This might sound a strange article to be writing as an entrepreneur, but I am going to any way.
I believe entrepreneurs should have hobbies. I know that both of my hobbies are a great way to relax and help me to de-stress. I suppose the next thing to do is to define a hobby. Well the Oxford Dictionary version is: “Activity pursued for pleasure in one’s spare time”. My version is: “Something I do to unwind and relax that is completely different to my work.”
So the next question is what sort of hobby should an entrepreneur take up? Well, that is entirely down to the individual. No one can tell you what you should do in your spare time. Hobbies are very much a case of something that interests you as an individual. I do know that it should ideally be unrelated to your work environment although some may disagree with me. My two main hobbies are amateur dramatics including the local church pantomime every year; my other hobby is working on my allotments.
The amateur dramatics is relaxing because although I have to learn lines and take direction it is fun and relaxing to do and I do not find learning the lines too much of a problem. This is mainly because it is great to see youngsters learning lines and growing as individuals (I refer the reader to my earlier article on Drama as a Confidence Builder). I know for a fact that doing amateur dramatics has helped me grow as an individual. I have also seen it in some of my fellow actors in the groups I belong to, many of who are now in their early and late teens. As individuals under 11 they were quiet and very reserved.
I strongly and firmly believe they are better people for being involved and it will certainly help them as adults in and for years to come. I think they have become more rounded and self confident. Now I am not advocating that it should be forced on to them and to take away their childhood because that is going the wrong way and making them do something they may not want to. I think that young people from the age of about 14 or 15 should be given the credit and opportunity to start to make their own decisions. Now that is probably going to be regarded as controversial.
My other hobby is my two allotments and this is very relaxing and thoroughly enjoyable (I would recommend people look into it). For me it has several advantages. The very obvious one is that you are out in the fresh air getting exercise. Second and equally important you are growing and eating food you have planted and raised yourself. Yes there is a serious taste difference. Let me put it this way: you plant, say, lettuces and a month to six weeks later you are picking them and putting them on your plate to eat probably an hour after you picked them. Fresh or what?
With the food you grow you know where it has come from and what has been put on it to help it grow and I can tell you that what I grow is organic and extremely tasty. Where I have my allotment there is a great camaraderie and friendship and a willingness to help each other out. There is such a feeling when you can go and pick your own vegetables and fruit and make something from them. It is even more satisfying to be eating your own food right through the winter having frozen it again often inside an hour of picking.
Something else that happens in my allotments is if someone has a glut of a particular vegetable or fruit then it is offered to a fellow allotment owner.
The people I have got to know are of different back grounds and nationalities and it does not make any difference. We are there because we want to grow our own food.
Something I find very rewarding and satisfying is when parents bring up their children and get them involved. I am sure that many people will say: “My children would not be interested or they will not be able to tell the difference.” I can assure you they will be interested and I am talking about toddlers to young people in their early 20s. Another thing I have noticed is the vast age range of my fellow allotment owners. The ages range from young people in their 20s, 30s to those in their 40s and 50s (like me). There are several neighbouring allotment owners in their 60s, 70s and 80s.
So as an entrepreneur I would seriously advise anyone who is thinking of becoming an entrepreneur to choose a hobby and pursue it with vigour. You will and really must have something to help you relax and de-stress and allow you think about something other than the business.
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