Many of us stay at our jobs simply for the money. We may not enjoy the work we do or exhibit any passion for it, but we put our feelings aside because the money is just too good to pass up. But what if there was a hobby we could pursue full-time that offered the same financial security as any other 9-5? Here are some options you can consider:
#1 The Ultimate Host
One would assume that a passion for cooking would translate well into a job. No. Heck no. Foodservice, even in fine dining, is absolute hell. If the money were no object, I would love to host meals for people in my dream home. Kind of like a show on the Food Network or Tupperware Party, but in person and without awkwardly trying to hawk merchandise.
They can come when food is ready or come early if they want, start with cocktails, and I would walk them through the entire preparation start to finish. I love watching people cringe when I start making something that their childhood ruined, then gauging their pleasant surprise when something like brussels sprouts can actually taste phenomenal when prepared right.
Introducing people to new foods they love, showing them industry shortcuts, and especially demystifying complex dishes feels like teaching a kid how to ride a bike. Oh well, back to minimum wage reality.
#2 Vocal Services
Voice acting. I've thought of doing this. It's a hard industry to get into, but if money's not a concern, you'd be able to get some great equipment and build up a pretty nice demo doing volunteer work. At this point in my life, money is always a concern. That IS something I'd love to do, though. I don't know where I'd even volunteer. I'd honestly do stuff for free if I got credited. Eventually, that'd lead to bigger and better things if someone thought I was good enough.
#3 The Simple Life
Farming. We have a bit of land with our house now, been able to use some of the free space to grow potatoes, peas, rhubarb, raspberries, and zucchini. I grew up in a farming town, working on fields and in greenhouses. I'd like nothing more than to go back into a quieter homesteading lifestyle versus the humdrum and tediousness of city life.
#4 Garden Dreams
My town has an area where you can rent 30' x 10' garden plots from April to November. My boyfriend and I just found out about it in January so we got a plot. It's been FANTASTIC. He grew up on a farm so he's the boss and I follow his lead. I'm learning so much and realize that I'm the calmest and happiest when we go up there to work and pick our veggies for the week.
I could just sit there for hours and watch the plants grow. I can't wait until someday when we can have a house with a yard large enough to have a garden on it. That's the dream. If I could quit my job and just hang out in my garden and weed all day and talk to my plants, I'd be the happiest person in the history of the world.
#5 Back To My Roots
I didn't grow up on a farm but I grew up in a rural area with a lot of my friends having farms. After leaving my hometown for college, I lived in metro Detroit for eight years, and now I live in LA. My wife loves it here, but I wouldn't mind having a plot of land with a small farm and being fairly self-sufficient back in the area I grew up.
#6 The Board Game Life
Run an RPG or board game store. I did this last year and it's still going! Minus the financial security thing, I guess. It's tough and sometimes exhausting in every way possible, but it was a lot easier than we thought and it's very rewarding. Board games are a hard sell (and so expensive!) and they're a very small part of what we do, but we do enough Magic stuff that it lets us have room for some of the more niche stuff we're excited about that don't necessarily pay the bills.
#7 I Want To Be Free
If I wanted to do a single thing, I could probably make work out of it. I just want freedom. The freedom to do nothing, and the freedom to engage in brief projects chosen by myself. Pretty sure my ability to have hobbies has atrophied by poverty anyway—having to do everything cheaply is exactly why hobbies aren't fun to me, as they then just become more work.
#8 Work For The Bills
What is depressing about this is how much it resonates with me. It's discouraging to work just to pay bills and then only be able to afford the cheapest stuff for your hobby that breaks 10 minutes after you start using it. This is one of the reasons I have gone back to video games as an "adult" because I can spend $15 to $60 on one and get HOURS of playtime and fun out of it.
#9 Jack Of All Trades
I feel like I'm passionate about a lot of things but not one thing in particular. I'm good but not great at guitar and fiddle, I played a sport in college but not nearly well enough to think about going pro, I'm into photography but just give out prints as gifts, and I liked a lot of different subjects in school/college but not one thing in particular. The idea of doing one thing for the rest of my life is so unappealing, but specialization is the name of the game
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#10 For His Happiness
My husband is a blacksmith. He'll be certified in June. He's currently working a summer job and hopes to set up his own smithy going forward, but he's also aware that he might have to take another job just for the income in the meantime. Worth noting that I am and will likely remain the primary breadwinner in our household, but I am okay with that; he's truly happy doing this, and this is priceless to me after him (and consequently us) going through some really tough times before he found this program.
