Tuesday, 8 May 2018

How to motivate yourself to work on your side hustle

If you're anything like me you have a side hustle. You work on it when you can, you enjoy it - its your hobby. But if you're anything like me then there's also this thing called life that can "get in the way".
Now, this is normal and it doesn't mean you aren't doing well in the other parts of your life. Once in a while you get randomly inspired to "do something"... maybe you watched some clip posted on Facebook, or the latest Gary Vaynerchuk rant and you decide to do something about it. For me that was to start with a post on this blog, with some intention to do some follow up work, and then blog about the follow up work.
Blog gets posted, you decide to do the follow up work where you can, nothing substantial finishes ergo no follow up post. Looking at my history I posted more regularly during 2014 and 2015, 2016 was a hiatus and in 2017 is a singular post. This post was one of "those" moments.

Motivation as a boost

Now, trying to motivate yourself in terms of hyping you up to get into your flow and get stuff done is quite a google-able task. This form of motivation as a boost may be the stage you are dealing with currently and may well be all you need to get back into it. For me, this happens in cycles and this is normal for most people and goes with the regular ebb and flow of life. The problem is when you have gone through this cycle several times and the boost motivation has got you progressing a whole lot of things over time, but you haven't finished any of them.

At this point you may think you're looking for an even bigger boost but what you are looking for is actually not more of a boost, it's quite the opposite in fact, you need to strip things down and go back to original purpose.

Motivation for life purpose

This may seem daunting, but trying to find motivation towards your life purpose does not necessarily mean you have to have found your life's purpose - that could take a lifetime to find - but whatever your life purpose ends up being you need to know how to get motivation from it and use that motivation towards it. So we need to scale things back a bit here, perhaps it may not be your root life purpose, but it could be understanding the true purpose for your side hustle anyways.
This is where you could say its for your family, or you want to achieve x, or be as good as y person. That's not super motivating (if it is stop here and GO). But once you are here there's 2 paths to go down. 1: Emotional and 2: Functional.

Let me break that down real quick.

Emotional assessment of the true purpose for your side hustle

Explore a few things in your head (depending on what you chose as the reason for your side hustle) maybe its for yourself or a loved one or a random, regardless, consider both never in your life ever achieving that goal, then take it further and imagine it being worse. Now also imagine the life where you did achieve this goal, then take it further and imagine achieving it instantly, at a reasonable time and at an extremely long time frame (without it being unattainable).

Thanks... so what was the point of this?

Well, at best, you have gone deep enough to validate your reasons and quell your excuses for now, at least enough to go back to "motivation as a boost" and finding your nearest inspirational video, watch it and take some action... and at worst you have confirmed the level of seriousness and or criticality of this goal.

If the criticality or seriousness is not too high then this would explain why the emotional motivator was not enough. Lets now continue on to the functional approach to assessing the true purpose for your side hustle.

Functional assessment of the true purpose for your side hustle

What does this even mean? Well, what you want to do here is reverse engineer from the "why" how you would achieve that. Do you end up back at your actions being the original side hustle? For example, you decide to work on an app as a side hustle, you've now defined that the true purpose for your side hustle is to give yourself some financial freedom.

Start from this point and logically think out the steps that lead you back to working on an app as a side hustle. If it aligns this is where you become specific and think about it in such detail that you can break it down to individual tasks that need to get done to progress to the goal. For the example it could be selecting the color theme of the logo.

Hopefully this does one of 2 things at this point. First you have broken down things to where you could spend the next day selecting the color theme of the logo and have peace that you are actually doing something that helps achieve the goal and feels super easy, leading onto gaining some momentum and motivation. OR it lets you re define your side hustle and takes you back to square one, breaking your motivation cycle.

Bringing it back

So does any of what I have said so far made sense to you? Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't feel free to discuss. This is one of those things that are an ongoing life battle with no wrong or right answers as long as it works for you in the end.

How I'll be specifically applying this and the area which I will be focusing on is my side hustle as an app developer. I've decided now to focus back on 10UP 2.0 and build out full functionality for it using Unity 5. This will be both an Android and iPhone release (and hopefully more!)

My why is for multiple reasons: 
  1. to develop more skills and expand my experience as an app developer and an engineer
  2. complete a game I found fun so that my future kids can enjoy it
  3. generate additional income to provide some financial freedom for my wife and family
Lastly, I would also like to help other upcoming engineers out, sharing my knowledge and discussing current engineering issues and trends. This is why I have made the decision to commit to SarioDev and am now the proud owner of the domain sariodev.com

I will use the development of 10Up as a kind of muse for the blog and discuss more and more topics on the back of this project.

Accountability is good, documenting is good, and practicing communication skills is another positive part of developing as an engineer.

So with that, I wish you all good luck in your careers and get back on your side hustle