As we wander in this life, we tend to pick up many random skills. Some of these skills are fun, some fulfilling, others are just plain excitement. One thing that always crosses peoples minds is that if they got paid for the hobby, maybe they would love it even more. Can I turn my hobby into a money making empire? Can my hobby pay me?
Many years ago (To be read as when we were younger and dumber! ) as we wandered the country in an old Jeep, we would buy rolls of hemp from the store and make bracelets as we drove. Simple knots, rocks wrapped around them. Pretty much anything that took our fancy or was shinny. We even dyed some with berries once! As we drove we would stop at a Rest Area, spread out a blanket, and accept donations in exchange for the pretty trinkets. We travelled through a few states this way, until we landed in Rapid City, South Dakota and got locked there for the winter! We turned this silly hobby into a way to finance our adventure!
As the years have gone by, we have done this to a few of our hobbies. Woodworking, Paper Crafts, Jewelry, and the latest fun, Baseball cards. During the years here are a few lessons we have learned
- Just because you enjoy it, it may not make money
- Once it is a job, you may not enjoy it.
- Is there really a market? Spending the time and effort to create something and then realizing that millions of others have the same idea. Looking at you CriCut! The model of getting something cheaper and then getting the consumer on the extras has always been called the ‘Build-a-Bear’ model in our house. My daughter when she was 7 was so excited to spend 100 dollars at that store and their model drained every penny; even though she left with a smile on her childish face!
- Is having the items you are flipping stored around the house worth it? Making a $4 dollar profit on that hot wheel collection may not be the best use of your time. The endorphin rush makes you keep spending at the treasure stores.
- The ‘Free Rent in your Head’ issue. If you carry the baggage of your hobby with you everywhere is it taking up thoughts that should be spent on other things? Over the past year, baseball cards have gained some interest. I pulled out the collection, and sold a few that I didn’t need any longer. But having the box that must go everywhere I go isn’t really worth the effort.
- One of the things that Mrs. Adventure and I have been attempting is to “SIMPLIFY”, this simple word has been our mantra for awhile as we downsize our life to have less baggage on everything we do. Think of how nice it would be to be free of the chains of all the things you ‘need’.
So with the advantage of hindsight on many hobbies that we have tried to monetize, I can whole-heartily confess that Monetizing something that was enjoyable as a hobby really is not worth the mental bandwidth it requires to be successful once you start dealing with customers, orders and shipping. This world allows for people to make money in so many different ways, it isn’t worth diluting your hobby. You can be anything you like in the world as a career, you just have to pick something and enjoy your time doing that! Life is too short to worry too much. I hoped you enjoyed these few bit of wisdom.