How to start your passion project, like yesterday

How To Start Your Passion Project2

How To Start Your Passion Project

//Photo Taken By Christina Slaton//

I love being a 20-something, we’re all kinds of crazy! But seriously, something I’ve come to truly appreciate about my generation is our aspirations for a “multi-dimensional” career path. If you’re not sure what I mean, then think about how many people you know who do nothing outside of their 9-5 gig?

Not too many, huh?

Lately it seems like everyone is a “freelancer” or “consultant”, and has a “side-hustle” or “passion project”. And if you’re not one of those people, my guess is you want to be.  I’ve been observing – and participating – in this trend for years now, and I have to give the millennials credit, they’re certainly averse to being bored.

But even more than that, I think people want to feel a sense of purpose outside the company they work for (imagine that?!). Passion projects can take on many forms, but they all have one thing in common: they’re built on your own time, and out of pure passion or genuine pleasure for the activity or subject matter.

Something you can’t always say about a 9 to 5.

That being said, I can’t encourage passion projects enough. If you’ve had the itch to start something on the side, then you owe it to yourself to go for it.  Added bonus: depending on the work, there is the potential to develop a secondary income from your passion project….aka shoe money.

But I get it, you don’t know where to start. So darlings, look no further than my checklist below. Here’s are six steps to launch your passion project so quick, you’ll probably have a new business by the time you finish this article!

1. Find your niche.

Is there something you’re good at outside of your day job? Or, are there skills you’ve gained from your job that you could apply to something else? Before you do anything else, ask yourself these questions. Your ultimate goal is to match your God-given skill-set to something you find genuine pleasure doing. In there lies your “niche,” and that’s what sets you apart.  For instance, Job Offers & Bad Boyfriends was the marriage of something I’m *pretty* good at (giving career advice) and something I love (writing).  So, starting a career blog seemed like a natural side project.

2. Ask yourself why.

I’m a big believer in “finding your why” in every opportunity. Meaning, before you devote a single second to building a side-project, you need to set a goal. For some of you, that goal may be to monetize and eventually build a second income. For others, it may be to explore another field of work and potentially change careers. I know you may be thinking, “Meredith, it’s just a fun side project, why do I need to set goals?” My answer is simple: If you don’t have an outcome, you’ll never be committed to the process. If you don’t find your why, your once exciting passion project will become  that silly thing you never had the energy or drive to finish.

3. Carve out time.

I’ll admit, I struggle with this. Most days I feel like there’s never enough time for blogging. A few months ago, one of my freelance clients asked me when I find time to write, and I couldn’t articulate a good response. I think I said something ridiculous like, “Oh, I don’t know, whenever I get a chance.” Unfortunately this was true. I realized then and there I needed to build blogging into my work schedule. Of course my paying jobs come first, but I recognized that in order to make this blog successful, I’d have to commit consistent time to it. So I did.

4. Conduct a pilot project.

Sounds so scientific right? It’s also very effective! If your passion project is a product or service you hope to eventually sell, consider offering it for free to a set of individuals. For example, someone I know recently decided to turn her photography hobby into a side business and she offered free photoshoots to a few bloggers as a way to build up her work portfolio. Talk about a win-win! These pilot shoots are helpful for her and exciting for yours truly.

5. Seek out a mentor

If you’re serious about making a passion project successful, you owe it to yourself to seek out help. Before I started this blog, I ran the idea by a few women who also started blogs on the side.  Their feedback and guidance helped immensely, especially in the beginning. Immediately I felt one step ahead, and knew I had a support system when I needed it.

6. Network. Network. Network.

Did I mention network? It’s never too early to start networking. If you’re brand new to the world of freelancing, consider joining a collective or meetup group for fellow newbies. Getting your name and work in front of people will help build your brand equity in your field. Not only that, but it’s possible you may actually learn a thing or two by talking to people in similar positions. If you’re not sure how to start, or you’re intimidated to network in-person, get online. Effectively building your social presence and taking advantage of LinkedIn can go a long way.


So what do you say? Are you ready to start your passion project? #YouGoGirl



1 Comment

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