How to: Start a Passion Project

Setting up the first domino

Arguably the most important step in making a business, or any change in your life, is putting the system in place to get you there.

Inspired by Lisa Congdon & Tiffany Han.

Inspired by Lisa Congdon & Tiffany Han.

What does the first step toward that change look like? Is order to create the first step, you have to define the status quo. Today I am here. Eventually, I would like to be there.

What is one actionable step that you can take today to get you closer to your goal of "there."

You can't stop after the initial step or leap. One step will not get you to the top of Mount Everest. One dollar will not make you rich. But if every day you climb on step higher and gain one more dollar, eventually you will be at the top of mount everest and eventually one dollar will make you rich.

Setting up the dominos

In order to continue making steps, it is advisable to create a plan. The plan should be flexible for unexpected changes, but a plan none the less. Goals are best achieved when the goal setting is detailed. A common method of goal setting is "SMART goals." Specific + Measurable + Attainable + Results Focused + Time bound = a good goal. 

Project planning is best achieved when milestones are planned for, such as "3 potential card designs will be saved by the end of the week" and "the best card from the previous 3 will be printed and photographed by next Monday" rather than just "By the end of the month, the shop will have up 5 new cards for the Fall line."

Each of these subgoals, milestones, large goals, and everest goals should be leading to a grand vision of "there." The dominos have been planted. "Here" and "there" have been labeled. Fear has set it.

Pushing the first domino

Perhaps "there" will never come. Perhaps 10 steps in you'll find out that you don't really like this project or want to continue. You may fail. You may quit. You are self sabotaging if you don't start. It's telling yourself no and failing by never starting. I give you permission to course correct if you do not like the path you are headed down. On the other hand, the only way to get to the top of Everest is one step at a time. Perseverance will give the greatest results, but not everyone wants to get to the top of Everest. Surely, I do not want to spend days in the snow and cold to get to the top of a mountain. If I had an everest goal, I'd start hiking local trails. Then, I'd hike to the top of a small mountain. Eventually I'd hike a large mountain and one that is snow covered. If I didn't like hiking after the first small mountain, I could tell myself that Everest no longer interests me. I'd quit hiking and do something that'd better aline with things that I like to do, such as cycling. How do I know? I'd have to start by lacing my shoes and taking the first step out my door. Without first hiking my local trail, I'd never make it to Everest and I'd never make it to my eventual passion. 

I encourage you to start a passion project today. It's okay to fail.