We live in an age that allows for very profitable businesses to spring from hobbies. The internet era has brought along the sort of ease that was likely unimaginable in the 90s but, more importantly, it’s made the world a much smaller place.
One can instantly share something with millions of people, from just about anywhere, with a few clicks of a mouse or hitting that upload or share button from a smartphone. Things previously considered to be a petty distraction or an avenue for time-wasting are now able to facilitate the earning of unbelievable amounts of cash.
Take video games, for example. Once thought of as just a hobby, frowned on by many adults yet loved by kids, time spent gaming can really pay off. The esports industry is one of the fastest-growing digitally inclined industries in the world and is estimated to be worth as much as $1.6 billion by 2023. Gaming is now a full-time career and, if you’re good enough at a certain game, you could rake in millions from various tournaments or by simply streaming your gaming sessions to viewers via platforms such as Twitch and YouTube.
Fortnite, Call of Duty, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, NBA 2K, and DOTA are some of the most popular esports games out there and there’s no end to the amount of cash a good player can pull in.
Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is the most renowned video game personality in the world at the moment and has even taken on celebrity status, having gone from working in a fast-food restaurant to making a million dollars a month from Fortnite. Ninja, now worth an estimated $25 million, is sponsored by mega-companies such as Samsung, Red Bull, and Uber Eats. Gaming started out as a hobby for Ninja, who got into Microsoft’s Halo at the age of nine and instantly took to the iconic shooter title, so much so, his older brother stopped wanting to play with him.
“You know you argue with him about how much time he’s spending on it, and he starts making a little money here and there, and it’s nothing,” his father Chuck Blevins said. “Then the next thing you know, he tells me ‘I’m getting streams. I’m getting subscriptions. I’m getting sponsors.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Where is this coming from?’”
Gaming is hardly the only platform that can see one transform a hobby into a business. There are plenty of stories out there that outline the way a successful business sprang from a favorite pastime. Popular resource Sportsbookreview started out as a hobby for the owner and now is a powerful website for sports fans and bettors.
Given the times we live in, there’s really no limit to what you could make money from. The likes of art and music have long been avenues from which a living can be made but, post the advent of streaming services like YouTube, there’s no real need for official deals as folks can reach multiple viewers and get paid for it.
Sporting is another such area. Traditionally, kids took up sports as hobbies and, providing they were good enough and moved through the right channels, went on to play professionally. The internet age has opened several other doors in that regard and, while you probably won’t go on to make over $40 million a year like LeBron James, there’s plenty of success to be had in displaying your abilities or providing the platform for others to without a television rights deal.
Like writing? There are plenty of opportunities there too. New websites are being created every day and writers are always in demand. There’s also the possibility of starting one’s own blog – this one’s a little harder to really get off the ground as it takes some time to get noticed but, if you want to tell your stories in your own way, an online blog could be created in a few simple steps.
If you’re a confident speaker, a YouTube channel, or a podcast discussing the topic(s) of your choice could be great. Have photography skills? You could take great photos and sell them to travel guides, magazines, and various online portals such as Etsy and Shutterstock.
As mentioned above, there’s really no limit on what you could do. If you’re passionate about anything, it’s likely you could find a way to make a living off it – the time and energy you would put into such a thing would be extra fulfilling as you’d be enjoying whatever it is you’re doing.
Of course, don’t just quit your day job in pursuit of a hobby-to-business ideal. You’d likely have to give yourself to both your job and your passion until you’re able to reach a point where you could focus solely on the latter. As we all know, life is short. If you could spend it doing something you love then, by all means, do so.