I blinked, and what started as a hobby became something I was making money for. You have hobbies, whether they are painting, photography, music, sports, writing, crafting elaborate caffeinated beverages, or making TikToks. What is that one thing that you have the capacity to uniquely provide to the world?
For me, that thing has been producing and making music. It’s something I have been doing since I acquired the most basic necessary tools: a voice and a brain. Growing up, I would rehearse with my siblings in our backyard, writing lyrics, making melodies and putting on performances for our parents, ensuring they were recorded on the handheld Sony video camera, all for the sake of fun.
It’s passions like these – the things our childlike selves conjure up – before any knowledge, dictations, or influence of the world has the chance to taint our innocent creativity, that are what truly cause us to feel fulfillment.
What is that for you?
It may take a while to pinpoint, but while you think I am going to give a few tips on how to turn those passions or hobbies into a business.
Last year I was able to release my first album of music, just a small extended play (EP) of original songs which I wrote, composed and recorded myself. The album, Little Bits of Life, has been streaming on Spotify and has been made available for digital download or CD purchase. Now with this experience, here are a few things I have learned along the way that I hope provides some insight and inspiration if you are looking to take the next step in your endeavors.
I’ve found the difference between whether a venture will be a flourishing endeavor or a seed planted in the desert lies in your reward. If whatever it is you are doing is providing you with internal reward before external reward, you are probably on the right track.
Is this something you are totally content and happy doing while absolutely nobody is watching? Make sure you are finding internal joy, passion and fulfillment before you look towards external rewards such as money, publicity, or influence. I am proud of what I do. This is the core of selling a service or product. If you can’t convince yourself you need it, you won’t be able to convince others either.
Never underestimate the importance of networking. I could not have managed to get up on my feet without the help of others and the certain skill sets they provided. Producers, fellow artists, friends and family all played an integral role in my accomplishments whether that be through resources such as access to platforms to sell and stream my music, verbal and physical encouragement, or through inspiration via others’ ideas or work. Accepting the gifts and skills of others is not a point of weakness. Embrace the opportunity to work with others and the rewards that will certainly be reaped on both ends of the transaction.
While turning passions into paid gigs sounds like it is mostly fun and games, there are going to come times when your play is going to feel like work. Acquiring endurance and understanding that you are sometimes going to have to do what doesn’t feel good is an essential perspective to have. When your hobbies or endeavors become money makers, you must understand that acquiring customers, clients, listeners or followers requires keeping the wants and needs of others satisfied. This can be exhausting but ultimately rewarding if you have a desire to serve others and a passion for your work.
When it comes to maintaining self-motivation, I find it very useful to set deadlines and specific goals for myself. Setting a specific goal gives me a concrete objective to strive for, driving my work forward with purpose. Though working under deadlines is not always the most pleasant, it will definitely force you to get things done; when you are working and producing independently, this can be very critical. Make sure your goals are specific, challenging and also attainable with the right amount of work and time. Create a timeline of goals and objective points to mark your progression. As you progress, you will be able to reflect on your written accomplishments which will provide stamina to continue on.
Remember, whatever it is that drives you has been put on your very specific heart for a reason. With the right tools and motivation, you have the power to uniquely influence the world!