Would you like to earn multi thousand dollars from a hobby? why not do it yourself?

One of the reason shared in this great video How to stop screwing yourself over | Mel Robbins is that you get bored with routine. Everything in your body is growing and so does your soul, it needs to explore new things, or you need to force yourself to do so. What great way other than to do it yourself (DIY)

a DIY do it yourself project for my better half - and she loved it

Some benefits of why do it yourself (DIY) are:

It saves money (not necessarily always)

One of the great benefit of DIY (do it yourself) is you can save considerable amount of money, most of the time. We in our home after seeing woodworker made our own furniture and saved almost half the amount. The same goes with my hobby of making 5.1 amplifier, where I saved many thousands over the years.

Depending on the project, this may not always be the case, since in most cases, you are not buying items in bulk, but at retail price. This can cost you equal + energy & time, and not your first DIY may take several attempts to be a success.

a do it yourself backlit wooden front for 5.1 amplifer
a do it yourself backlit wooden front for 5.1 amplifer

Over engineering and safer products

Cost cutting is everywhere. Companies will try to save every bit they can resulting in products that don’t last much. Take the examples of cars, the old ones can survive for decades, while the new one can get a dent if you touch it. Same goes for average consumer electronics, they will mostly run till the warranty lasts. In electronics sometime cost cutting and cutting corners can result in dangerous products, especially true for low margin products and dealing with mains voltages. There are many tear down videos on youtube explaining this.

When you DIY, you can make your project sturdier, safer and over engineer (up to a logical extent) so that your product can last longer and withstand the ways you handle it. If you are making anything for kids, make it military grade sturdy, because kids can break things in ways you cannot imagine 🙂

Custom design / feel proud

You can make a custom product that is unique to you and not found on stores. While being hyper excited to make our master bed we made is so big that there was no mattress available in market for it. We have to order a custom spring mattress and that was quite heavy to handle (to our surprise). Now we have to show and tell a story of do it yourself with proud.

For race games, I made a gaming wheel with wood and PVC, which was done in fraction of market cost.

a DIY gaming wheel with wood and pvc done in few thousands instead of 30K+ PKR

Learning new skills / earning from do it yourself

do it yourself can help you earn money

Earning from a custom wordpress website

DIY can help you to learn new skills that can be used in other areas. One of the great thing of being human is you can mix ideas and use them in other situations. Just google accidental inventions and you will realize. When I finally started freelancing full time as a designer, I discovered some spare time. This lead to my hobby of electronics especially with microcontroller and coding.

do it yourself project with coding and led lights and microcontroller

This reduced my fear of coding, and that in term helped my learning web design and coding WordPress themes. This website you are reading is all custom made from ground up.

Call it luck, right at that time a client was in need for a custom designed theme for their website and long story short, I delivered my first custom made wordpress theme and earned more than a thousand dollars. KAACHING sweet money from a hobby.

Earning from an interactive presentation

Interactive presentation design with Intuiface - Inoace design studio Choudry Arif Saeed

I was browsing through job posts, when I stumbled upon a job where an interactive presentation was needed for World of Coffee Germany expo. I have a good hand at powerpoint for designing presentations, but the job required it to be done in IntuiFace a touch screen based presentation software.

IntuiFace is a mix of design and logic. Thanks to arduino and coding, it was no longer a complex topic for me. After doing a bit of research on the software, confidence started to grow. So I was straight forward with my proposal and told client that I can do this task and I got the job.

“I haven’t exactly worked with, but that’s not issues, as the features and methods are same across software, you just need to have a solid understanding of what you want to do with it. That’s the reason when Microsoft introduce morphing in PowerPoint, it took only few minutes to get it working. I’m not new to animation also and have been selling stock footages on Pond5 and motionelements (thus I have understanding of how both design and animation software works. )”

Client was very very happy with the result (here) and left a great feedback

Anyone that needs a presentation designer for any platform…

Earning from custom functionality presentation

The same experience of dealing with code and logic, helped me design a custom functionality presentation for a big international company. The functionality they were looking for was very custom and there are currently no plugins available for it. Even with the plugins, they would need to have those plugins installed on all location they would have used the presentation. Not very easy and smart move.

Client also wanted to be able to duplicate it very easily, again not an easy task with plugin. So with my experience with coding, design and animation, I provided client two solutions. One with coding and one with a video. The video one was very very easy to used and replicate and wont cause any issues, no matter where the open it. Thus client opted for second option. This custom functionality powerpoint presentation also earned me a good amount. Kaaching again.

Using code to speed up presentation formatting task

In another instance of PowerPoint presentation design, I have to improve and format around 200 pages that too in very short time. The client wanted a pixel perfect formatting, i.e every repeating element should be in exact same place on each slide. This can easily be done with Master slides in PowerPoint but problem was removing existing elements that were copied in each slide. It was too boring effort. So it was time to flex those coding muscles, I google a visual basic code that can delete certain elements on slide. Thankfully the elements that I wanted to remove have same names on each slide. After the code is executed, I was able to remove and align elements in short time within the deadline.

Online teaching to client proposal

Apart from a successful freelancing career, I also started teaching as visiting faculty at a locally renowned IQRA University. The main motive was to try not to forget how to speak (haha one draw back of sitting all day on PC alone). Now the irony struck and corona pandemic hits the world and all teaching went online for several semesters.

This made us teachers sit and teach in front of webcam ( and meet some good fellow teachers during team teaching). This enhanced skill to speak and what better way to use it other than your clients.

There was a web design project, where the client just has a rough idea in his mind. He conveyed it to me as a big picture and left all details and content for me to design and justify. One of the mistake we designer do is think that all other people can also visualize like us. no they can’t that is why they hire a designer. After I designed my proposal, instead of just sending client jpegs, I made a video explaining the whole layout of web design section by section.

Client was very happy with results and mentioned that in feedback

Great job coming up with multiple proposals in details while I only have rough idea

Pay attention to every word I say, in turn no hustle communicating effectively, no back end forth miscommunication problems.

And those video explanations sent are great way to communicate ideas

Abuduaini B. (Website design 🇺🇸 USA )

So above examples demonstrate that you can use your hobby to excel your main career or find a better one. Just enjoy the process and keep learning. Thank you for reaching so far.
~ Arif

Hire |

Follow |