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Stop giving too much of yourself away for free!


Marc Anthony once said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”. There is so much joy in getting paid at what you love doing. Apart from the fact that you will earn a decent living, it will also give you a deep feeling of fulfillment. Our hobby carries within itself the secret to unlock our wealth and fulfillment. When your hobby becomes your source of income, it will not only give you financial freedom, but also ensure that you will have ample of time with family and friends.

As long as you have a hobby, you have something to sell! Your hobby is your ‘natural’ business. Hobbies are those activities we’re so passionate about that, not only do we do them without getting paid, we often pay to do them.   You can actually get paid to do the same activities you already love to do in your spare time. One of the major reasons why people are so poor is simply because they give too much of themselves away for free. When everything that we do is for free, we gradually bankrupt our potentials.

Your ability to exchange and leverage on what you love doing for money is the core essence of entrepreneurship. When you are constantly adding value to others without financial returns, then you are defrauding yourself.


As an entrepreneurship coach, one of my core areas of expertise is in helping people evolve and metamorphose their hobbies into money-spinning ventures. Over the years, I have come to realise some mental blocks that are keeping people in poverty. The first mental block is ignorance. I have often said that there is no man that is truly poor; we are all rich in something. While the ‘rich’ are rich in ideas and self-awareness, the poor are rich in ignorance. Many are simply poor because they are ignorant of their hobbies and how it is linked to their wealth and financial freedom.

The second mental block is the inability to evaluate one’s worth. When you realise how much you’re worth, you’ll stop giving people discounts. Nobody will pay you more than you value yourself. I normally advocate for my mentees to always carry out what I call WORTH-ANALYSIS. You deserve to know the worth of your hobby; this will seriously help you in the process of pricing the value you are adding to people.

The third mental block is actually the subject of my discussion for today. This third category of people are not ignorant neither are they oblivious of their worth, but their ‘big problem’ is that they give too much of themselves away for free. They have not come to realise the core principles of a sustainable life, which are the principles of ‘exchange’ and ‘trade-offs’. Stop offering yourself for free, and, except you are doing a volunteer work or humanitarian service, make sure you get paid whenever you add value to others.

There is tremendous joy in earning income from doing something that you might happily do for free. Blogging was a hobby for Linda Ikeji, but today, she earns a fortune from it. Hobbies like photography, writing, cooking, baking, home or office organizing, drawing and painting can be metamorphosed into money-spinning ventures. Walt Disney’s love for sketching and drawing created one of the most vast entertainment company now known as the Walt Disney Company. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) was born out of someone’s hobby of cooking.
There are many hobbies that have the latent capacity to be turned to wealth. The list is unending, but I will like to underline a few:

FITNESS: If you are a fitness addict or Pro, you may be able to start making money at it. You can become a fitness coach at gyms or even a personal trainer. There are top executives that need fitness advices to keep fit. You can even become a fitness consultant to companies that have great concern for leisure and fitness.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Photography is a hobby that can be honed to spin money. Whether your passion is for nature, celebrities, fashion, street/documentary photography, climate change and environment or entertainment and lifestyle, photography is a hobby that captures virtually every facet of life. There are a number of major websites, such as Flickr and Shutterstock that provide photos to various users across the web. You can earn some money by setting up an account on those sites, and adding your photos to sell to potential clients.

GRAPHIC AND WEB DESIGN: There is definitely a market out there for graphic and web design. All that is needed is creativity and knowledge of some design software. Many companies are paying a lot for web and logo designs; all you have to do is to polish your skills in graphic design software like CorelDraw, PhotoShop, GIMP/GNU, Illustrator, Inkscape, InDesign, Serif Drawplus, Xara Xtreme, Corel PaintShop, Corel PhotoImpact, Cyberlink, Sumopaint, Vector, Google Sketch-up, etc.

WRITING, EDITING AND PROOFREADING: Writing is a hobby that has a universal demand because there are billions of books, magazines, articles and journals that get published every year. The opportunity is limitless and you can also try your hand at editing and proofreading other people’s works, as well as speech writing. If you have become a prolific and veteran writer, you can even consider tutoring people on how to write.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Do you spend a larger chunk of your time on social media everyday? Then, you need not consider it a time waster if you can turn this hobby into a moneymaker. Companies, big organizations, and even politicians are increasingly recognising its value as a means of promoting their products and ideologies. If you know how to build a following on any of the major social media outlets – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google+, and others – you may be able to carve out a money-making niche for yourself.

COOKING AND BAKING: Cooking is becoming a major money spinning venture especially when the person involved has a wide spectrum of cuisines. Everyday, different kinds of dishes are evolving across Europe, Asia, Africa, North-America, South-America, Australia and Antarctica. You can even teach people online on how to cook mouth-salivating dishes!

BLOGGING: The easiest way to start blogging is to blog on your hobby. Is there a subject that you are particularly passionate about? It can be fashion, finance, health, fitness, entertainment, cooking, or just about any category you can think of. When your blog site is pulling the crowd, you will get a steady flow of visitors, which can ultimately open the doors to advertising arrangements, as well as affiliate deals.

COMEDY: Some people are natural born comedians; they have a natural tendency to always bring humour out of any situation. In a world that is being ravished by depression and recession, the need for “humour mongers” is highly alarming! You can look out for clubs and special events that need your service. You can even take your comedy skills and use them to be MC at a variety of events.

CRAFTS, BUYING AND SELLING: If you have an uncontrollable hobby for window-shopping, buying and selling, then you can turn it to a big business. Some people are fascinated with bags, some with shoes, while for some it is jewelleries. No matter the craft you are interested in, it can be turned to big business. You can even leverage on technology, Internet and social media to sell. Amazon, Ebay, Jumia, Konga, Payporte, Jiji, Market hub etc. started in a not too impressive way but they have all leveraged on technology to rule the world of On-line sale.

PETS: If you love pets, there are plenty of ways to make money out of it. One area that can be particularly lucrative is taking care of exotic pets. Even more specialised is pet grooming. This includes bathing, fur trimming and cutting, as well as nail clipping- primarily for dogs and cats. Many rich executives can literally pay a lump sum of money for the upkeep of their pets than that of their own children.

PUBLIC SPEAKING: For most people, public speaking is a Herculean task, which is exactly why this can turn into a goldmine if you carve a niche for yourself in a specific area. It can be something on relationship, addiction, depression, entrepreneurship, marriage or even religious topics.

I would like to reach out to everyone out there to make your hobby your profession. Look inward and repackage what you love doing to make money. Discover and monetise your hobby so that you will not spend the rest of your life lobbying!

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