#11 Music And Lyrics
Music. I wouldn't even care if I made a career out of it. If I had the time, I could actually finish writing a dang song. I always write cool riffs and forget them right away. I'm sitting on some great choruses or hooks or riffs or whatever it may be but just not enough time to really play them out all day every day until I have something worth a dang.
#12 Ski Patrol
Ski Patrol. I have the coolest aunt ever and she introduced me to skiing. Living in the South, I'd only seen snow about half-a-dozen times before my twenties. She'd been skiing for 17 years and was also serving in the Army simultaneously. For those who don't know, Ski Patrollers are basically paramedics on skis. They keep people under control on crowded slopes and respond to injuries or other disturbances.
It's really cool because I never thought I would be good at skiing, but in my first lesson, it felt very natural—much more so than a snowboard, sorry guys. I'm not actually a patroller yet because it's hard to complete the training when the class is three states away, but I'm working on that and I'll definitely get certified eventually. Right now I'm prepping to go out west for the first time in about a year and a half. Get ready Colorado!
#13 Bizarre Foods
I'd love to do what Andrew Zimmern does with Bizarre Foods. I love traveling and eating new things. I'm pretty open to trying odd foods but do share a common dislike for durian with Andrew. I legit thought about trying to contact him to become his apprentice. Sounds kind of silly writing it but someone has to take the reins when he's gone!
#14 I Love Knitting
Knitting. I'd have to sell to rich people though because even without factoring in the cost of materials, knitted items take a long time to make, so the cost for time alone makes knitted items expensive if you're actually looking to make a living wage. And the cost of materials is no joke either, especially if you want premium materials like silk or mohair. Actually, my dream for a long time was to be a writer, but I don't really think of my writing as a hobby. Also, I get writer's block way too often to be able to do it full-time.
#15 Silly Game Rooms
My thing is how silly some game rooms are, and how short they last. I want to buy an entire strip mall and make massive escape rooms, like ten or fifteen building-size escape rooms, and make them serious. Dark rooms where you need to do everything with a flashlight, or mirror and laser light puzzles, and four hours to do them, things like that. I don't care how much of a loss I run at, I just want to run it.
#16 The Cat Lady
I'd start a cat rescue. I could spend my life petting cats and making sure they get good homes. People often forget or ignore what magnificent creatures they are. My cat who's 12 fills my heart with so much joy. I can be at work looking at cat pictures and be reminded of him and I could almost cry because I love him so much. I have also accepted my fate as a cat lady so I'd also love to open a sanctuary or something of the sort for cats. They all deserve some love.
#17 Art And Coffee
I'd open an art gallery and patisserie. I'd buy and sell local artwork. Talk about art all day. Eat macarons. Bake croissants. I'd die happy, for sure. Or, I want a bar, cafe, bakery, or whatever where my customers can drink drinks or scotch with their pastries. Just like in Portugal. I loved that place, could order a glass of rum, beer, and a pastry and just sit reading a book or looking at people walking by.
#18 Driving For Fun
Driving around for no reason. I'd even be okay with some sort of "boss" who tells me where to go. But I don't want to drive a big truck like for a shipping company, and I don't want to interact with lots of people like a taxi, Uber driver, or a delivery guy. Package courier, maybe? I knew a guy who did that as a side job. He'd occasionally drive to an airport, pick up some package, and drive that package several hundred miles then return. I guess he fairly regularly had to transport donor organs to hospitals.
#19 Need For Speed
Racecar driver. No hobby is more financially insecure, so assuming that is taken care of... I can't imagine anything better. As Steve McQueen said, "Racing is life, everything before or after is just waiting." In a world where most people want cars to drive themselves, here we are trying to wrestle these things around a track as fast as possible. I would love to go racing more, but of course, I had to choose one of the most expensive hobbies. As the saying goes. The only way to make a little money racing is to start with a lot of money.
#20 Life Is Good
I'm actually retired and living on a modest pension. I'm debt and mortgage-free so I am now able to pursue my hobby of being happy. I discovered a few years ago that my "ambition" as written in my high school yearbook was to be happy. I happily read up on the latest news every morning while sipping my fresh brewed coffee...
I happily cook and bake and try new recipes and eat food that isn't processed... I happily started taking art classes and learning about sketching and acrylics and watercolors... I happily wake up without an alarm clock, which means "When I've had enough sleep..." I happily embrace each day and feel grateful that I found and reached this point in my life.
