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The benefits of side projects💪
Welcome to Wisdom Letter #114
Hope you’re doing good.
Do you have a side project that you’re working on actively?
Did you have something in the past and had to give it up? Do you plan to work on a side project in the future?
This newsletter has been our side project for more than 2 years now, and we’ve benefitted tremendously from it.
It has been a key avenue in our pursuit of wisdom.
So today we want to talk about the value of side-projects.
But first, if you’re new, please signup to The Wisdom Project, we send one email per week that helps you become healthy, wealthy, and wise :)
Now, let’s go👇
The Side Project theory
So all of us in life have a couple of main projects -
Our personal lives - family, health, responsibilities.
Our professional lives - Our main vocation, a mechanism for funding our personal life, seeking status in society as well as an outlet for our creative expression.
Side projects lie somewhere in the middle.
They are a means of creative expression, but they can also be part of our vocation, they can be an addendum to our professional lives.
The conventional term for these activities is hobbies, but side projects go a bit further than that.
You work on them with more purpose and intent. And you publish your work regularly out into the world.
You can pursue hobbies way more casually than you pursue side projects.
Let me make the case for benefits of side projects -
Creative Expression - You become a creator.
All our lives, we are trained to be consumers. We hardly ever create something out of nothing. And even when we do, we are playing by someone else’s rules.
With side projects, we set the rules of the game ourselves, and we decide how we win and how we lose.
You learn to ship -
Learning to build something is the best way to learn, the more you do it, the better you get at it.
This works for all skills, basic ones like writing and coding. And also for more complex ones like music, art, and dance.
Having a regular time and place to practice and publish your work forces you to evaluate and get better at your craft.
And with that, you build a body of work over a long period of time.
You let compounding work in your favor.
You increase the surface area of serendipity -
This is my favorite part about working on side projects. When you put something out there in the world, you open yourself up for randomness to work in your favor.
You get to meet more like-minded people who are working on similar things.
You increase your chances of getting “discovered”.
This can result in breakthroughs in your professional as well as personal lives.
I advocate side projects so fervently because I have personally benefitted so much from them.
So much that I could eventually quit my job and go solo working for myself.
A great example of a side project blowing up into a full-blown startup was founder Ben Tossell.
As a hobby, he started creating videos of building simple apps using No-Code tools. They were ordinary screencasts of his computer, nothing fancy.
But people liked them a lot, wanted more of them, and were even ready to pay him money for those videos.
Read the incredible story of Ben’s company makerpad.
It will help you if you want to start your own side-projects and especially you want to learn about No-Code tools.
That’s it for today.
Are you working on a side project? or want to kickstart yours?
We would love to feature your side projects in this newsletter. Feel free to reach out.
📂 From the archives
This week, that year -
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Ayush & Aditi