Thursday, April 26, 2007

Financial contamination

Entrepeneurship is not always a good thing. I should know, my family is littered with entrepeneurs. All self-employed, most of them doing quite well for themselves. ALWAYS looking for opportunities to make another buck.

The problem with this mindset is when it becomes all-pervasive. When everything you view in life, and every activity you take part in, you're looking through your entrepeneurial spectacles (often unbeknowingly).

What got me thinking about this was yesterday's post about the motivations of blogging. I would be lying if I said that I had never entertained dreams of BiPolar Daily somehow turning into a profit machine. Not mega-profits, just enough to keep me ticking down here in my electronic hermitage by the sea.

That sneaking dream was obviously a lot stronger 18 months ago than now. But even these days I catch my entrepernuerial mind at work. Like I'll see statistics that more and more people are getting diagnosed as BiPolar. Entrepenuerial mind -> my "market" is growing! Then I see research that Netsurfers spend a very high proportion of their time on medical and health sites. Again -> my "markets" growing!

Yeah, I can already hear some of you snickering. But show me a blogger who at one point or another didn't fantasize about having a huge audience and posting every day for a living. We can't help but think this way - capitalism ingrains our worldview from an early age.

But what do we lose in the process? What is sacrificed when every direction we turn in our blogs, subconsciously there other motives at work? Don't get me wrong - we don't blog solely with the dream of making money - its more like holding a little lotto ticket, knowing full well that we aint gonna win, but also knowing full well that we should not totally rule out the possibility.

What do we lose? I'd say for one - enjoyment. My Dad's a classic example. He retired nearly 10 years ago and is now in the situation where he could do with a little extra cash. Simultaneouly he is an exceedingly good photographer - one of the top landscapers in SA. And now, increasingly, he's starting to wonder how he can turn his photography into profit. He did photography his whole life as a passionate hobby, made his money elsewhere. But since this entrepenuerial motive has arisen I've noticed his passion waning. Instead of looking at landscapes and saying WOW, that's beautiful man, he's starting to look at things and saying: "will the public like it? will it be saleable?"

What a fkcn pity man. Because the joy he was getting previously was priceless. To throw that away for the sake of a little pocket-money is sacrilege. But he's not the only one. So often I see people that are really good at their hobby/interest/passion who start scheming at one time or another - hey, I want to do this for a living. And from thereon out is is just all downhill.

Etcetera, etcetera...


  1. LOLOL umm heres one who doesnt think that way. I know darn good and well Im not a writer and I only started blogging because I mistakenly thought I had to have my own blog in order to comment on my friends blogs. I continue as a way to keep in touch with friends made in the MSN chat rooms ( now destroyed and gone) and as away to meet other people online for support and friendship. Im more likely to win that elusive lottery than to make money off my blog LOLOL Im not holding my breath waiting for either of those to happen

  2. The number of people who have turned a hobby into a living is countless. I agree that the innocence of the purist hobby is removed when capitlism comes knocking at your door. However, how many times have you heard, "I love my work?" Is it not possible to love your hobby and be blessed that you are actually getting paid for it?

    I am off to Ireland for a wedding today. I will be startng my latest money making scheme while I am there. Aerial Videography! Results of that later!

  3. ^ That was me above ^

  4. and this is me v down here v

  5. ---That's me in the middle---

    Well said BPG.

  6. I am a self-employed artist and while I don't make a lot of money I make enough. I certainly do not paint for profit that's for sure!! It's more like, I paint for me and if I make some $$$ on the side then all the better!!

    By the way, here is my website where you can buy prints of my stuff:

    Sorry, I figured a shameless plug was appropriate on this post. :)

  7. coming to the truly laughable conclusion that once Z left me i had not a ONE reader i have to laugh at this concept of bloggie fame...
    then again, seeing how i left the fold i can't blame anyone but my naked little self, now can i.

    oh plugging now are we? hmmm...lets seeeeee......

  8. I was self-employed for a brief stint in the nineties as and art director for music videos. It didn't last long, especially once I realised the culmination of all my artistic endeavors was making advertisements for CDs. How low could I go?

    Teaching is so much more rewarding. Yes, I've sold a few prints and paintings, several of my own Cds, and I've had a few plays produced professionally, but I wouldn't want to have to earn a living off of all that again.


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