I soon realized once I retired that my ambition was the go back to what my dreams and aspirations were when I was a kid and in elementary school, before 'life' and 'puberty' and 'peer pressure' sent me veering off to an unfulfilling, empty, bottomless path. Still appreciate hitting near rock bottom because it now makes me appreciate what I've now got. Life is good. I love my life.
#21 That's... Extreme
I occasionally have fantasies about being in a car accident and losing a limb, then taking my disability or insurance payouts and spending the next 20 years getting engineering and medical degrees and building an advanced, open-source platform for robotic prosthetics. None of these things are my current hobbies. I have the fantasy because I'd like to have cool robot limbs that shoot lasers, not because I hate my life and have some limb-amputation fetish.
#22 Gold-Plated Walrus
I'd happily entertain people for free. Money has never interested me, nor has fame. I don't need an enormous house, an expensive car, a gold-plated walrus, or a private jet. I'd like to live comfortably, of course... but to my mind, that means having a place that's my own, a nice chair, and the time I'd need to type up my ideas.
If I had the means by which to live that modest-but-comfortable life, then I'd be happy to offer all of my work to the world without asking for anything in exchange. In fact, I'd actually prefer things that way: When things like rent and walrus-feeding bills aren't issues, a person can focus more intently on their goals.
I'd write novels, screenplays, and short stories, I'd put together amusing comic strips, and I'd probably even attempt to develop a bad video game or two. The medium wouldn't really matter, provided that people who were interested had easy (and free) access to it. This is all hard for some folks to believe, of course, but honestly: I don't want that gold-plated walrus.
#23 A New Adventure
Cartography, or making maps. Not only do you get to find new places nestled into nooks and alleys around the town which you thought you knew so well, but you get to travel, learn history and culture, and stop along the way for a cup of tea. And you get to play around with mapping styles and annoy people with your knowledge about map projections.
#24 Fighter Jets
I wouldn't consider it a hobby, as I've only ever done it once, but being a pilot. I flew a four-seater prop plane when I was 12 years old, and never had a chance to be in an airplane since. To get my pilot's license, especially as a hobby, I doubt that will ever happen, but if I could make a retired living as a charter pilot here in Ontario, it would be awesome. I couldn't think of a better job. Unless this "financial security" thing also gives me enough money to buy my own fighter jet... I'd just fly that thing from air show to air show, like the ex-British pilot who bought two Harriers and does exactly that.
#25 The World-Builder
Worldbuilding. I would love to do everything; finally, dedicate enough time to learn digital art and animation, then commission music to go along with it all. Study other languages and their accents, then practice the pronunciations and nuances of each. Research cultures, both real and otherwise, and collect inspiration. Then I'd want to compile it all in writing and have my very own detailed and fleshed-out world that I could create stories with.
#26 Non-Traditional Art
I would run an art gallery that displayed and sold alternative art. Chainmail and chainmail jewelry, wire wraps, homemade wands, crocheted clothes and accessories, wooden crafts, basically any weird, awesome, handmade thing that isn't traditionally seen as "art." This would be the second floor. The first is a venue and bar.
#27 People Helping People
I would want to help teach people that didn't have the same opportunities I have had how to live a better life. Like, real, in-person life pro-tips. Like how to clean your washing machine, or balance a check look, or change a car tire, or shortcut keys for the computer, or how to Google what you want to know, or change a diaper, or structure a family schedule. That kind of stuff. My dream job is to open up a nonprofit that would teach people real-life skills while providing free child care while they attend. Maybe even set them up with apprenticeships. Make it easier for them to learn practical things and build their confidence through that knowledge.
#28 Sky Pirate
Well, my current hobby is doing DIY build or repair projects because I'm usually too broke to have someone else do it (home and automotive), or buy interesting gadgets (electronics and other nifty things). That said... because the question guarantees financial security, I would get my pilot's license to take up the hobby of flying. More specifically: I would get a seaplane that had good range and payload capabilities, set up shop in the Caribbean, and offer to haul cargo or people around that otherwise couldn't afford it. I may or may not paint the plane yellow. It all depends on whether or not sky pirates are a thing in that reality.
#29 Comic Book Historian
At Lucasfilm, there is a guy on the Lucasfilm Story Group whose primary job is figuring out what is and isn't canon, and making sure new content gels with canon. His name is Pablo Hidalgo. I want to be the DC Comics equivalent of that. My love and knowledge of DC continuities are so great that I'd love just sitting there all day making sense of universes and timelines, making sure new writers keep with current canon.
