Have you ever noticed how freelancers can’t seem to stop building amazing things? It starts with side hustle that becomes a full-time job and full-blown business. Then, they pick up a hobby. Soon enough, that just-for-fun activity grows into something bigger, something that makes money. It may not be a main source of income, but it is a new and exciting adventure that may become an even greater success.
For me, that second side hustle has been baking. I’ve loved to bake since I was a kid, begging my mom to let me help with whatever she was making. As I grew older, this love grew. Muffins, cookies, bread pudding, pies - I got a thrill from presenting the bake of the day to my family or at parties and watching them fight over the crumbs.
As Instagram became more popular, my interest in baking changed. My quiet moments were spent watching incredible cakes, cookies, and cupcakes come to life. I responded to that ever-present, “I can totally do that” self-challenge and tried my hand at cake decorating. I sucked. But I kept at it.
Practice makes better (cause it ain’t perfect), so I started to get more attention from the bakes I made for my family. A couple of years ago, I started making treats for people who wanted to pay for them. My passion was turning into a business!
I have a market for my products. When I don’t stress myself out from poor time management, I enjoy making orders for people. If I put in the effort, I could even make a good amount of money on the side.
I just really don’t want to.
As a freelancer and business owner, this is a truth I’ve really struggled to accept. I have all the tools in my toolbox to pursue this business. I get more joy from baking than I do from writing, so it should make sense to give it a go.
But that doesn’t mean that I have to, or that it’s even the best thing for me to do.
As independent creators, I think we often get sucked into thinking we have to produce growth commercially. Everything you do well is an opportunity for bigger success. You succeeded in creating outside worth in a passion or skill once, so why wouldn’t you do it again?
In the podcast episode this week, Darryl and Odalys spoke a lot about authenticity. Odalys shared her experience with trying to live up to her idea of a successful entrepreneur and how much she compromised while doing it. She was chasing validation through outward success and denying parts of herself to do it.
When she learned to accept and understand who she was, she was able to pursue things that aligned with her passions. From starting a podcast to accepting a new job, she found ways to live on-purpose and in purpose. Focusing on the passion itself, rather than the ways she could use it to be more successful, empowers her to do what she loves for the reasons she loves it.
I bake because it’s my way of loving people. Most people don’t eat cake with a frown and I adore the chance to create a bright moment in someone’s day. When I bake professionally, on the other hand, I’m more focused on meeting expectations and making it worth the price. It isn’t authentically me.
If you feel like you’re monetizing your passion for the wrong reasons or compromising yourself to be successful, I urge you to reconsider why you’re doing what you’re doing. Let’s stop pushing each other to make something of our hobbies. Don’t tell your sister to consider selling her sewing projects on Etsy when she brings them up. Have riveting conversations without wondering if you should start a podcast. <tweet-link>Bring back doing things for the simple sake of enjoyment.<tweet-link>
Only then can we pursue our crafts with purpose and satisfaction, finding success that is wholly and authentically our own.
Get the full story here to learn how Odalys pursued authenticity, what she’s learned from it, and why vulnerably sharing her story is such an important part of her journey and success.