Okay, so the title of this blog might seem a bit ridiculous to some people. But, in the same way that I’ve always hated answering questions about what kinds of music I like (and, yes, I’m saving those juicy deets for another blog), I’ve always hated answering the questions “What are your hobbies?” or “What do you like to do for fun?”
I strongly dislike answering questions about my hobbies because, quite frankly, it makes me feel like I’m not doing anything with my life. But, of course, anyone who knows me (or maybe even you, because you’re reading my blog, maybe follow me online, or at least know that blogging is a THING that takes time and effort) knows that I’m always, always working on something. And when I’m not working on something directly, I’m making plans for how to complete a project.
Still though, I can’t help but wonder if all the somethings I do are legitimate hobbies. I mean, really, what’s a hobby?! (I just feel like I’m a hard-working, type-A, ambitious, relentless hustler!)
Google tells me that a hobby is “an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.” Wikepedia tells me that a hobby is “a regular activity done for enjoyment, typically during one’s leisure time, not professionally and not for pay. Hobbies include collecting themed items and objects, engaging in creative and artistic pursuits, playing sports, or pursuing other amusements.”
Okay, so then there’s me. I spend my waking hours doing only things that give me pleasure in some way. I explained this in Episode #7 of The Happy Dance Podcast. I honestly feel like every single thing in my daily life (when I have complete control over my time) I’m doing either because it makes me instantly happy or because I believe it will make me long-term happy.
So, let’s take this blog for instance. Is blogging a “HOBBY?” Or am I working as I type these words? Sure, writing is fun for me. Writing is something I enjoy. It gives me great pleasure to craft words, communicate ideas, perhaps spark new insights, and maybe even engage in the occasional online conversation with a fellow blogger/digital-entrepreneur type. But, I’m also working. I’m also creating content. I’m also trying to build an audience. I’m also keeping this blog up-to-date as part of a carefully planned mini-project that is as part of a larger business-growth plan of mine.
And, while I suppose I’m not a professional blogger (I can tell you right now: I’m not making a dime directly from this blog….), I definitely spend some of my time reading about how to become a better blogger or writer.
I’m in no way a professional podcaster, but I’m constantly consuming information about how to manage, grow, and monetize a podcast.
In fact, I’ve gotten paid for many activities (e.g., posting sponsored tweets, editing resumes, managing social media accounts, etc.) that I’ve never considered my professions.
So, are these things hobbies? Simply because I’m not getting paid any big bucks to do them? Because, personally, I view everything on which I regularly spend my time as sort of a low-key startup.
I mean, as I recently said in my Instastories: In the age of influencers, isn’t any hobby a potential business? Isn’t any leisure activity a potential means of income?
When people are getting paid to make sounds into expensive microphones, the possibilities are endless, right?
So, all of the above to say this: I’m not sure where the line blurs or the boundary ends between doing something strictly for fun or doing something because it’s fun and because it could potentially make some financial income.
Maybe I don’t know what a hobby is. Or maybe I’m so wonderfully fortunate because I am spending a large portion of my life doing the things that I love, so much to the point that my work feels like fun and leisurely activities. Or maybe I’m living with such a high functioning level of anxiety that I can’t even tell that I’m a workaholic with restless mind syndrome who has to literally schedule in social activities, otherwise I’ll forget to make friends or to talk to humans IRL.
Maybe I’m super ahead of my time and the word hobby should be eliminated from our vocabulary.
Maybe the word “hobby” is only relevant for people who haven’t found the magical blend of taking every single opportunity as a learning experience, being a student of life, observing human behavior, and using what they observe to better govern themselves and their daily decisions.
Maybe we need to expand the definition of hobby to include a space for us internet entrepreneurs, nay, born hustlers who are living each day casually mixing what we love with making money and making the world better.
Until next time, I’ll be working on my hobbies (or hardly working???)!