How do you turn your hobbies into income streams, businesses and profits?
In my work as an integrated coach, I get asked a lot how to do that.
So before I teach you how to turn your own hobbies into income streams, let me share with you how i’ve done it.
I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a child.
I’ve always been excited by learning something, sharing it with others and turning it into an income stream. In the process of profiting from it, i usually learnt it even better, because i had to be good at it.
It started when I was very young.
At 12 i had a nice music-cassette collection and my younger brother wanted to listen to it. So I sold him listening rights to my collection at about 20-30% of what I paid for it, making it clear that he can listen to the music, but that he doesn’t own it.
This wouldn’t be the last time that my music hobby turned into income.
In the early 90s I learnt to use a computer and a word-processor.
At 19 while serving in the Israeli Army I canvased the local uni in fliers promoting my typing service. I mostly typed papers for law students. It was boring and tedious but paid much better than what my fellow friends were getting in labor-intensive jobs during the weekends. And hanging out at uni was definately a bonus.
Next I turned my passion for computers into a business.
In early 1996 while still in the army I opened a virtual computer shop with one of my army friends. We had a tacky website that we built by ourselves, placed small ads in local papers, and again canvased the university with fliers. This will be a constant theme in my businesses. We worked our asses off buying, installing and delivering custom-built computers to house wives and university students. One day when a computer virus hit our clients, we realized we supplied them with virus-infected systems and had to manually install all of them. We made some money at first, but then had to close shop when the major computer shops were selling computers at the same prices that we were buying wholesale.
In my early 20s, I had a brief and successful corporate career fuelled by my love for technology. I had no degree or even diploma, but a lot of passion, enthusiasm and a belief in myself. I loved what I was doing. I literally jumped out of bed in the morning. I started as a mere computer support guy, and in two years became the technical manager of the support team with a team of 20 people.
I became fascinated with information security and spent a lot of time reading about it. I somehow got hired as an info-sec consultant at Cellcom, Israel’s biggest mobile phone operator. When my boss left, I served as the acting information security manager despite being in the field for less than two years.
That was probably one of my favorite corporate jobs ever, but something was missing.
I left the corporate world and lived on a tropical island in Thailand, first partying and then studying and practicing yoga, meditation, tantra, healing and other holistic paradigms.
When I arrived at the island I was exploring my passion for photography. I was shooting one or more rolls of films every day. I shot the things i loved – nature, Djs, parties, people and beautiful women. I made extra copies and gave them as gifts to my friends and people in the clubbing scene. Then one day someone insisted on paying me for the prints. I never expected that. Photography was a hobby that i enjoyed since I was 18 and I didn’t consider myself good enough or professional. I enjoyed being an amateur and not needing to be “perfect”. But more people paid and soon i was selling prints and doing commissioned work for hotels, fashion, jewellery and food shops. I was getting a week’s worth of rent for a few hours of work. A small local magazine featured my photos across most of their debut issue.
I then co-founded a hotel-reservation website with an Israeli friend living on the island. He put in the money. I did all the work, exploring and improving on a few of my hobbies, passions and past businesses. Using my Thai language skills I signed up hotels for our website, took photos, did basic image editing, wrote the text, improved on the design and functionality of the website, took orders, and handled payments. We were profitable within 2 months, and the future looked good, but I left because my heart wasn’t in it.
I moved to small house overlooking the ocean at a yoga community on the other side of the Island.
After having stayed at bungalow resorts and eating at restaurants, it was the first time I had a kitchen in nearly two years and I started experimenting with Thai, Indian, Fusion and Israeli/Arabic food.
I come from a family which is very passionate about food (as well as overly focused, OCD and slightly addicted). I have been exposed to quality food since I was a child, but apart from simple stuff like omellettes, schnitzels (breaded chicken breast) and rice, I never really cooked.
Suddenly i was cooking two or three meals a day. And by cooking, I mean cooking. Breakfast wasn’t cereal or toast. True to Thai tradition, I was having rice soup or noodle soup first thing in the morning. Although I garnered inspiration from a cookbooks and some recipes I found online, I mostly just experimented. I never followed recipes to the letter and instead used my intuition, similar to my egyptian grandmother who was a legendary cook. I started sharing my food with friends in the community and bringing it to the many pot-lucks we were having. When a friend announced he was leaving the island, I offered to hold a small dinner party for him. Apart from various thai dishes, I prepared “Miang Kham” which is one of my favorite thai dishes, and one that I assumed that none of them had tasted. It’s basically 5-8 ingredients that encompass all the main tastes that you wrap in a betel leaf and eat in one bite. The dinner was a great success and I got great feedback for my cooking.
