How to turn a hobby into a job

I frequently listen to Emilie Wapnick’s TED Talk Why some of us don’t have one true calling as a reminder to myself that I’m not one of those people who is exceptionally good at a single thing. Perhaps mediocre (although Mum thinks I’m above-par) at quite a few, but definitely not a master of one. Yet, we seem to live in a culture that celebrates striving to be the best we can be — because we can’t all be the best, period.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I wish I was skilled in a single particular area, like singing. I would have made a great Adele, but unfortunately, I’ve settled with being ‘above-par’ in a vast expanse of areas — otherwise known as a multipotentialite. So, now that we’ve established I’m human, let’s discuss my potential. With quite an array of interests and ideas under my belt, it seems only smart to develop and eventually, monetise these. Turning a pleasurable pastime into a legitimate money-making side-gig might just be the best idea we’ve ever had.

Before you cry out that this must mean I don’t take my career seriously, or I’m obviously not busy enough — you’ve got a point, I’m far too busy. Which is why I’m here to inform you of the steps you need to clarify before entering the world of a side-hustle.

Disclaimer: if you’ve taken the garden path down a career based on interests and hobbies you love, and your job is just the best thing ever, stop reading now — you’ve made it.

Is your hobby worth a hype?
Your current job is probably the result of well thought out steps you’ve taken since your late teens; finish school, go to university, (eventually) graduate and apply for a graduate role, perhaps you’ll even slip in an overseas adventure. But if your hobby happens to be Extreme Ironing (this is actually a thing), turning it into a money-maker might be a little difficult. So to ensure you’ll garner enough attention to pay the bills, and then some, it’s probably best to branch off an ‘ordinary’ profession.

Do you have enough time?
Unlike myself, if you find yourself sitting at home conversing with gamerforlife69 as you reload your virtual AK-47, you’ve probably got a few spare hours in the day. If you are enjoying said couch-break and you happen to be best entry fragger there ever was, there is a legitimate world for professional gamers out there. So don’t give up hope.

Trials and tribulations
‘Never let a stumble in the road be the end of the journey’. Nine times out of 10 it might not work out, but exert that into something positive, start an Instagram account for said hobby and gather yourself a following — the ‘Tuesday Cheese’ (an inspirational social media quote, on Tuesdays) is real and so very true.

You might just become ‘the best’
Who knows? You might find yourself taking over the world one knitted tea-cosy at a time. Then all you really have to look forward to is the day Mum says, ‘I told you so’.


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