What is your hobby?
When I taught English in Japan, one of the most common questions I was asked by students, Japanese friends, anyone who was brave enough to practice their fledgling English skills was “What is your hobby?”. The first time I heard this question, it sounded funny to me. I mean, we just don’t really naturally say that in English, we might ask someone what they like to do in their free time, but even that sounds stilted to me. The most common answers from my Japanese students, by the way, were “Sleeping” and “Driving”. I kid you not. And, by the time I left Japan, that question, and those answers, sounded perfectly natural to me (that was partly how I knew it was probably time to head back to Canada).
I have been thinking about that question a lot since I officially started my Tarot business just over a year ago. Before then, I would have talked about Tarot as a hobby. Tarot was a significant interest that took up a lot of my free time, passion, money, and bookshelf space.
Now that Tarot is my business, what is my hobby?
Sure, there are still things that I love to do aside from Tarot, but because I am so consumed with running and building Inner Goddess Tarot, right now I don’t have the time for some of my other passions (travel in particular). And, sometimes when I don’t have the energy to pursue a particular activity, I fall into the pastime of watching movies of the superhero and vampire genres (does that count as an actual hobby? It is definitely an area of my expertise).
So, in order to keep my sanity, drive, and energy levels intact, I thought about ways to fill that gap when your hobby becomes your business…
1. Don’t allow yourself to be all consumed at all times with the minutiae of your business.
Trust me, at a certain point, your friends and family will lose the capacity to listen to your latest business revelation, strategy, challenge or crisis of faith (that’s why you need a business coach!). Put aside time in your schedule to quiet that part of your brain, and to allow yourself to be present and enjoy the company of those around you. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to go back to business after connecting with those you love.
2. Schedule mini breaks in your day to do something that you find relaxing or diverting.
If you can’t put aside an entire day, give yourself frequent mini escapes. I take yoga breaks, dance party with the cat breaks, vegetarian cooking breaks. Don’t worry if these don’t feel like official hobbies to you, do something that you find fun and enriching on some level, something that has the bi-product of a physical or mental health benefit.
3. Develop a new hobby that compliments your business.
This may be cheating a little, but it works! A guilt free way to start a new hobby is to find one that compliments or adds to your current business. Case in point, I am in the midst of a course that explores how to work with crystals.I love crystals, and I’ve always been fascinated by their properties, but now I feel the full green light to pursue this interest because I can see how it will add to my Tarot practice. This is also a great way to meet like minded people and to find potential business alliances.
BONUS: Remind yourself of what you like to do and that there are other facets of your personality aside from your business.
Running your own business is full on, and entrepreneurs often develop a tendency to equate their very selves with their businesses. You are NOT your business. Sure, you are passionate about it, you are completely committed to its success, but don’t think that you are defined by its revenue, growth or lack there of. If you reach this state, sit down and make a list of things you like to do, food you like, movies you like, anything to take you back to your lovely sans business self. Then, pick something from the list and do it.
Following these simple steps will help you to keep the passion burning for your business, and to remember why you decided to take the plunge from hobby to pro in the first place.
I’d love to hear from other entrepreneurs…is your hobby now your business? How do you make room for other joys in your life?