Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Get a Hobby

Chris McCann wrote a nice piece calling for startup company founders to get a hobby. I love it!

I enjoyed that Chris responded to his need for a hobby by adopting 30 of them. And then he made a list and started checking them off. Why start with the notion of having one hobby when you can try lots of them?

Beyond relaxation and clarity, hobbies also are opportunities to get passionate about something you might turn into a business. Maybe you can use your expertise in one field (like computer engineering) to solve a problem in another (scuba diving). Instant startup idea. By trying 30 different hobbies, an entrepreneur gets exposure to 30 different potential target markets.

I also believe that building a diverse portfolio of non-occupational experience helps with creativity. Different hobbies require different kinds of thought. Windsurfing requires the surfer to have a mental model of where the wind is coming from, how the board will react to changes in weight, and how the sail will react to changes in position. Mountain biking requires continuous planning for and reaction to the approaching terrain. The more exposure to different problem solving skills, the more your brain stretches, and your reserves of confidence build to help you get through tough patches in life.

I'd like to try more hobbies, but I'm not doing too bad in my checklist of things I've tried so far:
  • windsurfing
  • surfing
  • western horseback riding
  • hang gliding
  • photography
  • writing
  • cooking (I tried it, didn't say I was good)
  • violin playing
  • piano
  • crossfit
  • reading
  • concerts
  • music festivals
  • shooting
  • archery
  • boating
  • sailing
  • rowing
  • canoeing
  • swimming
  • hiking
  • caving (the touristy kind)
  • exploring new cities
  • brewing beer
  • making furniture
  • flash mobs
  • being an extra in a film
  • standup paddleboarding
  • behind the scenes tours at Disney World
  • juggling
  • indoor rock climbing
The hobbies I'd like to get some experience in:
  • scuba diving
  • flying planes
  • kiteboarding
  • wakeboarding
  • snow boarding
  • motorcycling
  • mountain climbing
  • whitewater rafting
  • hot air ballooning
  • space exploration
  • urban exploration
  • yoga
  • zip lines
  • dinosaur bone hunting
  • driving a tower crane
  • touring in a sleeper car
  • unicycling
  • unicycling offroad
  • stilt walking
  • outdoor rock climbing
What am I missing?

2 comments:

chris said...

hey thanks for the blog post reference, glad I inspired someone else to take up multiple hobbies :)

I added two of your events in my list!
archery
canoeing

If you are going to be in the Palo Alto / Silicon Valley area anytime soon let me know and we could both do one of these adventures together . Happy adventuring!

John said...

Thank you Chris for making me reflect on my hobbies more. I'll be in San Francisco for WWDC, but I'm not sure how much time I'll have away from the event....