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Monetizing Your Hobbies *Isn’t* Killing Them. It’s Making Them Extraordinary.

by | Jun 2, 2024 | Making Money Online, Money

A hobby that remains a hobby forever ends in regrets.

A hobby is something we love. It’s often artistic or primal. We do it for the sake of doing it and don’t care what people think. When we’re doing our hobby, often, we experience the greatest flow states.

My hobby started out as writing. I did it to de-stress from the pain of working a boring banking job.

One day I realized my hobby could be so much more.

The nightmare that is the starving artist

We’re all artists in some form.

Even entrepreneurs are artists of business. Starving artists tell themselves that making money with their hobby is evil. They think it’s dishonest or it makes them a “sell out.”

So they never get paid for their art.

That means they never have any money to invest in education to make their art better. If they’re a musician, they can’t buy a better guitar or invest in some audio equipment to record their music.

Being a starving artist is a stupid decision. It’s just an excuse for refusing to face the truth.

Starving artists always have to run on a hamster wheel to make money doing something else they hate. This job takes them away from the work they’d prefer to be doing all day.

Worse, when they get home from this painful job, they have no energy or motivation to work on their hobby. The job is literally rotting their artistic brain from the inside. Their creativity & imagination is dying a slow death.

Refusing to monetize is just refusing to accept you suck

Those who don’t want to make money from their hobbies are quietly hiding bigger problems.

If they monetize, their hobby becomes serious.

A friend of mine has the nerdy hobby of building crypto communities. He loves it. He knows all the newest crypto projects and is the king of meme culture. But he refuses to make money from it.

As I dug deeper, I realized he’s afraid no one will pay him money. He’s afraid to sell his knowledge as a book in case no one buys it. He’s also afraid if he sells anything, he’ll get rejected.

He stresses about getting spam comments on his posts. Or crazy people sending him emails asking for refunds.

He’s even worried if he runs this crypto community under his own name, his boss will find out and he’ll get fired.

He’s afraid to get paid.

He’s afraid to see his potential.

He’s afraid to go beyond his comfort zone.

He’d prefer to be working in crypto every day for the rest of his life. But he can’t bring himself to do it, so he stays in his banking job. After work, he gets a few hours to play with his hobby, but it’s never enough.

In meetings, he’s on his phone replying to comments inside the community. On his lunch break he’s filming tutorials for new crypto projects and sending them to people he’s met online (for free).

He’s in the top 1% in the world in his field, yet he’s afraid if he makes money from his hobby that it’ll expose him as a fraud, as an amateur.

Your money mindset can hijack your hobby

What my friend suffers from is limiting beliefs about money.

He thinks selling stuff online is a pyramid scheme. Yet he’s helping to sell banking products for his 9–5 employer via their website.

Money is like air. We all need it. Anyone who says they don’t need money or it is has no value is kidding themselves.

Money is a resource. It can help you do a lot of good.

(Donate $100,000 to build a school in Africa and you’ll see what I mean.) Until you understand it’s normal to attach money to a hobby, goal, side hustle or piece of art … you’ll continue to be held back.

And you’ll continue not having enough time to do your hobby because you’re spending the precious hours of your life doing BS work to earn money.

No rational person would refuse to earn a living from something they love.

Monetization is the next level of a hobby (and it’s not about the money)

Making money from your hobby has one huge benefit:

It changes your psychology.

Money from a hobby shows that what you’re doing has some value. People appreciate it enough to spend money with you. That is one of the best feelings in the world.

Good hobbies slowly make money. Bad hobbies never make money because the hobbyist isn’t serious… they’re kidding themselves.

Once a hobby makes money it can take you from an everyday job to your own business. That’s what happened to me. My writing hobby transformed my life in unexpected ways.

When I started making money from writing, it made me more serious.

So I put more effort into the writing. People noticed. Then I started writing more and publishing in even more places. Everyone from Tony Robbins’ manager to a well-known book publisher noticed.

What I got that was better than money was more opportunities.

And I got to become friends with some of my heroes and meet new and interesting people. But if I never dared to mix money with my hobby, none of this would ever have happened.

I’d still be a starving artist working a boring job in a bank and waiting for someone to give me a break I didn’t deserve, while blaming all my problems on politics, the economy, and “making money gurus,” and being jealous of all the writers who did make a living from it.

Final Thought

Hobby lovers are just hopeless romantics.

They can’t see the beauty in turning art into money so they can get off level one and transcend to level ten.

Romantic hobbyists are often just capitalism haters in disguise. Their money beliefs are corrupted, even though they work for a business that sells stuff. It’s a confused way to live.

Turn your hobby into money and become extraordinary. Don’t apologize for it.

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