I watched a podcast last week with Rich Harrington, Skip Cohen and photographer Don Komarechka. Don was taking about his snowflake project and book Sky Crystals. But the podcast was much more than just Don talking about what he did, but rather how he thinks about self-initiated projects and what makes them successful.
Here are a few of my take aways:
- Make a commitment – If I tell myself that every day I have to do this (like photographing a snowflake every day for a month), then I will have something at the end.
- Be passionate about your project. It must be a subject or topic that you are extremely interested in to be able to stick with it.
- Find an idea that has depth. This will allow you to stay interested in the project over time as well as scale it beyond your original goal.
- Pick a subject or topic that is unique to you. Pick something that everyone else isn’t already doing.
- Think your project through – have a plan or a workflow.
- Find the audience that thinks like you. Understand that you won’t make everyone excited about what you are doing.
- Remember social media isn’t about selling – it’s about engaging people. The story about the process or project is almost as important and more valuable than the success of the project.
- Be prepared to fail – lots of times.
- Don’t pick a project with the primary motive of monetizing it. The projects that tend to go viral and resonate with people are the ones that come from the heart.
- Think outside your box and imagine all kinds of possibilities for your project. Don is thinking about printing his snowflakes on a 3D printer and making ornaments or jewelry or all sorts of things.
- Don’t force your idea. Think about it. Jot things down on scraps of paper. Talk to people about it. And when the time is right to act on it – you’ll know.