A few things that I think are important to keep in mind when beginning to pursue your project:
- Be very specific about the goal you're hoping to accomplish---Keep it simple. This is tough for me. I often get so side-tracked with an idea that it ends up turning in to a completely different project. Personally, I think it's good to toy around with the idea in the beginning, but once the project is in full swing we should keep focused on the goal and save the brainstorms for the beginning.
- Make a plan.--- What steps need to be taken to accomplish the goal? Define a very clear list of things that need to be taken care of for the project to progress. Make a list and keep track of your progress as things are finished. Plans will always need to be tweaked a bit so keep that in mind as the project progresses.
- Assemble a team.--- Finding the right people to help you on your project can be incredibly difficult. This is almost always the hardest thing for me on my own projects. Your team should be made up of people that are flexible, trustworthy, and as my buddy mentioned yesterday, they should really believe in the goal of the project. (Thanks for pointing that out to me Gabe.) It's easy to just ask your close friends to do something but the reality is that they may not always be the best people for the job.
- Stay focused and dedicated to the idea.---Be dedicated to your project and really stick with it. This may be obvious, but it's tough to do. This isn't a necessarily complete list, but these are things that I have found to be important in not just starting, but following through and finishing projects. Starting is one thing, but it's an entirely new challenge to stick with it and follow through to the end.
I think everyone at some point has an idea that they get really excited about and never really do anything with. This happens to me all the time, but once I started keeping a notebook of my ideas it got a lot easier to keep track of everything. If nothing else, at least I won't forget them all.
What are your projects? Be self starter and give it a whirl. Not every project will be success, but if we get in the habit trying, something is bound to work out. So get out there, have a few stinkers (everyone does), and create your own opportunities!