The Magic of the “Big Project,” and Why Undertaking One Will Change Your Life

One of the most important decisions you can make to improve your life and drastically increase your career potential is to begin working on a what I call a “Big Project.”

Your Big Project will be something that forces you develop new skills and intentionally pushes you to the limits of your comfort zone.

You want to focus on projects or ideas that are challenging enough to stretch you and occasionally frustrate you, but still allow you to get in a few wins along the way so that you don’t get too discouraged.

This is the type of pursuit that requires the type of effort Georgetown professor and author Cal Newport would call Deep Work.

Some examples of a “Big Project” you could undertake:

  • Learn to play guitar and join a band, then go on a mini-tour.
  • Bootstrap a SAAS company or start a freelance business.
  • Launch a Kickstarter for a product you invented.
  • Study Japanese for a year and plan an extended trip there to practice.
  • Write, direct and produce a film and enter it in a film festival.
  • Write a book and plan the entire marketing rollout.
  • Learn chess (or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!) and start competing at tournaments.

Everybody has something. You just have to find your something and get good. Then get great.

The ROI of a Big Project is usually much higher than advertised. But it’s not always money. And that’s the point. You willl end up learning much than you could ever imagine, because you’ll have to dedicate yourself like never before.

It’ll force you to grow.

One of my first Big Projects was producing films. That phase of my life culminated in Blossoms for Clara, a short film that I wrote, directed and produced.

My team and I raised $13,000 for a two day shoot. We even got Jasmine Guy to star in it.

The experience showed me that I could create, direct and execute an idea — and launch a product with multiple people involved, while managing a budget.

I went in because I loved film, but I came out knowing how to launch a product and run a small team.

What would you learn from completing a Big Project?

Doing meaningful work pays dividends, in more than one way. There’s no way to say whether or not your first Big Project will lead to money, fame or any type of “success” as you may define it.

But I can promise you that when you get really good at something, your odds of getting paid really well to do it go up dramatically.

There isn’t always a direct correlation between skill and income, but there is usually one between income and time spent in the game.

So isn’t there something you should be working on today?

Please realize that only people willing to put themselves out there will get the opportunities now.

“Good enough” is worthless. Adequate is invisible.

You must be willing to absorb the necessary risks in order to test your ideas and get better.

That process of trying, failing, learning, growing, failing again — is how you earn success.

Daniel DiPiazza
@Rich20Something

Daniel is the founder and CEO of Rich20Something.

A millennial business mastermind, he has successfully started three consecutive freelance businesses and scaled them to over $100K in revenue with zero startup capital. His work is regularly featured in Time Magazine, Fortune, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Fox News, and Yahoo! Business.

His debut book, Rich20Something, publishes on May 2, 2017.

  • Chris Irving

    I completely agree with this! When I was working on my feature length film in college which I had written, cast, and filmed, and directed, I was doing something I didn’t think was possible, and after all was said and done, I was ready for my next project. So in many ways the best thing to do, even if you don’t think it’s possible, is to put yourself out there. Only by throwing yourself into the pool, will you learn how to swim.

  • Nanapennypockets

    Okay. Will get the book together and work on getting it published. It’s sitting in the back ’cause it got written too early. But in today’s world it’s reached the time to go ahead with it. Got the children and now you saying do it – so guess I have to get off my b**t and take action. Guess we all want to do something big. Wish me luck. Maybe should have taken your course. Just had too much on my plate at the time. Love, Hugs, and Prayers, Nana

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