WTFinance?! Mo’ hobbies, Mo’ money

Saw our post on smart splurging? Our WTFinance series is all about helping you become smarter around spending, saving and, of course, making mo’ money!

If money is always tripping you up or you’re spending it faster than you can say “WTFinance”, then this series is for you.

Money is the one topic that causes most people massive anxiety or guilt. Let’s figure out how to manage it wisely. 

Last week, we talked about smart ways to splurge without guilt. We also polled you on your hobbies and asked if you’ve ever thought about turning it into a business. The results were so varied! 


No Woman Gesturing No: Light Skin Tone on Apple iOS 14.6


Thinking about it Thinking Face on Apple iOS 14.6


Yes Thumbs Up: Light Skin Tone on Apple iOS 14.6


Hobbies can help you create mo’ money. Once you know where your passion or interest lies, research and narrow down your niche. A niche means you serve a smaller part of the market instead of making a product that suits everyone, like making bespoke chocolates for vegans. Is there demand for what you want to sell? What are others doing and can you do it differently?

This week, it’s all about how yo’ hobby could make you mo’ money. 

Thanks to the gig economy, there’s no better time to follow your passion and take a leap of faith. You can turn that one thing you love into a thriving business.

The good news? You can get started today. All you need is a dash of creativity and a splash of courage. 

We asked YouTube personality Umehara Keiji @umeandhara to share how he created a thriving business on YouTube. 

Find your niche

‘Find what you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life.’

What do you really love to do? The one thing (or two!) that lights you up and you can talk about for hours. Do you have a hobby that people rave about or make things people always compliment you on? What would it be like to make it bigger?

Do some research to find out what’s happening in the niche. It doesn’t matter if there’s someone already doing something similar, you can find a new approach to help you stand out. Look deep inside to uncover your strengths and amp them up! Could your personality help you get noticed like Umehara Keiji’s did for him? Or the unique way you see the world that others can relate to?

“If you’re able to turn your hobby into work, that’s what most successful people have done. They are happy doing what they do. I started my YouTube channel for fun. It was something I was passionate about and loved doing. Now it’s my full-time job!”

Umehara Keiji (@umeandhara)

Offer a service

What do you love doing in your free time that others could pay you for? Maybe it’s offering a personalised style service, home-based nail service or even walking their dogs. 

You might have an eye for vintage clothing and accessories or love putting unique outfits together. 

Start small by offering your service to friends and family. Demonstrate how well you do your one thing, then ask them to refer you to others. Share snippets of your session or pics of your designs on socials via a curated feed so you can build a base of followers.

Once you have enough feedback and followers, and tweaked your service to make it even better, start thinking about how you can turn it into a business.

Consider the value of what you’re offering. What do others charge for similar services and what other services can you add to increase the price? You might help your client put together 3-5 outfits for upcoming events or go in to help an influencer dress up for a photo shoot.

Create bespoke goods

If there’s one thing people love, it’s bespoke goods. Whether it’s customised necklaces or uniquely flavoured cookies, personalisation means customers are willing to pay a little extra.

Have a knack for baking cookies or preserving fruits using a ‘secret technique’ your friends rave about? Snap pretty photos, upload them on Instagram and let people know you take orders. 

Maybe you’re baking sourdough or doughnuts or crafting beaded jewellery after work and really enjoying it? Create a simple e-commerce store and spread the word.

Someone out there needs what you’re offering. And the more bespoke your goods, the higher the price you can charge.

Show others

Teaching others how to do what you already know is a great way to build passive income. Create a paid course, YouTube tutorial, Instagram reels or TikTok videos.

Know social media tips and tricks for building a large following? Turn it into a mini-course so others can pay to learn what you’ve already figured out. 

And you don’t always have to be online either – it doesn’t need to interfere with your day job. Record tutorials, videos or reels showing others how to do something in advance. Batch and schedule.

TIP: You don’t need fancy cameras or equipment to get started. Use your phone to create your videos until your business (not you!) can afford to buy new stuff.

Just start

Feeling a bit hesitant about turning your hobby into a proper business? Don’t be. No one has it all figured out at the beginning – many entrepreneurs learn on the job. Yes, it’s challenging but it could also be the most rewarding experience of your life. 

“One of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t start my side gig earlier. I wish I’d done it while I was in secondary school. So my advice is just start”

Umehara Keiji (@umeandhara)

All you need to do today is take one small step. Whether that’s creating a new social media account. buying your website’s URL or even texting a friend to let them know what you’re planning. Just start.

Don’t be scared to be yourself. People buy from people they like and trust. Be creative with how you reach your audience – use email lists, reels, competitions. Often, it’s your unique experience and story that can set you apart. Don’t be afraid to show your audience the real you behind the scenes.

Check out what influencers are doing in your space. Learn from experts who run successful businesses. Don’t copy, just be inspired!

Think about how you’ll set yourself apart from the others in your niche. What do you offer that they don’t?

Tell your friends, family and colleagues about your business. Don’t be shy about spreading the word! You never know where your next sale or opportunity might come from.

Start small and keep your expenses under control until you start turning over a profit. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – it’s the best way to learn. Then, move forwards!

Take a guess! How much do you think it really costs to start up a side hustle?

Next time it’s all about action. We’ll talk smart strategies to help you start off right so you can turn that hobby into a strong, enduring business. 

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Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

Komsan Chiyadis

GrabFood delivery-partner, Thailand

COVID-19 has dealt an unprecedented blow to the tourism industry, affecting the livelihoods of millions of workers. One of them was Komsan, an assistant chef in a luxury hotel based in the Srinakarin area.

As the number of tourists at the hotel plunged, he decided to sign up as a GrabFood delivery-partner to earn an alternative income. Soon after, the hotel ceased operations.

Komsan has viewed this change through an optimistic lens, calling it the perfect opportunity for him to embark on a fresh journey after his previous job. Aside from GrabFood deliveries, he now also picks up GrabExpress jobs. It can get tiring, having to shuttle between different locations, but Komsan finds it exciting. And mostly, he’s glad to get his income back on track.