According to contemporary society, if you manage to make a profit from something you are passionate about, it is a sure sign that you have made it. Living in the age of entrepreneurship makes the capitalist urge to commodify your hobbies and turn them into profitable side-hustles stronger than ever.
When all time not dedicated to profit or productive output feels like a waste, it is easy to give in to the romanticised tale of commercialising hobbies. And if you are lucky enough to make it work, it can be both meaningful and economically sustainable.
But is the overused quote about not having to work a day in your life if you turn your passion into profit all there is to side-hustles that emerge from our hobbies?
Most people have one or two hobbies, but due to the lack of accountability, it is hard to make time for these hobbies regularly. When you are turning your hobby -- be it painting, photography, video editing or any other creative skillset -- into something you can make a profit off, you are held accountable for finishing things on time which makes it easier to actually do them. Commercialising your hobby can be the best thing ever as you are getting entertainment, profit and meaning — the holy trinity of value when it comes to any kind of work.
However, in many cases, commercialising your hobbies can result in you taking everything personally and losing the ability to separate your personal life from your professional life. When you are trying to make profit off your creative endeavour, there will occasionally be harsh clients who misjudge your work leading you to question your abilities. To make things worse, when you love what you do, you naturally want to do your very best, which is not always feasible. Striking a balance between working yourself to death and feeling like you are not giving your best can potentially make your work more stressful than a job you have no emotional attachment to.
The reality of turning your hobby into a side-hustle will always come with a string of menial chores that just has to be done. Meeting deadlines, spending hours packaging or catering to your clients' needs while sacrificing your preferences and so on constitutes the backstage of every gig. It is one thing to do something you love for the sake of doing it. But when your creativity is linked to income, it can put a lot of stress and pressure on you which can make something you previously loved feel like a chore.
The truth is, anything you like doing will come with its own set of things that are necessary but less enjoyable. In other words, even your most favourite task will come with its own sandwich feedback. No one enjoys the work they are passionate about one hundred percent of the time.
So, while trying to make money from your hobby, the question you should ask yourself is not what you are passionate about rather what you are passionate enough about to deal with its occupational hazards.
Tazreen is stuck reading painfully depressing postmodern poems and absurdist plays. Send aid in the form of memes or fluffy book recommendations at firstname.lastname@example.org