Sunday, 10 January 2016

This is Why I Will Never Turn Pro

Okay, maybe not because of this box exactly, but it is one good example of why it would be a bad idea.

A lot of people dream about making a living their hobby.  Some, like my wife, actually give it a shot. Most do not.  Few really try, and few of those that do succeed.  I am not one of those.  Not that I have never thought about it.  There is a certain allure to the idea that I could make money doing what I love.  It would also be untrue to say that I have never sold any of my work.  So why am I so sure I will never make the leap?

Part of it is knowing my own limitations.  I do not work quickly.  That box above, along with a pen & pencil set I turned, was a thank you gift for a friend who did me a very generous favor.  It took me almost 2 years to get it done.  Paying customers would never be so patient.

Another reason is that I believe that working for yourself is really just an illusion.  If you want to make money you have to make what people will buy.  This means that you are making what they want, not necessarily what you want.  Right now I have made 3 of these pen boxes, although none of them are exactly the same.  If I had to make 10 the same it would become work.  If I had to make 50 the same it would be drudgery.

Freedom, to me, means being able to do what you want when you want.  Right now I don't have total control over the when, but I do control the what.  I am free to follow wherever my curiosity leads me and test my skills in whatever way I see fit.  If the price of that is that I don't get to spend all day every day in the shop, it is balanced by being able to enjoy the time that I do spend there.

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