When you begin thinking about bringing your project you are probably visualizing the best ways to present your skills. While this is vital to consider, there are also some things you will learn from your project…

Learn to leave your comfort zone

It isn’t far into the process when we are confronted by decisions that in order to move forwards require leaving the familiar behind and stepping into unfamiliar territory. This may be seeking professional help with building your website or getting an accountant’s advice. While at one level you know these steps are essential, it doesn’t mean they don’t come with a degree of discomfort. In order to move forwards you will have to become more familiar with leaving your comfort zone, and you may find it is far less scary than you think!

Learn you are more competent than you think

When you are relying on yourself to keep your project moving forwards, there will be times when you have to roll up your sleeves and do something you thought you couldn’t do. For some people they think they lack any creativity and panic when asked to make an aesthetic decision. After choosing the colors for your web site – and maybe a business card – and liking the outcome, there can be a dawning realization that maybe you are creative! For others it can be challenging to have to do something technical or financial that seems completely alien. Again, once that spreadsheet is set up or code fragment is added to the site, there is a great sense of accomplishment.

Learn to be vulnerable

As adults we become increasingly comfortable with the idea that we know how to deal with life and can handle pretty much anything that is thrown at us. When you start a new project you lose some of that comfort. As we ask questions and start to master new skills, we often have to ask for help. It can feel awkward not to be the person in charge, but if you can relax and accept this is the way forwards, rather a step backwards, it is much easier to handle. You are not losing the competency you had, but by being vulnerable you are adding to your competency.

Learn to give your needs higher priority

As you are the hub of your project you slowly realize that it is important to see to your own needs ahead of those of others for a while. Give your self time to eat and eat real food, get a decent amount of sleep and get outside and walk. It is all too easy to spend hours in front of your computer and suddenly find it is late in the day and you have barely moved. Also be willing to invest in yourself and in your learning. Get training if you are struggling to learn a new skill, go on a course – or even to a conference! It isn’t selfish, it is part of the process – and you need to be the focus of your energy at the beginning.

Learn to move past resistance and act

It is always easier to keep doing the same things and wonder why nothing changes. In reality to get your project off the ground you are going to have to do things you really don’t feel like doing. Inertia can be a killer of new ideas and projects, so whether you feel like taking then next step or not, know the consequences. You will feel 100 times better if you go ahead and take the step than if you sit at home talking yourself out of it. The Nike slogan “Just do it” needs to become your personal call to action!

So while you are building your project, the process will simultaneously be building you. You will not end the process the same person you were when you began, but you will have a much clearer idea of who you are, and your true strengths and weaknesses. You will learn from your project that you are braver in other areas of your life as you have learned to face fears and misconceptions down and know how good it feels on the other side.