  • Quiet your mind 

  • Invigorative active leisure 

  • Foster social connections 

  • Something to look forward to 

  • Intellectually stimulating 

Are you struggling with time management as a small business owner? 

Let me handle your content marketing for you, so you can focus on what brings you joy.


Additional Reading:

Vox, The Line Between Work and Leisure

HBR, What to Follow Instead of your Passion

Forbes, “Follow Your Passion” is the Worst Career Advice

Psychology Today, Six Reasons to get a Hobby

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