4 Tips to Start A Successful Side Project

4 Tips to Start A Successful Side Project

Dustin Lien
April 14, 2014

Starting a side project or a side business can be overwhelming—especially if you don’t know where to begin. The most important thing though, is that you start. Stop procrastinating by trying to design the logo or by reading tons of articles on how to do things and never actually doing them. I’ve started a lot of things and most of them failed.

These are 4 tips I wish I knew from the beginning that could have made me more successful:

Step 1: Make a list of ideas

If you’re like me, you have a potato sack full of ideas and interests. This is the time to list them all with no holding back. Get at least 10 ideas that would be fun to you.

Step 2: Validate Your Idea

This is where you take your list, and narrow it down. If you’re looking to eventually make money off of your side project, you need to validate your idea before getting too far into it. The last thing you want is to spend months creating a product that nobody wants to buy. Appsumo is offering an amazing, free Validation Cheat Sheet to help you find your first 3 customers. I’ve used it, and it works. If you can find a quick 3 customers, you likely have a product that people will buy. Download the free Validation Cheat Sheet Here >

Validation Cheat Sheet Image

Step 3: Stay Lean

Once you’ve decided on an idea and validated it, it’s time to get to work. One of my favorite things to do is brand businesses. I like it so much that I do it for a living with Quig Creative. My advice to you is don’t spend time and money on your logo, business cards, or other branding elements until you have a need for them. If you’re able to sell your product/service with no branding for a little while, that’s going to give you some time to earn extra money to pay for that stuff later instead of dipping into your savings account right from the start. Try not spending any unnecessary dollars on your side project until you’ve made enough money to pay for it from that fund alone. This mentality will keep you afloat much longer.

Step 4: Be Consistent

The fastest way to fail is to be inconsistent. Create a habit of working at specific times for specific amounts of time. Once your project becomes a part of your routine, it’s much easier to stick with and continue making progress. Business is a marathon, not a sprint. Only the mentally strong will survive.

Take these steps and implement them right now, today. Don’t put it off until tomorrow because today was tomorrow yesterday, and you said you’d start tomorrow. Get going on that list and let me know how it goes for you!