#30 Give It A Shot
I gave up comics because I could no longer afford the materials nor could I take the rejection letters anymore. I was forced to quit wrestling because I could no longer afford the travel and my body was broken to the point it wasn't worth it anymore. So yeah. If I were miraculously young and could do either of those again with no worries of finances? Knowing what I do now? I'd at least give it a shot.
#31 A Second Career
Music. I am already slowly working towards getting a band together with a friend of mine and I plan on being in a band while working on my engineering career that I am studying for, already. If I was set, I wouldn't need to worry about that safety net and could really push my music career instead of leaving it my second career.
#32 Three Future Goals
I have three, all are somewhat related. The first is gaming. I kick myself often not jumping on my YouTube channel back in the early days. I somehow had a good chunk of subs but never knew how great the platform might be for gamers. If I knew then what I know now, I would have put more videos out and built that following and done it around playing games.
That's related to my next: film. In high school, I was in a lot of media classes where making short films or segments we're our projects and I loved it. Games and YouTube would have been a perfect combination. Finally, I would love to open a gaming bar. I always thought these were a cool idea and sharing games with friends and strangers seems really fun. Oh well, keep dreaming I guess.
#33 Outdoorsy Ambitions
I'd want to be an outdoor guide. Not like someone who handles just day trips for hunters, but a guide who would take you out for expeditions spanning a week or more. I love being outside in the mountains. Having the ability and gear to just GO and be out there for long stretches would be a dream come true for me.
#34 Studying The World
I would love to be an "old school" anthropologist. I would want to go and study cultures all over the globe because, there is an infinity of knowledge being lost every day, and I could help preserve it. Or I would stay in my field, ecology, and go help preserve the Hawaiian ponds. You know, before everything sinks... I would at least be on a beach.
#35 The Politician
Maybe I would give politics a shot. Maybe I'd end up changing something for the better, even if it would only be a tiny bit, as I would never be able to reach any position of significant influence. That, or just learning. Trying to build up knowledge, but also the ability to reflect as good as possible. Stuff like video games is a cool hobby, but nothing to "pursue."
#36 Gaming Community
The short answer is video games. The long answer is: I have this career fantasy of building this great community of people around me, that helps and supports each other. We gamers can be incredibly encouraging to each other, but also insanely toxic at times. I started years ago diving into recording on YouTube and then streaming on Twitch with the mindset of "Hey, let's try to make some money on the side."
But that has changed dramatically over the years. I just want to meet people, entertain people, and encourage moderately positive behavior. So if I could dive into my hobby, it would be very much my content creating, and passion for community management revolving around the video game industry.
#37 Special Of The Day
I want to open a food truck called "Special of the Day." It will have no theme other than the food I feel like making for that day. Today might be mac and cheese, hot wings, and milkshakes. Tomorrow might be tuna sandwiches, pie, and vegan breakfast burritos. Check social media to see what I felt like making today before you come!
#38 Another Shot
Honestly, for me, money doesn't create happiness. It's more of an object. My end goal in life is to make as many people happy or impact as many lives in a meaningful way as possible. That being said, my hobby is gaming and anything video game-related. I'd love for my full-time job to be just streaming me playing games and my personality live across the internet.
I tried it seriously for a few months a couple of years back and found success, but I'm not very good when it comes to dedicating or committing myself to something. This, coupled with the fact that it cut so much into my real life (time was hard to fit into my work schedule), I quit. The stars are starting to align again with my life and I may have a good opportunity coming up to start streaming again and give it one more honest to God shot.
#39 Flair Of Imagination
Voice acting or acting in general. Taking in a character and portraying it in your own way is so fascinating and fulfilling when you entertain an audience and really connect with them on an emotional level. Acting is the flair of imagination we had as children that drove us to "play pretend" so to speak. And it's a beautiful art form that allows us to relive that imaginative experience we had as kids.
#40 Be A Gamemaster
Open up an escape room business. That service has gotten so popular that there's even one in the mall in my town, which is in the middle of nowhere in upstate NY. I've been to some of them, and the game design has always disappointed me. I love game design and I would love to do design experiences for escape puzzle rooms full-time.
But I also have a lot of ideas on how to improve the business side of things. I don't know why, but none of the escape rooms I've been to provide any sort of discount for larger groups, which doesn't seem fair. When each person is shelling out $20+, you might as well give a group rate if they have 5 or more people. Especially considering that the puzzles aren't well designed for groups of people.
