In this month’s community masterclass, Kathleen and I dove into passion projects with our bosses. What is a passion project? How do you choose one? How do you follow through to completion? When do you know it’s time to give one up?

We discussed all of this with our bosses, and more, and shared our own experiences of pursuing projects for pure personal fulfillment, and shared our hopes for projects we hope to do in the future.

As creatives, many of us are multi-passionate, and where as we make money in our businesses doing one creative thing, that’s usually not the extent of our skillsets. Passion projects give us an outlet to explore other avenues of creativity for our own enjoyment.

A passion project is a project you do for your own personal fulfillment. It’s more structured than a hobby, and could become more than just a project, but it begins with two goals: have fun, and have a finished product that brings you joy.

TIP 1 – Pick a project with an end product that will bring you fulfillment, but also a project where you’ll enjoy the process as much as the outcome.

A passion project has structure. You know what you’re here to create, so you have an end product in mind, but you’re also here to enjoy the process of reaching that end goal.

Perhaps you want to make your own capsule wardrobe. You define the pieces that you’ll end with, but you’re also going to love the process of picking fabrics and sewing your pieces as well.

You enjoy the process and the end product.

TIP 2 – Make it a priority and schedule it out to help you finish it.

You need to intend to be just as boss in your passion project as you are in every other thing in your life that is important to you. Our recommendation: put a recurring event on your calendar.

When we launched Podcast Like a Boss with Paul Jarvis and Jason Zook, it was a total passion project. And, because it was important to us, we set an ongoing meeting on Thursday of every week for 1-hour. This consistent scheduling helped us show up and get it done.

Whether you’re doing your project solo or with a small team, or whether you’ll need time daily or weekly to work on your project, make it a priority by putting it on your calendar, show up, and get it done.

TIP 3 – Find an accountability partner.

If you’re really struggling with completing your project, find someone to help hold you accountable. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a creative colleague, having someone who’s going to check in with you

Our recommendation is to set up a consistent check-in point with your accountability partner. Meet every week or every other week and go over the following questions:

  • What was your win since the last time you talked?
  • What was your biggest challenge?
  • What is your next action step?

Use your accountability partner as a sounding board and as a way to keep you focused and on task.

TIP 4 – Document your process.

Another way to hold yourself accountable, whether publicly or to yourself, is to document your process. You can journal your process, blog it, or share it on social media to help you track and/or share your progress.

Documenting your process may be a great way for you to get more involved with your project, create records in the event you ever want to recreate or package up your process for others, or to share your project with your community to help hold you accountable and create some cool content for those who follow you online.

Embarking on a passion project is a great way to stretch your creative muscles and find inspiration you can take with you into your life and work. It’s a practice in enjoying the process and working towards your goals.

I hope you can take the tips above to start your own passion project to feed your creative soul and create something you’ll find great joy in.

Emily is the co-host of Being Boss Podcast, helping creative entrepreneurs learn how to run their own creative business with the tough love they need to hear to do the work. She also owns Almanac Supply Co., a maker and retail business focused on creating and curating items to help you live closely with nature, based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.