How to make money doing what you love

Founder of Monkeynut Entertainment, Elliott Frisby was asked how to make money doing what you love? This is what he had to say...

If anyone would have told me that I would have been making a full time living in music for 20 years, I would have said that they were crazy! After all, picking up the guitar and learning a few songs was just a teenage passion. Surely that’s not a platform to have a serious career right? WRONG! The world is surrounded by talented individuals. If you’re reading this then you too have a unique talent. You may not identify it as a talent but trust me - you have one.

If you have ever thought that you would have liked to or would like to give something a go then I’m here to say that you owe it to yourself to have a shot (that’s not a cue to down a sambuca!) How many times have you seen something on television and thought ‘ I could do that ‘ or ‘what are they doing?!’ except they are the ones who are turning their ideas into a nicer looking bank balance while others go about groaning on Mondays and looking forward to the weekend. 

It’s not always easy. Trust me I know! However, it does get easier and once you have a clear game plan then you may find that before you know it, you are making a little side earner, perhaps starting a business or maybe you’ll choose to give things away for free. Whatever it is that you’re doing and whichever way you’re doing it - YOU’RE DOING SOMETHING YOU LOVE!

“You may not identify it as a talent but trust me - you have one.”


My journey hasn’t been straightforward (it still isn’t) but I listen and I have learned and I do that on a day-to-day basis. Below are just a few things that I think are key to making money doing what you love. These have come about through my failures, positive and negative experiences and by simply blagging it.

Remind yourself of who you are and what you love
Go on… What are you good at? I dare you to say it out loud. I dare you further to say it loud and with confidence. I dare you even further to say "I am going to look into making money from this". 

Be realistic
This is crucial. In my field, so many artists get convinced that they are the next best thing and that they should be performing at every major event straight away. Wrong! It doesn’t work like that. Ask yourself, are you good enough yet to do this? If the answer is yes then GREAT, although my next point still applies.

Yes, I used capitals! This is really important. Part of doing what you love is learning how to do it well and keep learning. If you don’t want to do this then go back to the first pointer and think again. This is, after all, about doing what you love. Surely you will want to do more of it and get better? Add this to your working week. Put it in the fun category. Great! It’s Tuesday. After work I’m going to learn how to…..

Tell people what you are doing
You will be amazed how many people will want to support you. You may even inspire them to do the same. These people will talk about you and I’m sure will recommend you if an opportunity arises for your new venture.

I think this is essential, although it could be a personal thing. I’m a creative guy and I really give a damn about entertainment. This is a good thing but not for my mind space. My creative mind can sometimes go for a trip to the cosmos and make me feel like a ticking time bomb. Not cool! With two children, a beautiful wife, a premium entertainment business and gigs, I don’t have much time for the gym so I run at least twice a week. Through exertion I maintain a clear head and positive attitude. Exercise has so many benefits. Do it!

Surround yourself with positive people
Have you ever been surrounded by people who see the worst in everything? You know the type. The ones who seem to have the ability to find a negative response to every positive comment you make. These people bombard you with negative stories about themselves? Well, I can’t stand those people! Stay away from them as best you can or make a polite excuse and get the hell out of there when you have had enough. What they do, often without really knowing that they are doing it, is ZAP you of all that positive energy that you could be applying to your life goals. In a monkeynut shell (yes I went there), don’t let other people make you feel like this. It’s not cool!

Focus on the next step and not the ultimate goal
I like to have a rough image in my mind of my ultimate goal. Please note that I didn’t say clear image. There needs to be scope for movement as things will most likely adapt and evolve along the way. That said, I think it’s critical to have a ‘clear image’ and put most of your focus on the ‘next step’. The ‘next step’ is the single most important goal leading to your ‘ultimate goal’. Do that well and then apply the same rule to the next step and so on. I will stop myself here otherwise this paragraph will be a blog in itself. In fact, let’s do that. I’ll write a little more on another day but for now, let’s move on.

If there is an area you can’t do well, pay someone to do it for you
I wish, I wish, I wish that I did this sooner! Think about it. It makes perfect sense. You can’t be amazing at every aspect of business and you certainly can’t do a million and one jobs (slight exaggeration) to the best of your ability as time won’t allow it. Focus on your strong points - the bits where no-one can do it as well as you - and everything that you’re bad at, get someone who’s amazing to do it for you. Yes you’re paying out but the venture you’re passionate about - the venture that you love - will be created to the best of its ability. Remember, by doing this, you could also potentially be supporting someone else’s career. Nice!

I can’t begin to tell you how important I think mindfulness is to the success to not just business but as a human being. Applying just 10 - 15 minutes of meditation, or as we say it to our children ‘quiet time’, to your everyday life will help you to make clearer decisions, be more creative, have more patience, offer a better service, have more energy and many other benefits. I strongly suggest trying it. There are many guided meditations on YouTube which are good starting points. I’ll post more on this another time.

In summary
These are just a few pointers that I have learned and applied through the years. If one or more area takes your interest then I urge you to look into it further. Don’t deprive the world of your talents and don’t let people make you feel like you’re not good enough because they don’t have the guts to do it themselves. Be honest with yourself and Go For It!

Elliott Frisby is singer, musician, songwriter, record producer and head of Monkeynut Entertainment. Follow Elliott on Facebook, as well as Monkeynut Entertainment.