When I got my first job in the summer of 2009 working at a car insurance company, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know what type of projects I’d be working on, I didn’t know which programming skills I’d be using, and I didn’t know how I’d adjust to my 9-5 job. But the one thing I did know is that I would be working.
What is a Passion Project?
A passion project is something you put time and effort into more because you are passionate about it than because you’re expecting an immediate return on your investment. You think it can become something, but you won’t find out until you put in the effort.
It’s not simply a hobby that you’re doing because it’s fun (though it can be), but something that you feel strongly about that can make a difference in your life or business.
My First Passion Project
As it turned out, I was dead wrong thinking that I would be working 40 hours a week. There was very little for me to do beyond reading and basic training exercises with my computer, and as a result, I had nearly 40 hours a week to do nothing at my desk. I asked for work, but there simply wasn’t much for an entry level systems analyst to do during the first 6 months of my job.
As a result, I started this blog just a few weeks after starting work. I was extremely bored and I had been reading non-stop. So I decided to start writing about personal finance. I spent at least 4-6 hours each day on the blog. That included writing, reading and commenting on other blogs, and networking with other bloggers. It was exhilarating. I was able to learn a lot, but about personal finance and blogging, and I started something that was my own.
It felt great, and despite being trapped in a cubicle for 8+ hours a day, I kept myself busy and I was no longer bored. I even spent time every morning before work and at night after work checking my stats obsessively and making sure comments responded to.
I’ve had other projects that I enjoyed a lot and put a lot of time into, even if they weren’t income-building projects. But there’s been nothing that I obsessed over quite as much as the blog in the early days. I used to joke that I was holding down two 40 hour jobs while at work. It was very impressive.
What Was Your First Passion Project?
I used to think that people worked during the day and just hung out and relaxed at night. But the more people I speak to, the more I realize that there are a lot of people who have side projects with the hopes of earning some extra income or possibly replacing their full time job.
Do you have a passion project that you spend time on outside of your day job? What was the first time you put time and effort into some you believed in without any guarantee of getting anything in return?