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TB#29: Seven Hard Pills to Swallow on Your Way to a Winning Side Project


I keep stuff simple.

Because for the most part it is. Yet, realism is a thing too. Being detached too far away in the world of “just follow these steps bro” sets you up for unreasonable expectations and, in the worst case, leads you to give up as things eventually don’t quite go as smoothly as expected.

The main point to keep in mind is just to continue, no matter what.

But… some personal hardships prompted me to think about the biggest “hard pills” that one just has to accept when building online.

Let’s go!

1: Not everything will go as planned.

And that’s okay.

The long journey to success is paved with failures. Technology fails, you get sick when you’re supposed to grind, you’re simply not as good as you think you are… A dozen other things can go wrong!

Which brings us to the fact that you should keep the planning stage rather short. Just like you learn in BUILD28,

2. The idea you love might not be the one that works.

Just don’t worry about it and be mentally ready to hop on to the next one. What’s important here is that you learn.

Realistically, you only should have two outcomes: win or learn. And to make sure of that, you should know what both of those look like already before you start building.

And remember, success is often found in unexpected places.

3. You will have to make sacrifices.

Time, energy, bandwith for something else (ahem, Netflix). These are all things that you will have to, at times, sacrifice. Although I’m not sure if that’s the correct word for it.

But in any case, building a side gig requires commitment, and that’s going to steal away resources from other things — no matter how productive and focused you manage to get in the process.

4. You won’t succeed overnight.

Building anything takes time.

Some people can get started fast, for some it takes months. Your speed will vary, but it’s very difficult to make a killing from day 1.

Be patient and learn to enjoy the build process.

5. There’s no perfect time to start.

Or, there is. It’s today, if you haven’t started yet.

Don’t wait for perfect circumstances. Don’t wait for you to be ready. Don’t wait to learn more.

Just do something now.

6. Not everyone will support your vision.

This is another thing you just have to learn to be okay with.

Whatever you’re building is your dream, not theirs. Maybe it’s best not even to share it with them, until the time is right and you have some wins under your belt.

Because then, and only then, it will make sense to most people.

7. Competition will always exist.

But there’s room for everyone.

The best thing you can do here is to look to your competitors as people to learn from. Imitate, but be better. And focus on one or two unique angles that only you can bring to the table.

Again, this is where your authenticity comes to play. Boldly be you and bring along your life story and experiences. There’s nobody out there who can share those!

Now…look back at the pills.

You’ll notice they’re very much generic life lessons, too, and not just applicable advice to building online.

That’s because there’s nothing special in building online. It’s just another part of natural existence of the modern builder. Humans have always built things. Some people build tree houses, some people knit hats, some people tune their bicycles.

And some people build online.

That’s it for this week!

See you in a week again, my friend!


About the author 

Simo Hosio  -  Simo is an award-winning scientist, Academy Research Fellow, research group leader, professor, and digital builder. This site exists to empower people to build passion projects that support professional growth and make money.

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