This past weekend my family took a trip to San Francisco to visit my brother-in-law and to spend the day at Maker Faire, hosted by O’Riley Media and Make Magazine, was similar to a county fair or festival, but everything was hand-crafted or homemade.
There were people showing and selling everything you can think of — from robots and technical wonders with lights and sounds, to giant metal sculptures, giant flame guns, human/bike powered carnival rides, a life size version of the game Mousetrap, carved wooden bikes, Lego displays, crafters, engineers, and more.
Our favorite display and showcase was by the R2-D2 Club. The members were showing their working, life-size, remote control R2-D2 robots that interacted and “played” with the kids!
Maker Faire was full of amazingly talented people who were sharing their hobbies with all of us in attendance — hobbies that clearly take up a lot of time and money. When talking with vendors, I learned that for many (except the crafters), this wasn’t their primary business and it didn’t tie in with their job. They just do it because they love it.
As Brian and I were browsing with the kids (who LOVED Maker Faire because they too got to make all kinds of cool things), I was wondering how some of these people make money doing this, and that’s when Brian reminded me that not everything has to be monetized, and it got me thinking.
At Bourn Creative we offer consulting packages for those who simply want our help, advice, and feedback on their brand, website, online marketing, or blog, etc. Often we end up consulting with clients on how to brand, present, and market new business ideas. In some cases the new service, product, program, or venture makes sense. Such as when the new idea:
- Helps move you down the path toward your big vision faster
- Enhances and further supports your core message and brand
- Adds visibility and credibility to your current brand
- Is in alignment with your core values, mission, and purpose
But in some cases, I simply have to ask, “Why do you want to do this? Why do you feel the need to monetize this?” Not surprisingly, in more cases than not, the client admits they don’t really want to start another business or monetize the new “thing” — in fact, they have been stressed out about how they are going to manage it all and are only “doing this” because of outside pressure from other people!
It is easy as entrepreneurs and business owners, for us to see the potential value in everything. We look at things and think about how we would make it, monetize it, and market it. We then hire business coaches who remind us that our hobbies could be monetized and that we have a whole new business around our hobbies and the things we do for fun!
But Guess What? You Don’t Have to Monetize Everything!
Yes, it is true. We can do things simply because we love to. We can share our passions with others and not get paid for it — and it is okay! It’s okay to keep it as a hobby — especially when it doesn’t have anything to do with your current brand. If your heart isn’t in the new business, you won’t dedicate the time it needs, and it won’t be successful. Instead you may end up no longer enjoying your hobby because you turned it into a job.
So yes, entrepreneurs suffer from Bright Shiny Object Syndrome and we see the business potential in everything, but remember… It’s okay to NOT monetize everything and to just have fun!