We were fortunate enough to get to attend chasejarvisLIVE live and in person recently! Two members from our team were in attendance in the standing-room-only creativeLIVE studios here in San Francisco on Wednesday June 18th where Tina Roth Eisenberg (aka @swissmiss) was in conversation with Chase Jarvis.
One of the themes was side projects and labors of love and why you should take your side projects seriously. As photographers, I don’t think I’ve known a photographer who didn’t have a side project going on, but the important takeaway was really how if you have a passion project, you can’t treat it like a business, but rather just focus on it for what it is. As Tina herself said, “don’t think of it as a business, the money comes on it’s own.”
I’ve seen this happen quite a bit and it inspired me to continue on in a side project I’ve been working on to let it continue to develop.
What are some of your passions and what are you doing about them? As you continue along with it/them, opportunities may arise for you to turn it into a business, but that shouldn’t be your focus. There are a lot of examples of this happening, and one of the ways Eisenberg stays motivated is that whenever she sees herself repeatedly complaining or being bothered about something, she does something about it. That’s where TeuxDeux came from and is also something that now provides her with passive income.
Passive income is very important for creatives since it provides you with more freedom to pursue whatever you like, with that passive income subsidizing some of your expenses. Licensing existing images can do this for photographers, as can publishing books that can add to your long tail of revenue.
Another big point, though, was the importance of connecting with real people. The internet is great (we all did a “yay internet” cheer even – see above – can you find us?) but nothing replaces working with people face to face and getting out there. The casual conversations you have can turn into something big or spark another idea. Too many people stay behind their computers and ‘connect’ online, but face-to-face is still so valuable. As Clay Shirky says: “We systematically overestimate the value of access to information and underestimate the value of access to each other.”
So go out there, hang out with friends and those that inspire you and see what happens. Your next passion project might get sparked and who knows where it could go from there!