The best way to build something better, smarter, faster, and more powerful is by getting out of your comfort zone.
Here are some tips for getting into a mindset of making the leap into the next phase of your life.
Start with an idea The idea for your next project is usually the most important, so start with a solid project.
“Write a software application that uses an existing piece of hardware,” says Brian S. Kroll, a product manager at RIM, a BlackBerry maker.
“That way, when you start to get to the more complex stuff, you’ll have an idea of what the hardware is capable of and what the requirements are for the application to be useful.”
Build something from the ground up You can start by thinking about how to solve a problem, then design and build a new solution from scratch.
“It’s like starting with the bottom line and looking at it from the top,” Sanger says.
“Once you’ve got a clear understanding of what you’re trying to solve, you can start from there.”
Be realistic It’s important to get realistic when it comes to your budget, schedule, and project scope.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there that you can do and not do,” Sangers says.
It can take you a while to learn the intricacies of a new project, but eventually, you won’t have to think about all the different things that could go wrong.
“I would say this: if you can figure out where you are in the process, you’re probably better off just waiting for it to happen,” Sølvs says.
Don’t get discouraged If you’re still not sure what you want to do, make a list of what interests you most and plan to work on that first.
“You can put a list together that says ‘I’m going to work with this company on this idea and see what they think,'” Sanger suggests.
“The other way around is that you might be more inclined to work for the company that you think is the right fit, because they’ve already had a chance to do it, and you know it will be a better fit for them.”
Start small There’s no better time to start a new challenge than right now.
“If you start small, you never know how far you’ll go,” Sölvs suggests.
And when you do get to your first goal, you might start thinking about the next step you can take to make it more achievable.
Build your own project You can build your own hardware with Raspberry Pi or Arduino boards, or you can use a laptop or tablet computer to build an application that will run on any device.
Sølls suggests starting with something simple like a photo editing program, then adding more and more complexity.
“When you build something, you don’t just build it for yourself.
You build it on your own schedule,” he says.
Think about your budget Before you start, look at how much you’re spending each month, and see how much time you’ll be spending on each project.
This will give you an idea about how much work you can expect to be able to devote to each task, Søls says, and it will also give you some confidence that you’ll finish your project on time.
Use your imagination Before you even think about what you’ll do with your time, consider the possibilities and the possibilities you might never even consider.
“For example, imagine that you have a product that’s going to help people with autism,” Sorgers says.
The first step to designing that product is to get a baseline idea of how your brain works, and then to build some prototype circuits to see if they work on a range of people with different abilities.
“Next, you should start looking at other kinds of people who might benefit from the product, and start thinking how you can get them to take advantage of it,” Sorkins says.
Be aware of your ego The most important thing to do with all this money is to be aware of who you are.
“This isn’t something you just go and do,” Kroll says.
You need to consider the value that you’re putting into the product.
“Your own ego is going to decide whether or not it’s worth it to you,” Sarns says “You’re not going to have any idea if this product is going be useful for someone else.”
Don.t. wait for someone to get it done If you think you’re done with your current project, start thinking of what it could be used for.
“Make a list that says, ‘I’ll work on this problem for this company for a year or two and if they don’t take it, I’ll give up,'” Søldens says.
Then look for ways to bring the project back to life.
“Start by building something new,” Sarges says.