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  • Writer's pictureHenery X (long)

From Hobby To Happiness

Updated: Mar 22, 2023

A short story

Self-promotion leads to promotion outside of self. If we’re not willing to invest time and energy into ourselves, why should we expect anyone else to do so? — Henery X

From Hobby To Happiness

2022, Henery X ©

Africa Nelson loved taking photographs. Every spare second he had, he spent it immortalizing moments with his trusty camera. But the thirty year old factory worker never thought of turning his hobby into a career, that is, until an Instagram DM left his mind wondering.

The said DM was from one of the many people Africa had befriended on the popular online site, and it was also someone he held in high regards. The person in question asked him had he ever considered doing what he loved doing as a profession. He responded he hadn’t, and his friend suggested that he should.

“So, Africa. What have you decided to do pertaining to my suggestion?” Jackie Davis said. The thirty-two-year old African American beauty stared into Africa’s warm brown eyes, smiling. Like him, she was dressed casually, as they sat at a table in a popular coffee shop in downtown Detroit.

“It’s a great idea, Jackie. But what do I know about running a business?” Africa said, a winning smile appeared on his face afterward.

“All you need to know, you already do. You’re a phenomenal photographer, that’s what’s going to ensure the bulk of your success. All you don’t know, I do. I have a business degree, and what better way to put it to use than by helping you.”

Africa smiled again, “I greatly appreciate you, Jackie. So, let me ask you. Why do you want to help me?”

“Well, that’s a simple question to answer. I love you.”

“Really! I mean, I knew there were some mutual feelings going on beyond friendship. But love, I didn't see that one.”

Jackie chuckled, “I didn’t say I was in love with you, I said I love you. I mean, you do know there’s a difference. Right?” She smiled.

Africa chuckled, “But of course. But do you think it could someday be the other way around?”

“Absolutely. I’ve been feeling you for a minute, as well as feeling you feeling me. But hey, I’m a slow rolling type of lady. Dig what I’m saying?”

“I can dig it. And I respect it as well. I’m just glad we now have our cards face up on the table. Anywho. Let’s get back to the matter at hand. So, how do you think I should approach this venture, from my end?”

“Well, first. You should create another Instagram page, one that will be strictly for your photographs. Next, though I’m not a big fan of niches, I believe you should select one. But I also suggest you don’t limit your options within it, instead, make them as varied as possible. Example, if you’re going to take photos of animals, make sure you include all animals.”

“I love that idea about not limiting my options, as well as what you said about the animals. In fact, I know exactly what I’m going to do.” Africa began telling Jackie his plan, and she couldn't stop smiling, as she hung on his every word.

One year later

Africa went around his neighborhood asking individuals if they would like to have a photo taken with their pets, and mostly everyone he asked said yes. Instead of monetary payment, he asked if he could post a copy of the photos on his Instagram business page, and mostly everyone he asked agreed. In no time, his clientele would not only extend well beyond his neighborhood, but well beyond the city of Detroit, and the state of Michigan as well. Though this blessing was due in large part to his phenomenal photography work, his social media team also played a significant role in his success. And we can’t forget about Jackie Davis, who handled the real business side of things. She made sure that not only was all the necessary paperwork signed, sealed, and delivered, but she also came up with the business name, which was, “Visions From Africa.”

Not only could Africa afford to quit his factory job, but everyone else involved was afforded the same luxury of quitting their 9 to 5 as well. Now, they were all living the American dream of entrepreneurship because contrary to popular belief, a 9 to 5 isn’t everyone's vision of a dream job. You see, for some, working for themselves is the job of their dreams.

Africa and Jackie would be married the following year, and they spent their honeymoon in, you guessed it, Africa.

The moral of the story: Anything we love doing can be transformed into our livelihood. It doesn’t matter what it happens to be, there’s a market for virtually everything, and where there isn’t one, we can easily create it. America is the land of opportunity, and the said opportunities are limited to a certain group of people, who are all those who are willing and ready to take full advantage of them.

Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my offering. The said offering was inspired by a suggestion I offered to a young lady, and that was meant for her to relay to her boyfriend, who was a photographer. He had confessed to her that he hated his job, but felt he had to stay seeing he had responsibilities, and no other immediate options. Sometimes, we can’t see what’s right before our eyes. So, it’s good when someone else isn’t afraid or shy to say what they see pertaining to us.

Remember. I’m not here to convince you to believe. I’m here to offer you something else to consider.

May we never lose our desire to outdo what we’ve already done.

Peace, Love, and the utmost Respect.

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