Side Project Stories: 12 Learnings from 12 Episodes

Sharing side project stories at After Hour Projects.

We’ve made it: 12 episodes of side project stories at After Hour Projects!

Podcasting is an all-around learning experience; I’ve learned from both producing the show in addition to having the conversations.

Here is one learning from each episode:

Formalizing a Hobby

Stan and Brian created organizations to further their causes.

Episode 7 – Stan Rosenberg – Stan founded Trip of a Lifetime to provide underprivileged youth with opportunities to embark on travel experiences. 

Main takeaway: There are plenty of ways to apply areas of your life onto other areas. It also helps to have a variety of input sources: ideas, influences, inspirations.

Episode 8 – Brian Hanssen – Brian founded Social Impact Scholars to help students early-on in their college careers gain consulting experience via project assignments for social enterprises.

Main takeaway: The ability to ask questions, conduct research, and distill the information into a story is a useful, transferrable area of focus for early-career professionals.

Running a side hustle

Vivian, Harry, and Henry use their time outside of work to work on business ventures.

Episode 5 – Vivian Tran – Vivian balanced getting a PhD, investing in real estate, managing business operations for a startup, and writing a book.

Main takeaway: You don’t have to do everything yourself. Partner with and hire others so you can focus on your core competencies.

Episode 10 – Harry Moreno – Harry, founder of Litt, started Solo Founders Meetup as a way to connect with fellow solo founders.

Main takeaway: Things don’t take much work when they are related to something you are already doing.

Episode 12 – Henry Johnson – Henry started Rocketship Jobs from his own research on finding the next startup to join.

Main takeaway: There are plenty of ways to share what you are currently doing and turn it into a product.

Starting a business

Businesses often start as something on the side. These guests turned them into full-time endeavors.

Episode 3 – Dave Nash – Dave scaled his ecommerce company to 7-figures while working full-time in finance.

Main takeaway: Use your full-time job as a safety net to experiment with your business.

Episode 4 – David Segura – David started Giant Media to fulfill a gap unaddressed by the company he was working for.

Main takeaway: Entrepreneurship is full of ups and downs, and so are side projects. You have to bounce back and keep going.

Episode 6 – Siam Hossain – Siam built his companies HigherStudyAbroad and GetMeHired from his experiences as an international student in the USA and as a software engineer.

Main takeaway: Uncertainty can offer you a wild ride and shot at living life to the fullest versus moving towards a known path.

Episode 9 – Elusio – Elusio applied his background in law to start TaxMap, a tax compliance company working with distributed ledger technology.

Main takeaway: Entrepreneurship is a journey of faith, particularly at the early stages when you have to get others to see what you see. 

Getting you to think

These episodes cover other relevant topics to doing something on the side.

Episode 1 – Leo Lu – Leo built the skills for his current role in fintech partnerships and investments by helping a nonprofit form partnerships and working with early-stage companies at a blockchain community organization.

Main takeaway: I decided to work on something I was interested in and came out of it discovering a skillset to concentrate on and apply to areas of interest.

Episode 2 – Ken Huynh – Founder and investor Ken Huynh discusses his experiences starting a company, angel investing in startups, and getting his MBA.

Main takeaway: Look at the external factors behind your projects, such as your support systems, the economic situation, and your location.

Episode 11 – Jess Lin – Jess started her own teaching practices to take things into her own hands, providing services based on her principles.

Main takeaway: Look at the internal factors behind your projects. Are you taking care of yourself? Is this true to you? How do your actions affect others?

This was quite the journey in sharing side project stories; each unique and with characteristics in common.

Side projects are a matter of turning an idea into a reality over a sustained period of time.

Once you have the will, you’ll find a way.

Listen to all episodes here: Spotify | Apple Podcasts | Anchor

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