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Monetizing My Hobby Almost Ruined It For Me

Published:
May 13, 2024
May 13, 2024
Read this article about one woman recovering from her hobby burnout as she deemphasized the importance of making money from her passion.

Have you seen those posts on Instagram and TikTok about quick and easy ways to succeed? “Here’s how I got 10,000 followers in just TWO weeks!” Or “Here’s how you can make $30,000 blogging in only one month!” While I know these influencers mean well (and perhaps do offer good advice), their “solutions” to success have often made me feel like I’m not doing enough. When I see them cross my feed, I can’t help but think, “Oh my gosh, I only have 100 followers. I haven’t made that much money on my Etsy shop. I’m so behind, I’m failing!”

I’ve always been a creative person and a collector of hobbies. I love learning new talents, being resourceful, and turning ordinary items into something larger and beautiful. A few years ago, I decided to launch my Etsy shop to see if I could monetize my beloved hobbies. I told myself that I would just do my best, and if I wasn’t successful, no biggie. As the weeks and months passed, my relaxed attitude transformed into a rigid one. I spent every moment of my free time working on products. The craft that I once found to be a relaxing creative outlet soon became a chore. I meticulously churned out products and Instagram Reels in an attempt to gain traction. I developed a spirit of comparison, noticing how other shops and entrepreneurs appeared more successful than I was. Even if I was successful, I was losing joy in what I used to love.

Then one day, as I was driving through the Michigan countryside, I was hit by a truck that was going 50 mph. In a matter of seconds, I not only lost control of my car, but I also lost control of my life to an extent. Pain radiated from my hip as I limped out of my car and collapsed on the ground. My breathing escalated into hyperventilation. What was wrong with my hip? Did I have a concussion? Was I going to be okay? What did my future hold?

I had gotten so busy with facilitating my own success, I forgot that I am not and cannot be in control of my life. Through this dramatic event, I surprisingly experienced God’s presence. I saw God in the volunteer firefighter who was miraculously on the scene within seconds of the accident. I clasped God’s hand as a local farmer (who drove his tractor across the field to help us) guided me through grounding techniques to calm my anxiety. I entrusted my care to God through the EMTs who treated me with so much kindness and respect. I walked away with minor injuries (praise God!), but I did require some physical therapy for my hip. I encountered God’s healing through the therapists who helped me strengthen my muscles and reduce my pain.

Most people would describe such a horrible accident as exactly that — horrible. But for me, it put me on a path to seek what I needed. Though this incident was quite the speed bump (pun intended) in my life, it provided me with a much-needed slowdown.

In the following months, I took a break from my Etsy shop to focus on my healing. I re-prioritized my life and re-defined what success looked like. The accident was a reminder of how short life is and how it could dramatically change in a second. If this was the case, why was I so concerned about worldly success? I realized that my talents were gifts, blessings in my life for my own delight and joy. But perhaps even more importantly, when I was at my most vulnerable and helpless, I realized how loved and valued I was for more than my gifts.

It’s been a year and a half, and I have picked up my hobbies again and reopened my Etsy shop. But rather than madly scrambling to monetize, I’m uniting my creative energy to God’s. Can I call myself a successful entrepreneur? No, but I’ve found that I don’t need to either. Instead, I am finding richness in rediscovering the joy I once lost — the joy of discovering the creative gifts my Heavenly Father gave me.

Creators:
Allison Barrick
Published:
May 13, 2024
May 13, 2024
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