Staying happy while building side projects

Sent on August 30th, 2022

Does it happen to you - After a while, you don’t get the same amount of joy while making progress on the side project as you got when you started it?

I asked this on Twitter and there were interesting replies.

Number one reason why people loose interest in side projects is because they under estimate the time and energy it takes to ship. Starting with wrong or too many expectations are enough to make you loose interest.

Set your expectations right.

Write down what you want to finish. All the things. Now take a look at them and decide if it is really (practically) possible to finish all of them.

Just keeping them in your head makes you overwhelmed and this constant thoughts of not getting enough done.

Next thing - Don’t chase success.

We are told to chase success. In school, you have to get good grades. Get a good job after college. But then, what about happiness?

Side projects are your happy pills.

Definitions of success don’t have to be the same or be inherited from somewhere. Define what is that for your project. Maybe it is getting one paying customer.

Celebrate when you reach that definition. Then update it and aim bigger.

Comparing your project to a project that was being built from longer that yours isn’t fair.

Projects have different phases.

  • Initial: where the idea starts taking shape.
  • Budding: when you start to use it yourself to solve problems.
  • Scaling: when you solve the same problem for many people.

You don’t have to take every project till the last phase. Or you may not enjoy each phase equally.

If you aren’t enjoying the phase your project is in, consider hiring suitable people or even selling it.

This only frees your time to do more exciting things.

That’s all I have.

I’m curious to know your thoughts on staying happy while working on your projects.

Reply and let me know.

See you next Tuesday 👋

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