“Discover what you love and become really good at it” are the words of Steve Jobs in his Stanford commencement speech back in 2005.
Cliche perhaps, but taking the bus at 6 am on a Monday will make one realize that many don’t love the work they do.
Do you wake up every morning excited to go to work? Or are you just another person on the 6 am bus heading to a job you don’t enjoy?
If you answered the latter, then maybe it’s time to change your mindset. Perhaps, think about any of your hobbies that can be turned into a business.
Table of Contents
- Can Hobbies Be Turned Into a Business?
- Dare To Go On The Road Less Traveled
- Leveraging Success Remotely and Digitally
- 4 Skills and Hobbies That Can Be Turned Into a Business
- Success on the Road Less Traveled
- Final Thoughts
Can Hobbies Be Turned Into a Business?
Steve Jobs’s secret to success is as follows: Instead of changing aspects of yourself to fit a career, you can mold your career and create a unique path to success.
When you work from a place of love, investing in sleepless work nights is not a burden—it’s an addiction you just can’t get enough of. You become uniquely irreplaceable, arming yourself with an arsenal of creative and technical skills that others simply can’t compete with.
A simple litmus test to determine if you’re on the right path is to ask yourself, “Am I excited for my next vacation?”
People who love what they do have nothing to run away from, and the idea of a vacation no longer has the same appeal.
Dare To Go On The Road Less Traveled
Society tells us success means a well-paid job at a reputable company, and to some, this may be true. But to others, they are simply being paid to forget their dreams and build someone else’s.
Understanding what series of events lead to one becoming trapped in a job they don’t enjoy is knowing why investing in your hobby is so important. Let’s take a few steps back and observe this issue from a macro perspective.
Finding one’s self on a 6 am bus dreading the day’s work is not due to a few poor recent decisions but rather a single and crucial miscalculation of priorities at the very onset of one’s career.
People often choose money over knowledge, and the secret here is to journey on the road less traveled. It is far easier to devise a way to make money doing something you love, rather than doing something that makes money with hopes you’ll fall in love with the process.
Your focus should be on using your precious time to become a master of your trade. Money is not the focus. It’s only a byproduct of doing something truly exceptional.
Ask this question: If you never had to worry about money again, what would you do for the rest of your life?
That’s precisely the foundation you should build on, and to many, that would be building their livelihoods around their favorite hobby.
Leveraging Success Remotely and Digitally
Not all hobbies are created equal. Before we dive into which hobbies can be leveraged for incredible success, let’s identify what attributes life-changing hobbies have in common.
Anything that is not physical is a great place to start. It’s all about the 0’s and 1’s. That’s not to say you can’t find incredible success turning a hobby into an Amazon store, but creating a foundation purely in the digital sphere gives you incredible flexibility, freedom of navigation, and a global target audience.
Coming to work at a specific address for a specific number of hours every day was a practice that was necessary in the past, but our dive into the digital world has made certain bureaucratic practices inefficient.
If one were to look for a silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic, it would be that many overhead costs and practices we thought were essential for a successful company are nothing short of noise that drains valuable costs, time, and energy.
For example, one can waste up to three hours each day preparing for work and commuting from work to home. Plus, most can agree that a cubicle doesn’t make for a great happy place.
When your skills can only be used in a confined area, you are left with fewer options and more likely to settle for a bad deal. When your skills can be used throughout the globe, you have millions of potential clients to choose from.
4 Skills and Hobbies That Can Be Turned Into a Business
In the past, we had strong economic predictive power. We would see what professions were in demand, invest four years in a college to develop specific skills, and apply those skills working at a high-paying job.
This still holds true in some capacities. But investing in a specific set of skills for a specific market puts you at serious risk.
Given the exponential rate of technological growth, our environment is changing quickly and unpredictably. One must learn a variety of skills to be able to navigate the ups and downs.
The pandemic also showed us that the economy is unforgiving, and those who can’t adapt quickly perish. So, here are four skills and hobbies that can be turned into a business that you should learn.
1. Creative Writing As a Hobby
Many of us have exceptionally creative minds and found that all we need is a pen and paper to tell a compelling story. The countless hours spent expressing your thoughts on paper can be rehashed in all sorts of lucrative and creative ways. A niche you’re particularly familiar with (tech, wellness, gastronomy) can give you a boost out of the gate.
Data shows that over 30% of the workforce is now engaged in freelance work, which has contributed over 1.2 Billion dollars to the US economy. This is an impressive 20% increase since before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
More impressively, the freelance writing industry has seen an approximate 50% growth since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some areas of writing you can specialize in:
Ghostwriters are highly sought-after for blog posts, short stories, nonfiction books, and many others. Platforms such as Upwork and Fiverr are not only a good way to get some experience but also to build your network.
