Making ideas happen is tough – it involves time, effort and hard work, often done as a side project alongside your other commitments. But the point of a happy hustle is not that it’s hard but that trying to make ideas happen will give you great pleasure and fulfilment.
The five happy hustle principles will help you overcome barriers you may face when starting something, they will help you start, build momentum and keep going. They are:
1. Dream big but start small
Ambition is great – it gets us out of bed in the morning and striving for more. But without a plan, your dreams can come to nothing. You have to start. And by starting small you bypass the fear centres of the brain, lower the stakes, and are more likely to rack up the wins that will keep you motivated, positive and moving forward.
2. Don’t fall in love with your idea.
Founder bias can blind you to feedback and keep you forging ahead with a failed plan when the evidence tells you to quit. Instead, fall in love with the problem your idea solves. Fall in love with the people who have the problem and the customers who use your solution – they will guide you to a better idea.
3. Ship before you’re ready
Forget perfectionism – you don’t have the time or money to keep tinkering. Make something and get it out to people quickly and often. Think of each version as an experiment to gather data to inform what you’re doing next. By having tight feedback loops you learn fast and improve your idea as it takes shape in the world.
4. Connect with others
Working in isolation is the worst thing you can do for your idea’s survival. So, find friends and peers who can support you, early users who can test and feed back, communities of people who are interested in what you do, and networks of people on a similar journey. Relationships will help you and your idea thrive.
5. Focus on the process not the outcome
Most ideas will fail, so don’t aim for a narrow end point of success. As you build and test your idea, learn from the experience, notice what you enjoy, reflect on what works and what you’d like to do more of, seek out engagement, and be motivated by what excites, challenges and stimulates you. And when things go wrong, you’ll have the resilience to keep going.
So what’s stopping you? It’s time to find your happy hustle.