How to make a living from your skills, passions, and hobbies

Being able to do the things we are passionate about is something we all strive to achieve. Making a living out of them is even better. It might sound hard to achieve, but there are many examples around us that prove it’s doable.

May 29, 2019
Reading time 7 – 10 minutes

Passive income – the nirvana of making money by investing little to no effort and still generating revenue.

It’s an attractive topic and I dare to say that most people with internet access have come across it in one way or another.

I, for one, don’t believe it actually exists, at least not in the form described above.

Yes, you can have days when you do nothing but still manage to generate money (think about investing in stock), but given the highly competitive market right now, you can’t expect to invest today and make money until the end of time.

I’m no expert, but even when it comes to stock investments, I don’t think you’ll be successful without having to dedicate a lot of time to understand the market, the possible outside influences (such as politics or even weather in some cases) and so on.

You might be asking why I’m talking about passive income and what it has to do with your interests.

I’m addressing this topic because blogging is often considered as one of the best ways to generate such revenue streams. The problem is that starting a blog and getting to the point where it actually generates revenue is something that doesn’t come with little to no effort. Not to mention that you can’t actually stop doing it and still have the same engagement, following or money in the bank.

You have to be consistent with your writing, engage with people that follow you, and attract and fulfill the demands of brands that want to work with you.

It’s no easy task, that’s why we at Pixelgrade truly admire people that have been able to invest the needed time into this craft.

Kat is one of them. She is a digital nomad and freelancer, that quit her day job and started traveling the world.

She introduced me to the concept of a ‘slash career‘ which means not having just one job, but a combination of many others.

Think about someone who has a full-time job as a designer, a side business of creating custom made paintings and blogs about fashion. Or someone who is a software developer by day and rapper in the evenings or weekends.

Răzvan, our teammate fits this exact category. Same goes for Oana, our Chief People Officer, who is growing a community around creative people by organizing and hosting an event called “Creatives before coffee” (or “Creativi înainte de cafea” in Romanian).

Now, this is a term I truly believe in. Where someone uses their skills, passions & hobbies and manages to make a living from each.

Not by laying around in our pajamas all day, but by actually investing time and energy into all.

Some turn into great revenue streams, others are just ways to express our creativity and connect with like-minded people. But, whatever the case, if you want to create something meaningful, you have to put in the work.

Kat lives the ‘slasher’ life every day and I believe she has a lot to teach us. Read on to learn more about her story as a blogger, freelancer, and traveler, and see if this is the push you need to take a new career path.

Tell me something on and off the record about yourself.

I’m a freelancer who left the corporate world over 3 years ago so I can travel the world. I now enjoy the laptop lifestyle and it’s the best career decision I have ever made.

What convinced you to wear the freelancer hat?

Traffic is horrendous in Manila, Philippines, where I was born, and I just couldn’t deal with it anymore.

I have been doing freelancing on the side while I had a corporate job for about 5 years before I decided to take a leap of faith and be a freelancer full-time.

What do you like-and-hate most about this career path?

Like most – definitely the ability to bring my work with me anywhere I go. Also, the income opportunity is endless if you know how to land good clients!

Hate most – the lack of government-mandated benefits. It’s such a pain to pay taxes manually as well!

You encourage people to develop multiple revenue streams. How do you succeed?

Sometimes I am invited to talk and participate in webinars and online workshops so I can teach people how to get started in freelancing.

Being a breadwinner myself, I know how it feels not feel secure in this chosen career path so I always tell my friends and family not to settle with a single revenue stream.

As they say, a millionaire has at least 7 revenue streams on average so if you want true financial freedom, start thinking of other ways to earn income!

Do you make money out of your writing?

Actually, I don’t get paid much for writing — I find it hard to make a living out of it because I’m not confident with my writing and a lot of times I get writer’s block and I couldn’t get a single word out of me for hours (even days!).

However, brands sometimes approach me to write an article for a fee and if it’s something that interests me then I accept it.

What’s your creative process when you start writing?

I don’t actually have one. I just write what I think. If you’ll notice some of my posts are a bit dear-diary-ish.

Also, my blog is mainly for slashers like me, that’s why I write mostly about career and personal development and sometimes travel because freelancers often like to travel too!

How does writing help you have an impact out there?

Simply by having a personal space online allowed me to get several opportunities I wouldn’t even think of having if not for my blog. I earned full-time jobs, short term gigs, friends, business partners and sponsorships over the years.

Have you thought about developing a shop around your blogging activity?

Yes, I actually have two Shopify stores set-up but never actually got to promote them! This might be my wakeup call to finally launch them!

What do you think makes you, you?

Just like everyone else, I think my experience in life has defined who I am now. I don’t regret every single mistake I’ve done in the past because it eventually led me to where I am now and right now I’m at my happiest — both in career and personal life. 🙂

Talking with Kat made me realize that there are a lot of people around me who fit in the slasher category. People who regained control over their time and started building a personal brand.

Being a slasher also feels like a better way to describe what most people seem to want: to be able to generate income by combining their skills, passions, and hobbies in unique ways.

Here are some tips shared by Kat on how to become a slasher:

  • Analyze your own habits and everyday schedule to understand how much time you can invest in a side-hustle
  • Make sure your endeavors do not come in conflict with your day-to-day job. Your manager might not agree if you start working with a competitor in your time off
  • Have a main source of income until you manage to get your other ideas off the ground
  • If you plan to take a big leap like quitting your day job, make sure you have some funds set aside in case things don’t go as planned

The rest is up to you. The internet is full of free tutorials, tools, blog posts and videos that can help anyone learn a new skill or further develop an existing passion to the point where they can also earn a living.

It might sound awesome to lay around and watch Netflix all day while your passive income source generates money, but at some point, you’ll get bored and want to do something meaningful with your life.

The rewards won’t come magically “with little to no effort”. Being completely independent means that you must have better control of your schedule and organize each part of your day to get the most out of it.

But I believe that following your passion and being able to love your work will make you feel like you’re not actually working, but fulfilling your dreams.

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