When I was a kid, it was easy to merrily invest myself in any activity that I found interesting. Building robots, learning to play guitar, and making short films were things that I would work on after school everyday. I did all those things simply because I enjoyed doing them.
Now, as a young adult, I feel like I completely lost that spontaneity and simple mindset. Every project which I take up has become an attempt to make money. I tell myself, “Oh wow, that’s a cool app idea, I should build it. But wait….how am I going to monetize it. Is it worth it?” I developed this hostile view of activities where everything is a calculated risk of how much time I need to put in versus what I am getting in return.
I used to do YouTube completely for fun, then I got serious and tried to turn it into a “business”. Guess what? I absolutely hate doing it now, even if it does bring me in a little extra cash each month. I rejected so many website ideas and app ideas just because I knew there was no way to make any profit from them. And if I try to start a new hobby or goal, my mind immediately puts the focus on money and profit.
I have been thinking about trying to write a book for awhile. Here’s my thought process:
“Hmm…I want to write a book. I would really love to write a sappy romance novel because I think they’re so fun to write. But I need to turn it into profit, so I should do market research and see what’s trending and build off that. Self-help is big, let’s try to focus on that, even though I personally hate self-help books.”
I should mention that I am a software engineer who makes a decent salary, so it’s not like I absolutely need extra money. I try to rationalize my obsession by attributing all this to my goal of working for myself and wanting to start my own business. But still, it sucks that I can’t find the strength to take on a hobby simply because I enjoy it. I envy my friends who start new things out of pure love.
“So Kevin you started doing aikido?”
“Yeah Dave, I absolutely love it.”
“But how are you making money out of it?”