Hobbies into success

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Hobbies into success

Postby BarbaraSher » Sun Aug 01, 1999 11:26 am

I like the word "hobby." It takes away the pressure you'd feel if you admitted the truth: that you're doing what you love with all your heart. In this practical culture, you're sure to be asked "Why?" and that really means "Can you make a living at it?" But if you call it a hobby, everybody leaves you alone. After all, it's only a hobby. In this topic go the stories of people who have turned their hobbies into careers or other kinds of success. I love to read about such people, so contribute some entries if you can.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Sun Aug 01, 1999 11:51 am

I got this informaton from a grand book by the journalist Caroline Bird. Title: Lives of Our Own: Secrets of Salty Old Women (1995, Houghton Mifflin). The book is a delicious compendium of dozens of stories of people who did wonderful things with their lives. I wish I could post them all. Here's one: Sandra Martz was a manager at a defense contractor company, and her hobby was gathering and printing anthologies. "In 1986 She put an ad in "Poet and Writer" magazine soliciting poems, stories and photographs about old women -- no pay offered -- and was flooded with seven hundred replies. Much of this material would have languished unread in the slush pile of a mainstream publisher, but Sandra was moved by the way in which these women were pouring their hearts out and read every one." For almost a year she worked on an anthology which would be entitled "When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple". In 1987, at her own expense, Sandra published 3,000 copies, put them in her car, and got the managers of bookstores and gift stores from L.A. to Seattle to accept books on consignment. "Readers poured in so fast that Sandra had to quit her regular job to take care of them, but the first payday that passed without a check threw her into such a panic that she took a part-time job stocking grocery shelves." She didn't keep it long: by 1994, her anthology had sold one million copies.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Sun Aug 01, 1999 12:05 pm

When I started collecting out-of-print travel literature, I discovered a new world of small book dealers on the internet. I began corresponding and ordering books from people in England, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada and the U.S. One of the booksellers happened to live on my street, about 10 doors down! Another was located in Toronto where I often go to run workshops. I visited both of them, and both had the same story to tell. They had a passion for these beautiful old travel books, and struggled to find a way to make their living buying and selling them. The Toronto people worked at day jobs in computing. My neighbor down the street lugged books to conferences, placed ads, did whatever he could to keep his business in the black. And then the internet came along. The Toronto people told me that as a result of selling on the 'net', they were able to give up their day jobs and devote themselves full-time to their beloved "hobby." My neighbor showed me his beautiful apartment with pride and said "The internet paid for this." Now when people say you can't make money on the internet, I always say, Don't be so sure. (If you're interested in out-of-print travel books, let me know and I'll give you their addresses.)
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Postby karabas » Sun Aug 01, 1999 1:15 pm

I'm interested in out of print travel books and would love to know a mom and pop source
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Postby BarbaraSher » Mon Aug 02, 1999 12:50 pm

Try this address, karabas, and you'll find a couple dozen mom and pop stores that sell out-of-print books. I've visited some of them in London, and they're really quite wonderful. http://www.abebooks.com/
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Postby BarbaraSher » Mon Aug 02, 1999 12:59 pm

Here's an idea to help you, jaque: Call up your friends and friendly acquaintances and ask them when they've noticed you enjoying yourself most, what kind of activity you were engaged in -- or discussing. See what they come up with. Sometimes you can miss what you love even when it's right in your face. I have to do some real work to make sure people in my workshops understand how to pay attention to those subtle, good feelings that indicate they're using their gifts. And I tell story after story of people who "didn't really like much of anything" and yet we found *lots* of things that positively lit them up. When I'd point it out, they'd say the same thing every single time (they still do!): "Oh, no one would pay me for doing that!" or "It's impossible to do that for a career," or some such thing. Of course, that never turns out to be true, but my point is that it's really hard not to censor out what you enjoy doing, and then not be able to see it. Sorry for the passionate lecture, jacque. It's not really for you. Just reminded me of this dilemma which confronts me.
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Postby BarbaraSher » Mon Aug 02, 1999 8:24 pm

'scuse? Wooster?
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Postby BarbaraSher » Thu Aug 05, 1999 7:43 am

I've got some ideas for you, jacque, but since this Forum is about Success Stories that have already happened, let's move you to your own topic in Wishes and Obstacles, ok? Now I figure out how to move these posts. Hmm.
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Postby btlingstar » Thu Sep 02, 1999 7:56 am

Hobbies into success! My favorite topic! There are lots of entrepreneurial boards that discuss the sheer pleasure of creating a career out of one's hobbies. Check out: http://www.ablake.net/forum - Entrepreneurial board and success forum http://www.friendsinbusiness.com/board - home based businesses - the moderator was recently profiled in CNN. http://www.profitlines.com/ipub - Product development board I myself have turned my hobby (internet) into quite a major success story - I'm the author of the bestselling book on Internet Recruiting (and four other books besides!), self-published, and have a very good future outlook. When I get more time, I'll detail my full success here! Barbara, love your books, find them very inspiring! Best wishes, Barbara Ling http://www.barbaraling.com
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