In a world where everyone has a side hustle, a personal brand to grow and endless entrepreneurial ventures —don’t monetize your hobbies.
But wait, Tommy —aren’t you one of those people that teaches others how to monetize?
Yes, but hear me out:
Not everything needs to be monetized.
Not everything needs to be packaged and sold.
Not everything needs to be turned into a business.
And some of our hobbies, the activities we do that make us feel present, engaged and alive in our lives —should stay that way.
Let me explain:
Hitting the trails around me in Arizona with a mountain bike is one of my hobbies.
The combination of physical intensity with the thrill of the unknown propels me into the present —and helps me “forget” about everything else.
(Otherwise, I’m hurled six feet from the bike surrounded by a rattlesnakes.)
And this hobby, for me —should remain exclusively a hobby:
Because it brings me peace.
Because it brings me presence.
Because it brings me fulfillment.
And you’re not going to see me on YouTube teaching people how to ride —or selling biking accessories on eBay anytime soon.
Because we all need containers where we’re free to simply “be” and do the activity for the sake of the activity.
(Otherwise known as hobbies.)
Because the moment we choose to monetize our hobbies:
There is now pressure.
There is now expectation.
There is now an outcome.
Because of this, we miss out on hobbies to help us create perspective —and dial down the intensity that comes with ambition.
Hobbies detach from outcome.
If you do it right, hobbies are about the activity for the sake of the activity —instead of a means to an end.
Hobbies get us out of our head.
The best activities get us out of our head and into the present —creating a much-needed exhale from the rest of life.
Hobbies amplify fulfillment.
These activities are deeply fulfilling —it’s why we keep coming back to them on a daily basis.
Hobbies expand our capacity.
While not the sole purpose of hobbies, they tend to expand our capacity by shifting our focus to an unfamiliar world —where we gather insights.
Have a side hustle, an entrepreneurial project —but also don’t monetize all your hobbies.
By protecting these activities and trying new things —you’ll come back to your work refreshed and excited.
Back in 1914 Walter Dill Scott wrote a book titled Increasing Human Efficiency in Business, where he stated the importance of outside interests:
This interest should be so absorbing that when he is thus engaged, business is banished from mind.
I won’t monetize mountain biking, shooting hoops or obsessing over vinyl records anytime soon.
And that’s the way it should be.
What is one hobby that makes you feel alive?