Fuelled by my passion for cooking as well as my dwindling funds, I started holding weekly indian buffets at my house. First there were 12 people, then 20, then 50, and there was this one time I made food for nearly a hundred people in one day. I was working my ass off, but i was loving it. I was learning more about business and promotion. Once again i canvased the area with fliers. My design was simple – stand out. I got people to help me with food prepping and the mountain of dishes. I turned the buffet into a community event and invited others to offer their services to my guests. I sometimes made a month’s rent in a weekend, and at other times spent days of work and some money but no one came and I had to give the food away.
The absolute favorite and best money-making buffet was when I was making humus. I usually sold out within an hour.
I also sold home-made vegan chocolate and when people kept asking me how I made the food and the chocolate, I started holding cooking workshops. Once again, I turned a hobby into products and services that were serving others while bringing in a nice income.
Throughout that time, I was collecting music. Typical to the alternative community and traveller’s lifestyle, many people were carrying their collections on portable hard drives and I spent long hours scouring their collections in search of special media.
By this time my music collection had grown considerably. I had a library of MP3s, all sorted, categorised and labeled. There were no obscure or unnamed tracks which were so typical to the culture of music-shring. A friend asked me to compile a selection of my favorites. She called it “my hommies”. This gave me an idea. You probably know many people who have huge collections and share them with everyone. Not me. I began charging for it. I was fond of saying “I’m not just another guy with a big hard drive”. I was a collector, a curator and a guide. I didn’t just copy music for my clients. Rather, I sat with them for hours, recommended music to them and if they had liked it, copied other albums for them. I also sorted and organized their music collection for them. This is also where my passion for and experience with technology played out. I had a blast sitting with them and expanding their musical horizons.
Living on tropical island in a Tantric community, I was having many meaningful sexual experiences and became known for my yoni massage skills. Yoni massage is the art and practice of touching and massaging a woman’s body and vagina to open her to deeper pleasure.
My lovers told me that I should share it with other women, as a service.
I felt that I wasn’t ready, not good enough, that I needed to study longer and have some certificates.
But one of my friends said: “Just acknowledge you’re already doing it, so just do it”.
So I started offering yoni massage to the women in the community and from the very beginning had amazing session that tremendously served those women, helping them get over sexual trauma, go deeper into their body and experience states of orgasm that they never had before.
I wasn’t just pleasuring these women like a sex worker but rather teaching and empowering them to get to these states by themselves and with their lovers.
When people started asking me “how I do it”, I started holding workshops about Tantric sexuality, first in Thailand, and then in Australia and Europe. I co-founded a Tantra school called “Tantra is love” that became one of the leading schools in Australia.
As a sexual healer, I wasn’t just working with women on their sexuality but giving them advice about their relationship, their vocation and their spiritual practice.
One winter I was staying in a beautiful house in the forest just outside Stockholm, Sweden.
It was very difficult for clients to come to see me because the place wasn’t easily accessible with public transport or even with a car. My bookings dwindled and so did my finances.
All my life I always liked telling people what to do. I always felt I knew how to help them and what they should do to solve their problems and improve their lives.
So again I turned a passion and a hobby into a service and a business.
I started offering coaching via skype, helping women on the other side of the world with their orgasms and sexuality. I kept raising my rates.
Later I integrated my life-long interest and passion for business into my coaching and became one of the only coaches in the world who integrate sexuality, creativity and business.
In late 2015 I published my first book ‘Orgasm Unleashed – Your guide to pleasure, healing and power’, that was effectively my first truly passive-income stream.
Update, July 2019:
In the past few years i’ve started teaching intuitive sensual partnered dance : Watch a video of “Dansual” and read more here.
And recently I’ve made a transition to Ecstatic Dance DJing and facilitation- Read more..
Through the years I kept following and exploring my passions and then turning them into services that I offered others. And by offering them, I became better, raised my rates and expanded my offerings.
I didn’t wait until I was ‘ready’ or qualified. I just did it.
How about you?
What passions, hobbies and gifts can you share with others and turn into income streams?
Realize it’s not about you, so start sharing your gift.
If you want my help in turning your gifts and passions into income streams, check out my coaching page here.