SIDE-PROJECT: EXPERIENCE IT. LEARN FROM IT. MAKE IT WORK.
Why start a side-project?
Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur, the founder of a multi-million dollar venture, or a young developer working on a smart solution to a day-to-day household problem, there’s always room for an extra weekend activity which could eventually be of great benefit.
Experience will always pay off, and it’s never a bad idea to learn something new. Every project or job you get involved in, your experience and determination to excel will be noticed and appreciated. However, throughout your career you will most likely be working in larger groups, or tasks will be assigned to you by superiors. While you may be the best in your field and always perform your tasks perfectly, your creativity and full potential may not have a chance to shine through in a world of deadlines, schemes, and meticulous planning.
Unless improvisation is an essential element of your everyday work (and if it is, congratulations, we are very happy for you but also secretly envy you) you are likely to be reluctant to experiment. After all, others expect you to deliver what was agreed upon, to meet deadlines, and to reach set goals. And that’s perfectly fine.
A side project, however, is your autonomy. It is the risk-free creative outlet anyone can afford.
It may not always turn into a success story or even see completion, but passion and genuine interest are much more powerful motivators than the expectation of a reward or fear of a failure.
How to begin?
You may be thinking: I have 1001 ideas daily and I’m so excited about each and every single one. I spend my weekend in a creativity-driven, artistic craze. But Monday comes around and yet another promising project rests in the bottom(less) drawer. Why?
You may (and should) love your job, whether it’s the freedom or growth opportunities that it provides, sometimes you just need to shake things up and let your ideas turn into projects of their own. By devoting some time to your very own, beloved side-project you may find new sources of inspiration in your daytime job as well.
Whenever an activity turns into a routine, creativity vanishes from the equation.
You may find your passion slowly dwindle as time goes by. It could be that you need a new source of inspiration, perhaps you hit a wall and don’t know how to move further, or you managed to subconsciously put your creativity and high spirits into shackles of boredom, repetitiveness and one too many frameworks.
It does not necessarily mean that it’s time to move on. You can find ways to rekindle your passion for the project, and the satisfaction of sticking to it and moving forward will be a great reward in the end. Talk to your colleagues. Show off your work, don’t hesitate to get excited as if it was the most awesome toy you dreamt of when you were a kid. You may find that recognition from others can help you through the tough periods of creative drought.
Begin a side project to raise awareness of your main product.
Try doing something that will be indirectly linked to your main venture, make its smaller cousin into a functional small tweak that will link and use some of the commodities that your main service provides, and then voila, it’s a two way stream, two hands washing each other. Twice the fun!
Hack your life.
Finding a correct balance in all parts of life can be painfully hard and impossible at times. Make a certain task easier on yourself. It doesn’t have to be a dishwasher machine tweak — if your daytime work passes over into your leisure time try to solve that. Automate, (work on a scheduling app). The time you invest into your own creation will provide the freshness any routinal life-style requires.
Be nice to yourself
Most success stories and the biggest entrepreneurs around the globe have side projects of at least moderate success. It is important to understand that even with little or no success they still are ventures that hold significant value for the people involved.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself. You know your work best, you see its every flaw, but don’t forget to appreciate its strengths and be proud of whatever you do. Your side project is your little child, something you can nurture, love and watch grow.
Whatever you do, remember to allow yourself to be creative, free, and silly when necessary.
Check out our side-project, that we launched today on Product Hunt and please give us feedback :)