Scratch that Itch. Do It on the Side

Scratch that Itch. Do It on the Side

On a recent episode of the Morning Cool Down, I ask the question: Are you playing it safe? Is there something holding you back from being true to that song inside waiting to come out? Is there a tiny part that is holding you back from really going “all in” because you fear what others may think or how you’ll be judged? I know we all struggle with the same common concern and it’s holding us back.

What do you think it feels like to be in the “other” shoes? Most people are not ready to pounce and attack, and of those few who do have critical words, well that just means they are paying attention to you. Good or bad, they are noticing what you’re up to. This is a good sign.

Scratch that itch and do it on the side.

I’m compelled to dig deeper into finding that song– pursuing that side gig.  If you work 9-5 this could be the answer to creating the quality of life that you’re after. Pursuing side projects can strike a healthy balance between what you do in your street job and what you do in your personal time. For me, my “side sanctuary” is my morning time which I protect dearly. I find this time to be sacred and the most special. I meditate first thing, then jump into writing, and then maybe some knitting or creating a collage.

Finding that “something” that makes you want to jump out of bed is the important piece here. That’s the kind of side project I’m talking about. Maybe it means you get out of your head a little and do something that’s bigger than you. One of my favorite examples is  Adam Braun, who started a program called Pencils of Promise. His story is amazing and truly inspirational. It all began when he met a little boy in India and his biggest wish was to have a pencil. This moment in time propelled Adam to begin the process of building schools, one pencil at a time.  You can check out the full story here here.

Zap out of a holding pattern.

If you’re in a holding pattern at work or in your freelance business,  the best way to re-ignite your excitement is to find something that will create contrast to what you do each day. To honor yourself and give the best service to your employer, finding a side passion could be the answer to looking at your daily work with a fresh, new outlook.

So the next question, but how?

The best way is to schedule your time and protect it. Set boundaries and let others in your life know about it. If you are going to write an ebook every morning before work, and your goal is to hit publish in six months, then you’ve got to create a map to get there. You need measurable, specific goals like: I will write 1,000 words every morning.

A great way to create your plan of action is to make a mind map. You can do this by hand by drawing out visual boxes, with arrows and other doodles, showing the framework of your project. You can also check out a great mind mapping resource that I recently stumbled upon called MindMeister. You can even get fancy and create your own slide shows and a basic account is free.

The only way to create the life you really want, is to create movement in that direction day-by-day. Little steps turn into big accomplishments. The ONLY thing holding you back is YOU!