May 29, 2013
When we’re young, we’re told to dream; to dream big. Unfortunately —at the end of the day— dreams aren’t reality. Dreams can be the inception of greatness; the beginning of something better. Yet, the key is action, and the outcome is controlled by you.
As cliché as it is, you can do anything you put your mind to. As we get older we become cynical and begin to doubt, over think, and talk our own selves out of doing things. For all of our sakes, stop holding back. Stop restricting your talent, and stop brushing off your ideas as dumb. Don’t stop at dreaming. Make them a reality.
We aspire to do big things. Like really big things. Things that other people dream of doing, except in our dream we’re doing it first. We could come up with a couple, potentially brilliant, ideas a week. If only we could take a few of those and just make them awesome.
I think it’s fair to say we’re pretty busy people. Most of us have full-time jobs so we can pay the bills and yet we love what we do, and so the web also becomes our hobby. These full-time jobs often don’t give us the freedom to experiment or make little works of love.
This of course leads to side projects. Spend any amount of time looking around and you’ll find tons of side projects by people of various talents. Some will blow your mind, most won’t, but the point is that each was made because the creator had the passion to work on something she or he wanted to learn or share with others.
Most don’t start out with the goal of making a ton of money with side projects. We usually reserve that kind of thinking for those big dream projects we’re obsessed with but probably will never make happen because we’re scared to pull the trigger and never actually work on anything.
That’s a good thing though when it comes to side projects in my opinion. I don’t think money should play a role in what you’re trying to achieve with these small ideas. If they turn into a money making opportunity, then great! But there are other benefits that can have a long-term effect.
And so here is what happens when we work on side projects. We make things better. We make things better for ourselves because we’re making incremental steps forward in our skills. We grow more confident in ourselves because we’ve accomplished something that’s been itching in our brains for awhile. We’re happy because we’ve contributed to the collective community.
I can also guarantee you that every side project you work on will improve someone’s life. If not many people’s lives. Chances are you’re not the only one who see’s a problem that your idea solves. Or they don’t even know it’s a problem until your project comes along.
So I encourage you to stop writing down those ideas that keep popping in your head only to stick them in the someday folder. Stop waiting for the big idea that’s going to make you rich one day. Work on as many little side projects as you can come up with because when you sum up all of those little impacts, you’ll be on your way to making your dent in the universe.
*Tim Smith is an awesome web designer who is making impacts with The East Wing, Lustra Magazine, Anythin’ Goes, Tim Likes to Teach, some consulting and more. Get to know him on twitter. You won’t be disappointed.