Simplifying my Side Projects

If you’re a graphic designer who listens to this show, or even an entrepreneur who listens to this show, you can likely relate when I talk about starting side projects. One funny domain turns into thirty. One good logo turns into many.

Over the years I’ve come up with hundreds of ideas of different things that I want to do. I’ve registered domain names. I’ve created logos. I’ve built some of these brands into into some things.

But all this time I never stopped and thought about what impact that was having on my time. When you’re running a business or even running a website for that matter, it takes a good amount of time to actually produce content. It takes work to keep it moving and get people to to visit, purchase or engage. 

I was spending a lot of time more focusing on what the design of these things were instead of focusing on the content of them.

So this year, I decided that simple simplification was going to be my goal. I started by taking stock of all the different side projects that I had — notably this podcast and my freelance business (which now was a side project instead of full time).

It extended to my font design business and other things that I wanted to do that I was putting off. I wanted to start a newsletter or build an online class.

Seeing all of these pieces, I realized it would be more beneficial to stop with the little brands and condense it into one brand.

The benefits were immediate. I had more energy to focus on creating content. I didn’t have to worry about setting up a new website with every new website. 

My podcast will still be the same. My fonts won’t change. But now, I can put my focus where it needs to be: on content and promotion.

What I’ve realized, especially for my personal brand, is I didn’t need to have a business name for everything. I didn’t have to make a big production out of everything. All I needed was my name on it. 

There’s a lot of people who know who I am, what I do, and what I’m passionate about. Its easier having one brand to manage and making it sing a little bit louder and clearer. From this point, I only need to define and make it better. I’ll have more time to dedicate to creating quality and value.

It’s fun to start new side projects or brands. But there’s a lot of energy and effort that goes into it. It’s worth taking stock of how you’re spending your time and seeing if its worth it.

By being able to focus on what really matters, it can take the weight off your shoulders. The endless to-do list gets shorter. You can be more passionate about what you really enjoy doing.

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