The best projects feel human. And when you see them, you get it. Blood, sweat and a few meltdowns went into them.
So how do you get there?
How can you tap into this side of you?
How do you dig deeper, and pour more of yourself into it?
You have to know what makes you come alive, and use it.
So along with knowing what you’re passionate about, you need to know what makes you come alive.
Think about the moments in your life where you’ve felt most in your element, most invigorated, most in-tune with everything around you. Even if it was
on the side of a mountain — you can use that. And you should. Break that down to the core. Maybe you need to include a sense of adventure, or an element of nature, in your side project. Come up with a way to align that core with your vision.
If you do, we think you’ll find a special quality of life.
Confidence = self-efficacy + optimism
Self-efficacy is simply your belief in your ability to succeed.
So how do you increase it? Up your exposure to challenges, inspiration and support.
Become a master. Create more opportunities to move from a state of cluelessness to expertise (even if they’re small). This will teach you what it takes to conquer something.
Once you know, it’s easier to believe you can do it again.
Find role models. Surround yourself with people that inspire you. It will help you visualise what your aspirations are and see the course they took to get there.
Let people encourage you. Share your ideas and accept positive responses. This will create a feedback channel that you can trust. And as a bonus, you’ll get that pep talk you probably need.
Side projects should be fun.
After all, you’re trading your time and energy for something that’s not exactly paying the bills.
So if a project is no longer fun or interesting to you, it’s okay to either take a break or pivot altogether.
One way to determine this is to pause every 8–10 weeks and ask yourself:
Is this project still providing enough value for the time and effort I’m putting in?
If no one else read/noticed/used this, am I learning enough from building this project that it would still be worth it?
Do I actually look forward to working on this project or is it becoming a chore?
Knowing when to start something new is never failing.