Is Finishing Side Projects Hard for You Too?

Posted by JT Turner on 2016-10-30

For the last 15 years or so I have had this drive to get out on my own and to build some software project that I could get behind and go the distance. I have some great ideas like I am sure you all have as well. I research them, find out yes, I could do this easily. I buy a domain and start programming them.

The issue is, I currently have nothing live and have finished very few of those projects and ideas. So I started to ask why?

This led me to looking into marketing and signing up for some training because I thought maybe I need to learn marketing to learn how to sell my ideas.

It has all been amazing but it really hasn’t help me sell my ideas. It has taught me to driving traffic to other people’s products but it isn’t what I am passionate about. I love programming and solving business problems, not selling other people’s training.

All this got me to currently reading/watching Marketing for Developers and one of the first questions Justin Jackson asks is:

What do you want to achieve?

I thought wow, what an amazing question to ask. Nothing else I had been reading and learning ask this question. They would ask what is your why but I always thought money, big home, vacations for months as it is what the person that made the products why.

I think I am just not as money motivated as some people. I get far more from helping, teaching, and making a difference in businesses or people’s life.

As I thought hard about my answer to this question, I started to see why I had not finished my side projects. I didn’t have real “why” set and Justin was the guy that finally got me thinking about it. My side projects, so far, have not fully aligned with my passions and what I want to achieve.

I hope this helps you to start think about what you want to achieve and why, as I think it will help you find those gems that will get you on track to what side project to start. Don’t rush it either. Take a few days at least if not a week or two and really think about what you want to achieve in life.

I also highly recommend Justin’s program and no, he isn’t paying me to say this.

So what is my answer? What do I want to achieve? I want to build a business that allows me to always be learning new things. I want it to pay me full time so I can work from anywhere, anytime, on anything I want.

I will keep working on this answer, but the heart of everything I have been passionate about in my life is learning new things. I have even read books and paid for training on learning things faster. Check out John Sonmez’s program on 10 Steps to Learning Anything Quickly. Again, not paid to promote, but an amazing product.

My other pain point is I have gotten to a point in my career as a software developer where at my day job I learn very little. Don’t get me wrong, I still learn daily but it is very hard to convince a whole development team to build something in Elixir or Elm just because I think it is cool and from the little exercises, even if I find it is faster and easier to reason with code.

For one, it is a bigger expense for the company as that means everyone needs to learn something new vs just building it in Java or .Net which most software developers know. Most managers want to limit risk, not add more.

Also I think maybe I am the abnormal one when it comes to building software. I like change. When requirements change I actually enjoy the challenge. I like that building it in a language that people haven’t used for years is risky and I might have to work harder to get it going instead of just pulling in a few frameworks. The more learning there is the harder I work at it.

I am not sure yet where this will lead me. I do love writing blogs and creating videos so maybe I will build some training programs, or maybe I will find a pain point we all have as software developers and try solving it.

One thing I am going to do is spend more than a day or two on research. I am making the decision now to finish it no matter what once I find it.

If you are interested in this journey follow me on my social media below. I am not going to say I am going to write a blog daily or weekly but I will keep you in the loop on my progress. In the end I want to see you succeed as well and hope that me sharing my journey here helps you start on yours as well.