Episode 151- Is It A Business Or A Hobby?

I had a really awesome call with a guy named Ben Esteban a few weeks back and like so many people in this gig economy, we’re talking about how does he build the business on the side while taking care of his family while working in this job or overcoming whatever struggles come with the limiting beliefs, the fear, the doubt that goes with this when you’ve not done it before full time. These are conversations that I simply just love to have because I love pointing out a mindset and a map and a challenge on how to think differently about this journey. This is why as time goes on, to become less and less of a fan of school, even though I hated school when I was a kid, but now it’s almost worse because it’s just amazing how much the constraints of organized school puts on the creative mind of the people that want to become entrepreneurs and had that freedom of the work that they do and having the time to be able to spend with their families and do the work that they want at the same time.

And so much of the doubt comes in what was rooted from the past, from the process they need to follow in school. And then also their parents’ assumption that the way that public school taught us is the way that we need to live as adults. And to be really wary of taking chances, have to trust that this career where you essentially give up your freedom of time doing something that maybe you don’t love doing is the best option. And I just love that there’s an entrepreneurial vibe around young kids and seeing so many more people that want the control over their life and they get to decide what their income ceiling is. Not some boss in an office. So I was talking to Ben and he was talking about this business that he’s been doing and he’s really talented. He’s brilliant and building websites and on the tech side, but it hasn’t earned a whole lot of income yet.

And a friend of his mentioned, well, if it’s not making money, then it’s a hobby. And I’ve heard Dave Ramsey say the same thing and I couldn’t disagree more. The idea that if you’re not making money at the start of the business that you’re creating, then it’s a hobby to me is a short sighted employee type mindset because true artists and pioneers don’t think that way. And I’ll give you an example. I’ll give you a few examples. So I asked Ben, I said, what is your favorite band? And he said the Flaming Lips. So I asked him when the Flaming lips were recording their first album where they’re making money. He’s like, no, probably not. And when they were recording and they were doing their first tour and they were learning chords on their guitar and scales and they were learning how to create their crazy sound, experimenting and failing and trying, where they getting paid then for their music.

And the answer is no, but they were building something. They were building something that now has raving fans. So was that a hobby? I’d say no, it wasn’t a hobby. I’d say it was the foundation. It’s the foundation that we all need to build to grow that skyscraper of a business that we’re creating. And to view it just as a hobby is not taking it seriously to viewed as a hobbyist saying, Oh, this is something that’s a nice, cute little thing in the corner, patted on the head and say, do your, but it’s not real and it’s not serious and of course it’s real or serious. You want to take sports into this. That hockey player in juniors up in Northern Canada is busting his hump to get better, to skate just a little bit faster, to learn the angles to get just a little bit stronger.


Is that a hobby? Is that just a little joke of a thing that is never going to go anywhere? I guess it depends on how hard he works at it or how hard she works at it, but I would guarantee you that that person didn’t view it as a hobby and I think that person would probably be pretty pissed if somebody told them that the work that they’re putting in is just a hobby because it’s not making money right now. Not everything revolves around getting paid for it. Everything I’ve ever done in my career required me to do it for very little money or no money in the beginning. Let me give you another example. Very few people when they’re writing their first book are getting paid for it. They put in a year or two years of work, of solid work, of real work writing that book, blood, sweat and tears.

Maybe not blood but sweat and tears unless there’s a paper cut, then there might be some blood, but that is real work that is laying down that foundation for the future success. And then what happens is that author or that musician, that hockey player, when all of that work pays off and they keep going and they developed the habits and they develop the relationships and they’ve winning now and they’re making money, they’re making more money than they’ve ever made before, and then somebody will come up to them. Somebody that said it was a hobby in the past will come up and say, well, they’re lucky. And it had nothing to do with luck. It had to do with, they didn’t quit while they were building the foundation and they didn’t view their own work as a hobby. And I remember years ago I was listening to an interview with will, I am from the Black Eyed Peas and they were talking about their beginning and I always loved the stories of the beginning that’s so much more interesting to me than the major success.

But they were talking about the start of the Black Eyed Peas and they were working and they were trying and they weren’t getting paid and somebody said, you’re not getting paid for this. And he said, Oh yeah, we are just not yet. And that’s exactly how I want Ben, and I want you, if you’re in that spot to look at this, you’re getting paid just not yet. You keep doing this work and you will get paid handsomely. But it’s the people that quit because they think it’s a hobby that will never get paid. So Ben Esteban, thank you for our conversation. I’m so excited for where you’re going with this and you are getting paid just not yet. So continue to lay that foundation of your skyscraper, the future. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

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