Hobbies Should Not Be Income Sources?
1. Day job and hobby convergence
This is true for me. I spend a lot of time trying to learn more than I probably need to about portfolio management. The way I have described it is I spend time on many theories and funds because it interests me to no end even though the influence from this study is only incremental, it's fun for me. That part of it is like a hobby.
I'm an independent contractor under the auspices of a decent sized firm. There are policies and procedures and all things related to this aspect of what I do is a job, not a hobby. If the job disappeared tomorrow, I'd still do the hobby part.
2. Retirement context
If statistics and personal finance articles are to be believed, then we are collectively very undersaved for retirement. It is understandable that many people won't want to stay in their primary career to some older age but might very well need income past some sort of traditional retirement age. Figuring out how to monetize a hobby seems like a way to fill the gap on your own terms for a few years.
3. Ruining a hobby
Eyegor is right that a ruined hobby is a bad outcome.
4. Hobby to income stream, back to hobby
That describes my arc with blogging/writing. I've been writing in relation to my day job since before the internet was common. I started blogging in 2004, converted that into a pretty good income stream writing at TheStreet.com from 2005-2013 (maybe 2014). That then transitioned into another writing related gig as an ETF strategist at a smaller ETF provider until 2018. That gig ended and I was back to writing with no income for the last 5 years or so. Where I created income streams a couple of times before, maybe I can do it again, we'll see but it is still as fun as it has ever been. Actually maybe more fun as the writing has evolved to look at more interesting (to me) things.
5. Hobby leading to a mostly unrelated income opportunity
I guess I'm drawing from personal experience for this list. I managed an ETF for a short time about 10 years ago. The opportunity came from people who knew me from my writing. The fund did ok but failed in terms of raising enough assets to be viable but it was a fantastic experience.
I write all the time with my fire department involvement. Hobby may not be the best description but it is close. This has lead to a related but different opportunity as a liaison trainee for an incident management team. The fire department is unpaid, the liaison work is a paying, seasonal job.
For this list I spoke to a couple of buddies who each make custom baseball cards. Both view it has a hobby. The following is from one of the two but both situations are similar.
He has a day job. The cards are something he does on his free time, I'd say he's prolific with it and appears to love baseball more than I do. I asked him if he thought of the cards as a hobby, a side hustle or something else and he was pretty clear that for him it is a hobby even though he monetized it quite a while ago.
7. Need another hobby
Eyegor said that if you monetize a hobby, you need to find another hobby. Generally, I would encourage everyone to continually pursue new interests, where it goes from there, who knows?