Launch Your Passion Project

ian-dooley-281846-unsplash-1024x683.jpg

 

The year is still fresh, and with spring just around the corner, it is the perfect time to put down roots and blossom into something new. Whether sprouting up a business, branching into an inspiring hobby, or planting seeds in your community by creating or volunteering with a nonprofit—this is the year to make sure your next project is something that brings you joy and feeds your soul. A passion project is something you do that not only excites and inspires you, but lifts you up and gives you life. It can be related to your professional or educational path, but it can also be completely non-related. It’s simply creating something from the heart! There are no boundaries!

Often it seems there is no time in our busy lives to dive into “extracurricular” activities like passion projects, but shouldn’t we make time for the things and people we love (hint hint...ourselves)? Passion projects can be a great way to get working on those self-care resolutions we made at the beginning of the year, as making intentional time for them can greatly reduce stress, build mental and emotional strength, help us learn new skills, add a perceived value to life, or even produce an extra source of income! These benefits alone are quite convincing. As you ponder your next creative project, here are five considerations for kicking it off:

Purpose. Consider why you would like to launch a passion project in the first place. Is there a need in the community that has gone unmet or a cause that you feel drawn to? Are you feeling overburdened and need time alone or with friends to be refilled? For what reason are your hands tingling or heartstrings tugged to dive headfirst into something new and exciting? What would you be pursuing if money were not an obstacle, specifically, what would you do for free?

Plan. Now that you’ve identified your “why” above, it’s the perfect time to figure out the “what”. What activities will help fill the void you identified above? Will you launch a nonprofit (or even join a nonprofit board), enroll in a club or class, or are you going all the way and creating a new startup? Start researching and jot down any steps (e.g. does my project need a legal structure) that might be involved to move your endeavor forward.

Schedule. As tempting as it may be to jump right into things, seriously ponder the time commitment your project will take. If some things in your schedule need to drop off first or be moved around, it is perfectly okay to baby step your launch, and then build upon the momentum as you get going. As you plan, build time in accordingly for each task and note whether each milestone needs to occur on a one-time, monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. Your project might be something you plan to do for a short time, or something you create that is lasting or leaves a legacy.

Capacity. Can it be done alone, or will you need help? This is your “who”. If your project requires a tribe, consider your squad goals. Having a group with a diversity of talents, backgrounds, and experiences may help you build the capacity to go further faster. However, if your project is a business or nonprofit, it is also important to ensure your team members are properly incentivized to join your effort. You can do that in part by ensuring alignment of your “why” and theirs to provide for a partnership that is both meaningful, mutual, and sustainable.

Resources. What are all the basic ingredients necessary to the success of your passion project? Your project may require an influx of startup funds (a budget even), a location, supplies, software, and equipment, among others. After making a list, inventory what you or those on your team might already have access to and what costs or conditions might be related with procuring those items.

Launching a passion project can be one of the most exciting things you will create. However, always remember your “why” so that when trends, tools, and times change, you’ll be able to easily adjust what you’re doing to respond in a way that continues to feed your soul and stays true to the reason you started your project in the first place.

What’s your next adventure? Let us know what passion projects you are getting into this year at @HOPEMag!

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

CareerAshlie JamesComment