Last year was such a fascinating and positively challenging year for me. For many reasons, but for the purpose of this blog post – because I started and finished my passion project that had been on my mind for 3 years – my ebook It’s That Easy. One of the questions I often get is “how did you stay motivated/determined to finish?”.
As such, I wanted to share these tips in case there’s something in your life that you really want to finish, but it seems incredibly daunting at the beginning. Trust me, like I said my book sat in draft for 3 years. But then last year I got *really* into self-help books, letting go of fear and really dug deep into believing in myself. So I started it, wrote it and even finished it when I said I would! I truly hope these practical tips help you out too!
I know, super simple. You already know where I’m going don’t you, though? 3 years in, I realised this book wasn’t going to write itself. What made it worse was that I had built it up so much fake fear in my head about reasons not to start over those years that the list was heading out the door. The quote that helped me so much was by Seneca,
“We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.”
Uh, game changer. After that I wrote out my plan for the ebook. THEN, I started. I wrote the first page. I realise that this wasn’t as hard, and the only person standing in my way was myself.
Sometimes just the process of starting – one sentence, the first drawing, the first recording, the first photo or whichever it is – makes you believe in yourself. Makes you realise that it is possible to finish this.
I literally can’t stress this enough. I’m hoping that gone are the days that we look at sleep as a luxury and instead a necessary priority. In general (not just for my passion project) I found that sleep made the biggest difference with true productivity. Being able to think clearly makes is so crucial to a proper mindset, and to actually producing excellent work!! I was so tempted to stay up all night during the last few weeks before my ebook came out. After one night of it though, I was completely useless the next day, and ended having to correct half of what I had stayed up that night to do! Sleep is crucial.
Depending on what your passion project is, certain parts can really excite you. For me, it was the restaurant eating out guide and the fun writing parts. Sure, these were an important part of the ebook, but one of the most important parts was the 4-week meal prep guide. I had to really prioritise what I knew was more important so that I could
Properly focus on that. Otherwise you’ll do all the “fun” parts first and leave all the “hard” parts for last which will only completely stress you out! It helps to write out the steps, and then put numbers beside them in terms of priority. Why? We tend to write what we want to do first, even if it doesn’t deserve the #1 beside it in terms of priority. Really go through the list because you know what is more important. For even more help, ask yourself, on a scale of 1-10, how important is this step to the core of my book?
Making a list, maybe even a separate notebook to keep a proper track will help you a lot.
Please!! It’s very likely that you can’t do this alone. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t YOUR project! Honestly, as self employed entrepreneurs we seem to think that we need to do EVERYTHING by ourselves. Not true. Having a team to help you means that you can zero in on your core skills that you know will make this passion project brilliant. For me, that was a hard lesson. I was going to design my own ebook, proofread it and wrote it! What?? Don’t do this. I outsourced the design of my ebook which made the biggest difference. I worked with a fantastic designer who was a PRO at it. That meant I could focus on what I needed to. What I didn’t do in time? Hire a proofreader. I hesitated, and by the time I needed to it was too late. Cue me proofreading my own ebook.
This is a terrible idea. I nearly drove myself insane reading my own words over and over dozens of times. I found everything (I think?!) and I learned this lesson the hard way. Next time I will definitely be outsourcing every single thing except what I’m a pro at.
DONE OVER PERFECT
Oh friends! I’m so glad I told the world a release date before the book was done! Otherwise, I’m pretty sure it would’ve come out last week. We are our biggest critics, and I kept wanting to change everything. Let me re shoot this photo. Re test this recipe *again*. Re-write this whole page. Your perfect, undone book means nothing to your readers because it doesn’t exist to them. That was an important lesson that I’m glad I learned early. It also meant the book came out on time. The praise I’ve gotten has been overwhelming, and for me that was the biggest takeaway – that my imperfect book was loved!
KEEP UP YOUR HEALTH
Our health always seems like the first thing to go as soon as we get busy. We stop working out to spend more hours chipping away, we order fast food, sleep less, drink less water. We may even neglect our loved ones. Don’t do this. If your passion project is work, or isn’t work, schedule time for it or else it’ll take over your entire life. Also, if you walked/jogged before, keep this up. You might need to schedule it in, but keeping your regular habits into your new routine is important for your sanity.
ENJOY THE PROCESS
Friends. It is amazing that you’re able to do this thing that you love. You’re doing a thing you love!!! Never forget that. Enjoy the moments, revel in the excitement, and focus on the positive. Keep your head up high and know that you’re an amazingly talented soul. Enjoy the process! Not only will it make your passion project truly delightful, but you’re more likely to want to do a part two of it next time.
I really hope this helped you! I wish you all the best with your passion project, and know that I’m rooting for you!