Do you enjoy your job? If your answer isn’t a resounding and enthusiastic, “Yes,” don’t worry: You’re definitely not alone. Only about 13 percent of people are actually engaged with their work, according to Gallup.
This is a sad state of affairs, given how much time we spend on the job. (It comes out to about 35 percent of total waking hours during the average a 50-year working life.)
If you’re a part of this majority, you might find yourself wondering from time to time whether you would be happier doing something else. This may be especially true if you have a creative hobby that you love.
Only about 13 percent of people are actually engaged with their work, according to Gallup.
If you dream of someday, somehow, earning money from your creative hobby, and loving what you do, know that it is possible. Honing certain skills and abilities could help you get there.
1. Cultivate self-awareness
Self-awareness is crucial for success no matter what business you’re in. If you’re interested in turning your creative hobby into something that earns real money, it’s especially important.
Take some time to really get to know yourself. What are your strengths professionally and creatively? What are your weaknesses? Do you work best alone or with others? Which conditions and environments allow you to do your best work?
Knowing yourself is especially important when trying to launch any kind of new professional endeavor. It helps you to identify the opportunities that are right for you and stay away from the ones that aren’t.
The idea of a side gig isn’t exactly new. People have had more than one job for ages. But these days, a lot of people are looking for opportunities to make a little extra money outside of their full-time job.
More than 44 million Americans had a side hustle in 2017, and many of them were young people. Millennials know how to take full advantage of the gig economy in order to make ends meet. Additionally, these kinds of jobs often meet another purpose: They allow workers to find fulfillment through exercising their creativity in ways their day job doesn’t allow.
If you’d love to earn money via your creative hobby, know that you don’t have to go full-time with it. In fact, that could prove to be pretty difficult right off the bat. Instead, consider starting with a side gig.
Sure, you’ll be busy. But, if you’re doing what you love, and loving what you’re doing, you’ll enjoy yourself — and the extra money, too. Plus, you may be able to extend your side hustle into a full-time job after you get a little experience.
3. Learn to be creative on command
One great thing about having a part-time job that allows you to exercise your creative hobby is that it puts you on a schedule. You don’t need a job to do this, though. You could simply get yourself into a routine around doing your creative work, and then be sure to stick to it.
One of the biggest differences between working on your own and doing something creative for money is that you’re forced to be produce on command. You’re held to deadlines rather than having the luxury of waiting for creative inspiration to strike. The good news is that waiting around for creative genius to knock you over the head usually doesn’t work anyway. Learning to be productive on demand, and reliably, is super important if you want to go pro.
4. Be consistent
If you really want to start earning money from your creative hobby, you should be prepared to invest more time and energy into the work than you do currently. Maybe you only spend an hour or two per week painting now, for example. When you’re earning money from it though, you may need to work two or three times that much every day.
This can be challenging at first. It will take time and consistency to build up those muscles. So, step up your game to strengthen your endurance. It will help you get your work done once you turn pro.
5. Prioritize spending time in flow state
Flow is an optimal state of consciousness where concentration is acute, focused and sustained. When creative people work from this state of mind, they are at their most creative and their most productive.
Even short periods of working in flow state can be wildly satisfying. The key is to eliminate distractions. But, there are some other tips for getting into flow that can help, too. You want to be at your best if you’d like to start earning money working at your creative hobby. Spending time in flow state on a regular basis should really help.
Your professional and personal network could help you turn pro in your creative hobby. The main thing is to get out there, let others know what you’re doing and show your work.
Be sure to touch base with folks who work in or around the industry you’re aiming toward. But, don’t stop there. You never know where opportunities could come from. So, be open and communicate about your goals and passions with the folks you know.
It might feel a little uncomfortable at first if you haven’t shared your creative work much before, but this is just one more reason to do it. If you’d like to go pro, it’s essential to get used to discussing your work with others.
7. Practice patience
Be patient with yourself and remember that it takes time to make big changes. Celebrate small victories along the way.
You might not be able to start earning money with your creative endeavors immediately. But, you’ll be making real progress if you strengthen the skills and habits that will help you be successful down the road.
Patience is also important because it will help you stay in the present and engage with your creative work in a joyful way. Remember, you’re doing this because it’s what you love. Don’t let anything get in the way of that.
Tell Us What You Think
What creative hobby would you like to turn into a job? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.