I became sick of going through the motions in my last year of college. I did well in every class, had plenty of friends, secured a great job after graduation, and stayed on top of my workout plan. I worked hard, so that wasn’t the problem. But, I felt something missing.
I searched here and there until I found exactly what I wanted: to work on a major project.
A major project is simply any project that requires multiple hours of work each week to accomplish a long-term plan. It’s building something that initially only exists in your mind to reality. Creating your own monetized blog, YouTube channel, non-profit organization, company, book, or smartphone app, are all examples of this concept.
I decided to start my own website on the topic of success, which I’m fascinated by. Then I discovered, life is much better when I’m excited about something I can build on for years to come.
Sometimes I daydream about getting a million pageviews a month. Or I mentally picture receiving thousands of emails from readers who used my advice to get into their number one grad school or accept their dream job offer.
Also, the energy from this new venture caused me to change my habits to become a better individual. Now, I organize my day the night before, wake up earlier (6am), and beat procrastination. Each day has a greater purpose thanks to my new pursuit. Below are the reasons why you should consider one.
Five Reasons To Take On A Major Project
1. Start Now With Less Risk
Starting a major project as a young adult is ideal. At this age, you most likely have more energy, more time by yourself, and less responsibility for other people.
Also, you can make riskier financial decisions because you probably don’t have a family to support. You still have decades to prepare for retirement. A 30-year-old might not have the same freedom to go all-in on a project.
2. Improve Organization And Time Management
If you don’t want to (or can’t) give up other activities, adding a time-consuming project to your schedule forces you to improve your time-management. Before this new pursuit, it’s easy to feel that your schedule allows you to procrastinate without many negative consequences. Now, if you don’t organize your day right, you’ll run out of time to do homework, workout, or meet friends.
3. Get Hours Of Experience For The Ten-Thousand-Hour Rule
Starting your major project now, at a younger age, will get you closer to completing the 10,000 hour rule. This rule states that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become an expert in any given field. Starting earlier gives you more time to practice, improve, and master your project.
This concept is similar to the quote by Lao Tzu, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
4. It’s A Good Thing Most People Won’t Do It
Taking on a major project is a unique experience. I would say less than 10% of people pursue one, and that is a conservative figure.
Thus, your project instantly gives you a unique talking point during job interviews to stand out from other applicants. And you’ll be comfortable leading the discussion as you share stories and positive results related to your efforts.
5. Making The Best Invest: Yourself
Investing in yourself is the most important investment you can make, and an extensive project forces you to do that. Your project will cause you to step out of your comfort zone as you try to navigate each upcoming challenge. You’ll also develop a versatile skill set, which is extremely hard to gain in regular schooling.
For example, running my website caused me to learn about search engine optimization, networking, marketing, branding, social media, photography, and more. I can now list those skills with support in an interview. And, I can take those lessons with me in any future work.
How To Complete A Major Project
Following a plan will help you get started, stay focused, and remain committed during the difficult times of the project. Here’s a plan that works:
1. Determine what you’re going to pursue.
It’s impossible for me to target every possible option, which is a blessing for you because this means there is endless opportunity out there. The world is your oyster.
As mentioned before, common major projects include creating your own monetized blog, YouTube channel, non-profit organization, product or service, company, book, or smartphone app. These are all solid ideas. But, you should also spend time stretching your creativity elsewhere and see what you discover on your own.
2. Learn from people who have succeeded on a similar project.
By learning from others, you can find your first step. If you have personal connections, reach out to them through email or a face-to-face hang out. Ask questions like: What initial actions did you take to launch this project? What worked for you? What do you wish you would have done differently when starting out?
If they’re an A-lister in their industry, then you most likely can’t have a conversation. Instead, consume as much of their work as possible. Read their available books and blog posts. Watch their interviews and videos. You’ll be surprised about how many insights you can gain from someone you never meet. It’s a creative way to have them mentor you.
The learning phase in step two is extremely important. Don’t rush it, or you’ll soon be left without direction after the first move.
3. Set specific times throughout the week to work on your project.
For example, block off 6 to 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday, plus 1 to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. This schedule gives you six hours of quality work time. You can work on your project more or less hours as needed.
The message here is to set a specific time, and then treat your scheduled time like a job or class that you absolutely cannot miss.
4. Work on the project in your scheduled time until completion of the first move.
Then, reflect and identify the next task to complete. Hopefully, through what you learned from others, this will come naturally. Continue to reuse the process of learning from successful people who went before you as a roadmap for the second, third, fourth, and so on, steps.
Also, in the beginning, don’t seek perfection as much as you strive for continued progress. Write down a goal to get past the six-month period, and you’ll likely have enough momentum and small wins to continue until your major project’s completion.
So, when’s the last time you felt really excited and energized about something? Has it been a month? A year? Or maybe, it’s been so long you can’t remember?
If you want the excitement of working on a major project, then join me in this journey. Take this empowered feeling and run with it.
Readers, what kinds of major projects are you interested in? Do you want me to get more in-depth (in a future post) about running this website and what it entails? Do you have any questions or observations?