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PP 022: (Pt. 1 of 3) Your Side Project Has Greater Creative Potential Than You Think

By January 18, 2017 Podcast No Comments
Your Side Project Has Greater Potential Than You Think

This 3 part series of starting a side project is inspired by Lauren Hom’s initiative of starting a side project in 2017. She has found massive success in her young career all from creating the type of work she wants to get to paid for with side projects. Her Side Projects: Your New Secret Weapon blog series along with a free mini email course are a great place for you to check out if you need some additional inspiration after this podcast series.

Pursuing That One Idea Just May Change Your Life

Would you believe me if I told you I have a friend who bought a Russian spacesuit on eBay and began photographing himself as just an everyday astronaut in public?

What if I told you this silly project is now becoming his full-time business pursuit?

The person I’m referring to is my local friend Tim Dodd and he is the creator of the Everyday Astronaut account on Instagram.

This was just a little experiment that exploded with creative potential.

I’ll get back to Tim later, but the point I’m trying to make is that you never know what side projects can turn into.

For example, Uber was a side project. The Tim Ferris Podcast was a side project. Perspective-Collective is an ongoing side project.

You get the picture.

This is the beginning of a 3 part series which covers the benefits to pursuing a side project in 2017:

  • Part 1: Start seeing your side project hobby as something with greater creative potential.
  • Part 2: Side projects allow you to attract the kind of work you want to get paid for.
  • Part 3: 3 ingredients for increasing exposure for your side project.

Let’s get started.

Indication of Future Creative Potential

I recently read a Medium article by Busy Building Things and it summed up perfectly how a side project should be perceived.

It states, “Side projects are much more than simply hobbies, they are indicators of what you are capable of building.”

My hobby used to be drawing which led me to creating the side project of Perspective-Collective in April of 2014. It started off with me just needing a name to house all the art I was cooking up.

The thought of calling this ‘brand’ Scotty Russell Graphics was sounding pretty douchey and I reluctantly went with Perspective-Collective (I wasn’t a fan of this name at the time but I rolled with it).

What I didn’t realize is this new side project was providing me the platform to create whatever the hell I wanted. I had no idea it would grow like this.

Over 2.5 years, this side project has led me to:

  • blogging
  • public speaking
  • getting great interviews and features
  • getting great freelance
  • teaching workshops
  • starting my own Perspective Podcast
  • building relationships with creatives all over the world

During this span, I’ve been able to catch a glimpse of what I’m capable of building. I fully believe that I can turn this into my full-time dream job someday if I continue to push it.

It’s funny because it all starts with an idea but can rapidly change when you decide to act on it.

That little idea you’ve had swimming in your head could change your life.

Create Something Dope In Your Own Lane

My friend Chuck Means told me a phrase that he heard the other day that went along the lines of “Creating Something Dope In Your Own Lane.”

I’m a big advocate for pursuing your own creative path by doing work that resonates with you. If you’re creating work that you’re enthusiastic about, then you are making dope work by your own standards.

No one else’s definition of “dope work” applies here.

Over time, if you consistently share this dope work, you’ll give others the opportunity to think it’s dope as well.

It’s easy to feel you have to follow the footsteps of other creatives. However, I encourage you to be inspired but stay in your lane because your creative DNA and story are unique.

Going back to Tim… I mean Everyday Astronaut. He matched his greatest strength / skillset (photography and space knowledge) with his greatest passion (outer space and dreams to become an astronaut) and started a little project that he thought was dope.

Note: I wrote a blog post series about finding your greatest strength, greatest passion and your sweet spot awhile back.

Your Side Project Has Greater Potential Than You Think

Clearly, he’s in his own lane because this is an insanely clever and refreshing idea.

He started by taking spectacular photos of himself in his space suit doing normal things non-astronaut individuals would be doing like washing the car.

He hit it hard for about two years and next thing you know he’s been featured by:

  • Instagram
  • Reddit
  • Buzzfeed
  • etc.

I’d say he’s gotten some solid indications that this side project has some great creative potential.

It’s now to the point where he is taking the risk of setting aside his successful wedding photography career so he can pursue this full-time. His goal is to begin speaking and teaching his knowledge of photography and space while maintaining his quirky character he created.

If this can happen for Tim, why can’t it happen for you?

What’s Your Side Project Idea?

What is something that you’re interested in pursuing?

As Gary Vee puts it, “What is it you wish you could do every day and get paid for?”

Stop seeing your side project as only a hobby when it could blossom into something much bigger.

If you want it bad enough, anything is possible.

2017 is here and you have a fresh opportunity to make it happen.

Next week’s Part 2 episode will hit on how side projects allow you to attract the kind of work you want to get paid for.

Key Takeaways

  • “Side projects are much more than simply hobbies, they are indicators of what you are capable of building.”
  • It all starts with an idea but can rapidly change when you decide to act on it.
  • That little idea you’ve had swimming in your head could change your life.
  • Pursue your own creative path by doing work that resonates with you.
  • By consistently sharing what you think is dope, you’ll give enough opportunities for others to think it’s dope as well.
  • Be inspired but stay in your lane because your creative DNA and story are unique.

Show Notes

 

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