I'm interested in hearing people's thoughts and personal experiences on making a transitition from working on clients projects to launching a successful endeavor of their own.
The fun just is not there anymore working on projects for clients, or working for a shop doing work for a multitude of clients. Worse yet, the last couple of years I've had some interesting offers that I did not feel were right for me. I wish I could scream that this is all about money, because it's not. I've actually down sized the number of clients, so I could have some space to breath and time to figure out what I actually want to do. Money is important to me, but not the cornerstone of what motivates me. Do I desire to do something sucessful and make money at it, you betcha I do. However, I want or need to do something fun.
Now, here I am sitting in a room by myself. I'm finding it extremely difficult being my own client. This is well...to be honest..sort of frustrating because normally I have all kinds of ideas and thoughts I bounce off clients. I have come up with a few general ideas, but nothing that has me excited enough yet to do it.
I love to hear from anybody who has gone through a similar experience. Any insight, advice and thoughts from anybody regarding this is dearly appreciated.
Well I'm just going w/ what others have told me when starting a new idea
1. Successful ideas does not come at the "first shot". Most of the time, it's found by "accident". Take flickr.com, I hear that they originally made online game which happened to have a feature to store "pictures". Then later, their users solely use their game to share pics... so they scrap the original idea and just created picture repository site.
2. You may need to practice on idea itself. What I mean is ask a trivial question like "What can I do w/ a pencil?" Don't answer them w/ common sense like "to write on a piece of paper". More like, "I can use it as a bookmark", "I can use it as a chapstick", "I can use it as a weapon!". Today, we're living in a world where common sense ideas ARE all taken! Take twitter for example, who would've thunk that would be successful! So thinking in unconventional way may find a unique idea!
3. This is cheesy.... even if your project end up in failure, you'll learn something! Look at Steve Jobs, he has failed 2 companies before becoming successful w/ Pixar. So don't be shameful if your idea is stupid. Main thing is that you learn something out of it. Also, Pixar company wasn't even meant to be "Animated" company. They were suppose to create graphic software for designers. However, after they have created several "animated demo" using their tools, their client was more fascinated by the demo then the tool itself. So, Steve says "Ok guys! Let's make a movie!" See~ good ideas never come immediately and takes a while to find it.
Sorry if I sounded like cheer leader "Go! Go! Hooray!" but self-motivation is the key here.
Often the best place to begin isn't on your own, when looking or seeking out useful projects or ventures you could go out and accomplish you require a plan of action. But before you can have a plan you require an idea, most ideas don't suddenly come if their forced out (not the good ones at least), they come out of a real world need for their existence. In that capacity I would say that perhaps you should either think back to the days when you used to work for other people (producing their goods) and think about what service you really could have done with to help make your experience with them easier. If you're at a point however where you still can't really come up with anything, it's time to get into research and actually go seek out ideas, sitting in a room with nothing to inspire you isn't going to get you the million dollar idea, but going out into the community, working with others or perhaps participating in stuff with other people (and doing lots of research) will help you better ground your ideas. I wouldn't attempt to go solo with a venture unless I had an idea that felt good enough that it could really make it as a service, quitting your job and sitting in front of a blank screen isn't going to suddenly give you the lightbulb over the head effect, most ideas take years to cultivate properly.
thank you for the great post. I can use all the cheerleading I can get right about now. I just have to get in the game and start doing something. At this point even if it's wrong, it's still going to be the right thing to do. Mind you, I'm also aware of the importance of being selective about what I get involved with. Choices or decisions effect the time spent on things we do. Literally makes the difference of years in our life time. In many ways I wish I could roll back 10 years of my life, but that ain't happening. How to best describe where I'm at. It's sort of like turning off a computer, or hitting the reset button. Time to turn it back on and reboot.
Thanks for the 4 point advice, there was nothing cheesy about it.