Taking on projects that are new, different, uncharted territory can help you breathe fresh air and generate new mojo when you’re feeling uninspired—but they can also leave you feeling inadequate and defeated if they don’t go as smoothly as you’d hoped they would.
I recently worked on a project that was a far cry from the type of writing I typically do. It came to me as opposed to me looking for it, but I thought it sounded like fun and interesting, so I decided to accept the opportunity.
Wow, it was hard! Dang hard. But I learned a lot from the experience and I’m going to share some of what I discovered with you.
When you venture outside of your “project comfort zone,” I suggest keeping these things in mind:
You don’t know what you don’t know.
When taking on a project you’ve never done before, you won’t truly know what you’re in for until you get started. It might demand a whole new way of thinking or executing your work.
Expect to spend more time on it than you anticipate.
Because you haven’t worked on the type of project before, it will probably demand more of your time than you anticipate to get it right. In the case of my recent project, “getting it right” was subjective and dependent on my client’s perspective and preferences. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. But it does up the level of challenge.
Expect to spend more mental energy on it than you expected.
You might find that the project pervades your thoughts in all your waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours. That’s exhausting and can draw your focus and attention from your other responsibilities.
Put on your thick skin.
You may need it. Even if you’re used to hitting a home run with your other projects, you might flounder in producing what your client wants with this one. Requests for re-dos are never fun, and they can hit the ego hard. Don’t take it personally. It’s part of the process.
All things considered, I’m glad I made the stretch to try something different. It was hard work that brought a healthy does of humility, but it’s made me appreciate how effortlessly other projects proceed for me.
Have you taken on any unique, out-of-the-norm projects lately? What have you learned from the experience?
By Dawn Mentzer
Another Insatiable Solopreneur™ post
Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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