by Janan Zaitoun
Based on the title, you’re probably thinking: “What’s a jobby?” Well, it’s a made-up word. It’s when you turn a hobby into a job.
We all wish we could make money from something we love doing. It sounds easier, and a lot more fun than waking up to a job we dislike. But is it?
To answer this question, I decided to conduct an experiment by searching for those who have jobbies as well as look for patterns to their success.
I had four major concerns:
1) What were the ingredients these ladies used to turn their hobbies into jobbies?
2) To what extent did writing down goals help accomplish them?
3) Does creativity raise more money, or is it the other way around?
4) Last but not least, does the hard work they invest in their jobbies rob the hobby of its joy, leaving these ladies with a stressful job in its place?
I decided to interview three women: Aiya Saqr, Mai Malkawi, and Lena Winfrey. Miss Saqr has an agreement with a national clothing factory in Amman, Jordan to print her personal doodles on T-shirts and hoodies, while taking orders through her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Doodles.by.Aiya?sk=info). She notes on her FB page that “5% of what you pay goes to buy medical equipment for those living in the Gaza Strip.”
Mai Malkawi, who is talented in writing and media work, took several courses in mass-communications, journalistic writing, and broadcasting. She began making video blogs as a hobby, the videos of which become popular on Facebook and YouTube. They were soon noticed and eventually bought by Hayat Radio Station and Kharabeesh Production Company in Jordan.
A native of West Virginia, Lena Winfrey’s hobby is writing and she has just published her first non-fiction book: The Metamorphosis of a Muslim (http://www.amazon.com/Metamorphosis-Muslim-Autobiography-Conversion/dp/6035010873). Her book has found the most popularity outside the US. A professor in India even contacted Mrs. Winfrey telling her that he plans to add her book to the reading requirements list of his literature class. Last month, Mrs. Winfrey also started her own blog about the power of words (http://pearldropsonthepage.blogspot.com/2012/02/children-heroes.html).
After interviewing these women, I discovered the one common ingredient for their success: they had each spent time developing their talent. They did that by taking extra courses, attending conferences, and practicing, practicing, practicing.
Mrs. Lena Winfrey particularly stressed the importance of marketing and having the right “connections”. “You have to invest in being at the top, and improving yourself and your product. [Also,] you have to know who is interested in [your] jobby.”
As for the role that writing down their goals played, their answers were, once more, similar. While they didn’t keep to-do lists all of their lives, at some point they each wrote down their goals.
Miss Malkawi admitted that for years she did not write down any of her goals. However, she said that when she finally did, that “is what pushed several of my projects to success and turned them into jobbies.”
As for the question of whether creativity increases money or money increases creativity, I expected to hear the women say “it’s a two-way street.” Instead, the answer I received from all three was that creativity brings in more money. Miss Saqr summarized it best by saying “I have a personal philosophy to never sell anything I wouldn’t buy for myself, and thus the whole business stems from my own personal satisfaction.”
As for the question of how stressful their jobbies can become, they all expressed the same love for what they do. “I’d never trade it for the world!” said Miss Saqr, the doodler.
By Janan Robin Zaitoun