Quit Excuses! Here’s Why You Need To Start A Side Project Today.
Last week, I was having dinner with one of my high school buddy, Sourav, who is currently working in a big IT firm. He is definitely living a lavish life and earning a handsome salary.
However, when I asked him how’s life (just a casual question with no intention for knowing the answer), he sounded a little depressed. Sourav said that although his salary is fantastic, he doesn’t find his work very challenging. Nevertheless, he has no intention to leave the job as he’s comfortable working less than an hour in a day and getting paid for a position of nine hours. In short, Sourav finds his job boring, but he is not in the mood to leave it.
After understanding his situation, I suggested Sourav that why doesn’t he start a side project on anything that he is passionate about. This will keep him engaged, and he might get new experiences and learnings.
Now, I don’t know how much seriously Sourav took my suggestion. However, I believe that there are a number of people people who are in similar situations. If you look around, you can easily find many people who
— do not find their job challenging and are bored with their regular jobs.
— have ‘ZERO’ opportunity to build something good or add value to the life of people from their existing jobs
— want to learn some new skills and experience.
— Or just have a decent idea but can’t afford to leave the job…
For all those people, starting a side project can be an excellent step. In this post, we are going to discuss why these people need to start a side project today and how it can change their life significantly.
Why Do You Need to Start a Side Project Today?
First of all, I would like to mention that many popular startups started as a side project. Few of the big names are Product hunt, Groupon, Twitter, Craigslist, Unsplash, Appsumo, Occulos, Khan Academy, Git Hub, Instagram, Buffer, Slack, etc. (Also read: 21 Side Projects That Became Million-Dollar Startups (and How Yours Can, Too)
Even many of the famous products of Google like Adsense, google maps, Gmail, etc- also started as a side project by the Google employees (Google encourages their employees a lot to work on the side projects).
That’s why, if you are also one of those who is planning to build a big empire in the future, it’s better to first start it as side a project before quitting your job. This will give you an opportunity to build a foundation before you dive in completely.
Nonetheless, even if you are not much interested to build a big startup, still there are a number of key benefits of starting a side project. Here are few of the crucial ones:
1. It can accelerate your learnings
Working on a side project can help you learn new skills faster.
For example, if you are planning to learn coding, why not better to take a side project related to it. (I remember that I build my first website startup, at the age of 19, just to test out the new web development skills that I learned that time.)
You can learn new skills better by doing it practically instead of just learning from books. Besides, building a side project also exposes you to new technologies and keep you updated with the latest trends.
2. Effective Use of Your Time
Most people say that they do not have much time left after their 9 to 5 job for working on their side projects. However, here is an infographic showing you still have around 30 hours per week left after performing all the essential activities (it doesn’t even include weekends as holidays).
When you are not working on any side project, these 30 hours are generally spent watching tv series on Netflix, going to the mall or simply falling asleep on the couch in the front of your TV.
However, once you have started working on a side project, you can use this time efficiently to build something that you love or that can add value to the life of the people.
3. Experimenting and unleashing your creativity
One of the biggest benefits of working on the side project is that it gives you an opportunity to test new things and unleash your creativity.
Here you are not afraid to fail or get scolded by your boss for doing things differently. You can reflect all your inventiveness on your side project.
4. It boosts your mental health
Your side project allows you to escape from your routine work and helps in increasing your productivity.
Besides, working on your side project also gives you a chance to meet new people and have a healthy conversation regarding your thoughts and ideas. Overall, this is an excellent option to boost your mental health.
How to start your side project?
Now that you have understood the importance of starting a side project, the next big question is how to start?
You might have few ideas of starting a side project building Softwares, Apps, Websites, blogs, Youtube channels, Publications, Podcasts etc. However, how to begin?
Here are a few basic tips which can help you to get started with your side project.
1. Start Small
When you starring your side project, it is vital that you start small. Maybe you have an idea to add hundreds of features on your app that you are planning to build. But its crucial you restrict it to only the most essentials one. This can help to avoid a lot of complications while developing your product.
In short, be minimalist.
It’s not necessary to build a titanic for your first side project. It’s okay if you build a small ship which can hold four passengers. Moreover, you can always expand your side project and make it bigger once you get more severe with your project.
2. Know what you want
Have you ever heard the story of Alice in Wonderland? It’s a story about a young girl that ends up in a strange world called Wonderland. One of the moments that’s most telling is where she encounters a fork in the road. Here, she meets the Cheshire Cat, and the following conversation takes place:
Alice: “Which road do I take?”,
Cheshire Cat: “Where do you want to go?”
A: “I don’t know”
CC: “Then it doesn’t matter.”
The bottom line is: it doesn’t matter what you do if you have no idea where you want it to lead you.
When starting a side project, know what you want from it. If you wish to work on it as a hobby/non-profit project, or you want to earn some extra cash, or you want to replace this project as your full-time work in the future.
You do not need to know everything at the start. However, having a rough idea of what you want is essential when starting your side project.
3. Take no pressure
Finally, you are starting this side project as a love for your product.
You do not want to make it another work by taking the unnecessary stress. Use this side project to learn, grow and to challenge yourself.
Working on side project will give you an opportunity to merge the ‘things that you enjoy to do’ and ‘skills that you want to build’.
Few of the best benefits of starting a side project is that it doesn’t involve any risk, you can afford to fail, and there are no deadlines to complete the work. Moreover, the greatest satisfaction is that you are merely working on this side project only because you love to work on your product, not because you have to.
Final advise, move you lazy a** from the couch and start working on your side project now. Happy Hustling!!