#41 Dungeons And Flagons
I'd want to try my hand at running a pub. It'd be called "Dungeons and Flagons," and be fantasy themed. The drinks would all be called "potions" and there'd be quests. For example, your "party" has to compete against other parties in challenges, with free "potions" as rewards. All the shot glasses would look like the D20s. We'd host D&D campaigns and stream them live, and any time someone rolls a Nat1 they have to take a shot, and anyone with a Nat20 gets a free drink voucher.
#42 First World Problem
I am an inventor and designer of mechanical things. 20-ish years ago, I put together a widget that people and businesses would actually spend money to own. I built a company around it. I still kept having ideas though. I started design work in my spare time as I learned new technologies. I never had time to flesh them out though; too busy keeping the factory humming and customers satisfied with minor variations of the original product.
Knowing more and having a better understanding of how to market, I have designs roughed out that I know could sell. In fact, three of my concepts have since been patented by large organizations (not through subterfuge). If I could retire today (technically I could), I would rent a small shop and lab and flesh out one or more of the fun projects gathering dust. Some would sell well. Some would be just for fun. I love my work but sometimes I hate my job. First-world problem, I guess.
#43 A Cheesy Hobby
My husband and I have a cheese hobby that borders on addiction. We love to try new cheeses; the weirder the better. We have cheese nights that involve making these great platters of different cheeses and accompaniments like apple slices, different meats, and pickles. If I were financially secure, we would travel the world trying new cheeses together and with local accompaniments like fresh bread from a local bakery or honeycomb or jam. I would get to do the things I like best; travel, eat, and spend time with my husband.
#44 Linux Goals
I would spend a lot more time with my family. Life is too short. Otherwise, I would actually stay in the same line of work I'm currently in. I'm a Linux engineer, and I have a tremendous amount of passion and energy for that kind of work. The FOSS community pays off for me in creative endeavors enough that I feel I owe a debt of gratitude. That said, I would do zero work by requirement. I'd probably do more within the Arch Linux community, as I consider it the best that Linux has to offer.
#45 Livin' The Life
I got to do this. My boyfriend was embarking on a three-year, bizarre job tour from state to state. With the frequent moving and stupid amount of money they paid him, I haven't had to work. I've always been really into reading, but while I've been doing this, I've read about 100 books each year, learned how to crochet, volunteered at a cat rescue (petting cats counts as a hobby to me), and taken up painting miniatures for D&D (he couldn't be happier about that one). I probably could have done something cooler at that time, but reading and petting cats was not a bad way to spend three years of my life.
#46 Triple Threat
What I love, more than anything in the world, is acting, singing, and dancing. I'm decent at all three—but if I had the time and financial security to practice more, to learn more, I could be so much better. I would spend all my time in various plays, any role; but I like to play the bad guy and in a show choir or glee club. Music and singing make me feel a certain way I just can't properly describe; like everything is still and peaceful, and perfectly understood for a brief moment in time. It's nice to dream of, anyway.
#47 The Travel Blogger
I would probably travel; experiencing cultures of different countries and learning different languages! I would probably vlog the experiences I have and blog about them later. Then I would invest money in several businesses in order to increase my own revenue then start my own business doing something random.
#48 Just The Beginning
Creating everything. I love cars but that's just the beginning. I want to brand myself and I find it would be fun to make my own clothing and accessories as well as car parts or other things when the cars are running too perfectly to work on. If nothing else, I'd just like to race and live as a race car driver in every style of the sport.
#49 Observer Of People
Analyzing emotions of people by rational approach, because empathy doesn't work intuitively for me with almost all people, so I learn to read their body language and voice patterns in order to get a grasp of how they feel (and influence it positively because I still have an urge for altruism; me not feeling other people's pain doesn't oppose that for me). In a job that pays for it, I'd observe people and give tendencies of motivations, emotions, intentions, subtext, eventually maybe even general ideas about traumatic experiences in the past, etc.
#50 Jokes On Stage
Stand-up comedy. I'm already an active touring comedian, and I have a job that pays well and affords me plenty of opportunities to go on the road because I get my full-time hours in while only working three days a week. Still, that only lets me drive so far for shows before I have to turn around and come back, and I could expand my contacts and my range if I quit in order to focus on it 100%. Unfortunately, I've gotten used to making this kind of money, and I'm not at a point in comedy where I could pay my mortgage just as a comic. Maybe someday in the next few years, though.