The adventures of a side project
In this blog, I want to chat about the value of the side project, and why we should
all have one. A side project is something that you do in your personal capacity,
outside the scope of your 9-5 everyday job. It’s not a second job, it’s something
that you do, for you.
As some of you may know, I joined a brand called SHIFT_The Wellness collective, a brand that aims to inspire young entrepreneurs to break into the health and wellness industry. My role was to get the brand up and running, ensure occupation at the centre, and organise events (such as wellness workshops, trail runs etc)
It has been an exhilarating adventure, watching people’s faces as they walk into the centre with smiles on their faces, hearing the swearing of runners as they crossed the finish line at the trail runs (but the gratitude within the next 30 seconds about how much they enjoyed it), and personal motivation that keeps me getting up every morning.
Looking back, I think the reason that a side project adds so much value is as follows:
Freedom: creative freedom is terrifying because if it sucks that’s all on you, but
that’s also exciting. You don’t have anyone telling you what or how to do something,
you decide, implement and learn. You must figure it out, solve the riddles and
implement. It’s all on you and that’s the best situation to be in.
Learning: the requirement to get it right on client work means that we don’t always
have the most scope for learning. Having complete ownership over your own project
gives you the space to test, make deliberate mistakes, and learn. We’re often protected
on client work, and exposing yourself to every element of a project enables so much
Failure: the only failure of a side project is not doing. That’s it, there’s no other failure.
Not doing it is also the worst kind of failure you can imagine, which means it’s also the
best motivator. If you have the ability and opportunity, then there’s really no excuse.
Happy place: much like meditation, side projects can get you away from work stress
while keeping you inspired and active. If you’re building, creating, testing, and
learning then your side project will energise you more than you can imagine.
Create: you get to create something. Sounds simple but it’s not. Even
doing a small little thing every day can become something highly valuable over time.
Instead of sitting on your ass watching TV, you get to contribute to the
world by building something.
The overall lesson is to stop only being a consumer. Stop looking at people who are
doing things and dreaming. Just start something. Start a podcast, a blog, a charity,
write a book, paint a picture, shoot a movie, or even do something simple like posting
other people’s pictures to Instagram every day.
JUST DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING!