When you’re passionate and create great art, you may start getting tempted to make a business out of it. Your family and friends will be the first ones to tell you that you should start profiting from your passions. After hearing enough of “you should start selling these”, you may get too tempted not to.

Here’s a scenario: you knit beautiful hats accessorizing them depending on what inspires you. You find true joy in making the hats. Every single one is different and has a character you want to give it. People can see your talent and sense your passion, they ask you to make more hats. You get orders from family and friends. It’s fulfilling and it makes you happy. Then you get more orders. They are now from family friends and friends of friends. It all brings you so much joy.

You start considering the next step: starting a business doing what you love. To you it seems simple: you’ll spend more time creating and you’ll be getting paid for it.

However, when you transform your hobby into a business, here is what you may start noticing:

  • You’ll need to stop relying only on the word of mouth to promote your products. You’ll have to explore other ways to market and sell your creations.
  • You may get an order of 50 pieces of the same hat. There will be no room for your creativity besides finding creative ways to enjoy this repetitious process.
  • You’ll be creating under pressure. Having deadlines and making things to order may not be as freeing as the creative process of your hobby.

The business aspect may kill the joy of creating. You may not be excited about making hats anymore. You may not talk about your business the way you used to talk about your hat making hobby — your enthusiasm may be replaced by anxiety.

Why do we reach for the next level? Why can’t we let our hobbies remain hobbies? We may find true enjoyment in exploring our passion. We can keep writing without putting on ourselves the pressure of getting paid to write. We can treat our hobbies like what they are — like hobbies. Excelling at our hobbies doesn’t need to be converted into monetary compensation. We may find that expanding our hobbies deeper instead of broader will bring a more precious compensation than the monetary one: pure joy.


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Originally published at medium.com