By Bedros Keuilian for Entrepreneur South Africa
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. If Jack is an entrepreneur, it also makes him less effective at building insane wealth.
What’s Jack got to do with you? If you’re a business owner with big plans, every hour of your life matters. Screw around during the day, and you put your bottom line, your lifestyle and your employees’ paychecks at risk. You have to do something useful with your time, even when you’re not in the office. Everybody needs a hobby, and if you pick yours wisely, they’ll all serve your money-making mission.
What hobbies do you need? Here are three that you can’t afford to skip and how they improve your life and support your mission of building an empire.
1. A hobby to make money
“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
You’ve certainly heard that quote before, and there’s some real wisdom to it. But tread carefully. Following your passion blindly won’t do you any good. There are plenty of broke people out there who are staying true to their passions. Unless you want to join them, you’ve got to go beyond your passion and into profit. This means finding the angle that lets you turn your passion into financial gain. And if you’re savvy enough, you can find that angle with absolutely anything. Don’t believe me? Look at history. There was a time when people spent their hard-earned money on pet rocks. And today, naked yoga is a thing people pay to participate in.
If you think your passion doesn’t offer the opportunity for dollars to trade hands, you’re wrong. Research some more. Figure out what people with the same passion most want to learn, have, become or achieve. Then develop a product or service tailor-made to fulfill that. Then sell like there’s no tomorrow.
Remember that if what you create helps you, it’ll help others with the same passion. You can sell your product or service by sharing your own story — no sleazy “tricks” needed.
2. A hobby to keep you fit
Science has proven time and again that there’s an intense mind-body connection. In fact, the connection is so strong that you can’t afford to be out of shape.
Work hard in the gym, and you’ll make your body hard and ready to take a beating. At the same time, exercise conditions your mind to do the same. Working out actually develops your brain, building your mental toughness so you can take on any challenges and stresses that come your way.
Let your body go, watch everything else follow.
And don’t think I’m just saying this because of my background in the fitness industry. What I’m saying here applies equally to entrepreneurs and business leaders in all industries, and it cuts both ways.
At my lowest point, even I had gotten inconsistent with my workouts, and I wasn’t pushing myself as hard I should have. This showed in a business that was not only disorganised and losing money, but also on the brink of collapse.
The first thing I did to take back control of my situation was to take control of my health. That meant making my gym time a non-negotiable, so I could rebuild the physical and mental strength I would need to pull my business out of chaos. If you’re in a similar bad place with your business, you can use this same strategy even if you haven’t ever made fitness a priority before.
While I love lifting weights, your hobby doesn’t have to involve a gym. Get outdoors and hike. Swim every day, increasing your speed and distance. Play basketball or racquetball or tennis or volleyball. Just make yourself move and the synapses of your brain will fire faster and bring you more money-making ideas.
3. A hobby to keep you creative
The simplest ideas are the best and easiest to execute, but it takes serious creativity to find simplicity. This kind of creativity isn’t cultivated in an office. It’s developed out and about, where you can take in new stimuli and actively relax.
Find your free place and grab a paintbrush or pen some poetry, master the harmonica or go full force into needlepoint. Whatever you choose, get creative and funky. Don’t be afraid to mess up. That’s where you learn the most about yourself and break down mental barriers. Push yourself beyond your artistic comfort zones and you’ll never plateau.
My creative outlet is drumming. The most physical of instruments, drums give me a way to beat something to a pulp without going to jail. I have a good ear, and through practice, I’ve developed quite a strong rhythm. However, I don’t sit around hitting everything on the quarter, eighth and sixteenth notes. I push myself to learn new fills and patterns, tempos and styles that make my brain work in new ways.
To be honest, these growth practices aren’t always a fun start to finish activity. In fact, they can be crazy frustrating. But when everything finally comes together and my feet and my hands go where they’re supposed to go, it’s absolute euphoria!
I don’t leave this attention to detail and commitment to success in the practice room. I take it to work with me. Doing something creative can do the same for you. Make it part of your life and it’ll open your eyes and help you see the world in a different way. You’ll understand how things come together, and you’ll have a fresh perspective on whatever problem is nagging you at work.
And you know what happens when you’re thinking clearly and your creative juices are flowing? Another million-dollar idea crops up with a clear path leading right to it.
So pick your hobbies, and go at them with all you’ve got. You’ll never work a day in your life, but you’ll earn an obscene amount of money.