Monetizing hobbies


I don’t know if this is a new trend or if I’m just noticing it now, but more and more the popular wisdom seems to be that you shouldn’t monetize your hobby. That if you do, it turns it into a job, a hustle1; that it sucks all the fun out of it. Putting aside for now the fact that some people might want to turn their hobby into a job, monetizing a hobby seems to me to have some pretty big advantages for the rest of us, too:

Let’s step back for a bit and try to dig past the bullshit and into the kernel of truth. The risk of accidentally turning a beloved hobby into a chore is real. Money is a part of that, but only in as much as it opens up some of the pitfalls that you can fall into. The solution isn’t to eliminate money, it’s to just be careful. Here are a couple of tips that might help:

  1. I love this word, because there’s no middle ground to it, is there? To some, it represents a positive can-do, balls-to-the-wall attitude towards work and lifestyle. To others, it’s sleazy, aggressive, unfettered capitalism. But it’s the same word! ↩︎

  2. Or in your pocket↩︎

  3. There’s that word again! ↩︎

  4. Unless, of course, that’s what you want. There is nothing wrong or shameful in wanting to turn a hobby into a job, and you shouldn’t let any modern-day hippie tell you there is. ↩︎

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