News portals are always looking for helping hands. The more they post, the better, which is good news for you. Research their articles and writing style, and get in touch with them to pitch them some of your ideas.
Use your creativity for advertising or PR. Write product copy, taglines, or video scripts for big brands, small brands, and artists—whichever is the best fit for you.
2. Hiking and Traveling As a Hobby
Your desire to explore is a huge asset. Learn to capture beautiful scenic moments with a handheld camera or a drone, and you’re halfway to a successful business. Invest a bit of time in photography and editing, and you have yourself a multimedia studio.
To harness your skills you can get started with the following:
Casual Portrait Photography
Why not offer photo shoots in nature for people on social media? You already know the breathtaking spots and you know your way around a camera, and that sounds like a recipe for success.
Clients can send you products, and you can work your magic. Shoot some photos, edit them together in Photoshop, and you have yourself a product catalog.
Airbnb is a good place to get started as a beginner. Message a few places in your area that don’t have good photos, and work your way up from there.
3. Art and Painting As a Hobby
Advertise yourself on Instagram, and build a network of art-lovers and art-makers. Many art-lovers are specifically looking for up-and-coming artists.
Showcase your skills right off the bat with a neat web portfolio. Don’t forget to be brave—this is your passion after all. Money will come as soon as you have let your unique vision and personality shine through your artwork.
You can begin your business as a:
Portraits are always in demand. If you have a unique style or you’re good at caricature, that can help. Again, uniqueness is the toughest quality to compete with.
Give your clients the freedom to commission a painting or drawing from you. Often, people want paintings of landscapes or famous sights to hang in their living rooms. This can save you the hassle of having to come up with your own ideas.
Online marketplaces or platforms, such as Etsy, allow you to sell your work as printable wall art. Once you have set up your profile and uploaded your work, you can advertise your products on social media. From that point on, the money you make is passive income.
4. Stock Trading As A Hobby
If you have a good grasp of financial do’s and don’ts and have fun trading, you’d make a great finance expert.
A Random Walk Down Wall Street is a fantastic book to get you started on the fundamentals. But if you already have some kind of education or experience in the field, you can easily leverage those into finance jobs, such as the following:
This is an excellent path if you like to stay up to date with all things finance. Many finance and fintech newspapers are looking for freelance writers. Get in touch with some editors and writers to get your foot in the door.
Tell your stories about saving, good investments, and bad investments—many people are likely in the same situation as you once were. Gain followers, and teach them financial literacy.
Earn by being a consultant for individual clients, struggling companies, or curious students. You can show them the specific tools that have made you financially responsible—something no one else can show them.
Success on the Road Less Traveled
It’s one thing to follow a path set by others—the instructions are clear, landmines are easy to identify, and support is all around. However, exploring a less conventional path can be intimidating, and one can find themselves in despair when times get tough.
Here are just a few examples of those who transformed their hobby into their fortune.
Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Founder of Making Sense of Cents
Michelle found herself $38,000 deep in student debt upon graduating from business school. Instead of taking a traditional route, she achieved financial success by doing what she loves most: writing and traveling.
In just 7 months, she built up her finance blog that generates $100,000 a month. What’s equally impressive is that all of this was done from RV.
In an interview with CNBC, Michelle said, “While cutting your budget is great, usually there’s a limit to how much you can save. Find ways to make more, because there’s no limit on how much extra money you can make in your spare time.”
Necessity is the mother of all invention, and sometimes, we need to hit rock bottom to find the drive and innovation to create something truly great.
Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook
We all know Facebook (Meta) as a multi-billion dollar company. However, what you see today started out as nothing more than a hobby.
“I probably learned more coding from random side projects that I did than the courses I took in college,” Zuckerberg said during a town-hall event organized by North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Zuckerberg, like Jobs, dropped out of college to focus on what they loved rather than what they are told to do, turning a passion into nothing short of a fortune.
It’s never too late to start doing what you love.
As a college dropout, Steve Jobs left the classes he paid for to try classes he loved. He took up typography classes simply because he enjoyed them. This led to one of the biggest innovations in digital typography.
Following his curiosity, he stumbled upon the road less traveled. And the road less traveled led him to heights no one has ever explored.
Being curious, investing in your hobby, and keeping to it could be the best decision you make in your whole adult life. No one starts with the perfect plan, so don’t overthink it. Uniqueness is the number one asset in the market, and you certainly have that.
Featured photo credit: Darius Bashar via unsplash.com
|Stanford News: ‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says
|Upwork: Freelance Forward Economist Report
|Clinical Trials Arena: Covid-19 Causes 50% Spike in Demand for Freelance Medical Writers, Kolabtree Finds
|CNBC: This 28-year-old earns over $100,000 a month blogging and traveling full-time