Guest blog from Anishka Gheewala Lohiya, an LSE Generate funding competition winner:
It is always a challenge to decide whether you can be an entrepreneur or if it’s not for you. Sometimes it takes trying a bit of everything to finally realise what you really want. Because to be an entrepreneur you have to really want it. You have to be willing and able to take risks, make mistakes and take advice and initiative. You can’t wait and be told what to do, but you also have to consider all the problems and solutions as you will have to fix it.
The ways you can fall into entrepreneurship are many; you have the next big tech/app idea, you have a product or a service that the market definitely needs, you join a start up at the early stages.
One way is ‘side projects’. This relates to an idea or, for want of a better description, a project that you start up while you are doing other things. It could be studying at University, at school or working full-time or part-time. It basically is a passion or money-making plan but you can’t dedicate all your time to it.
Side projects not only provide you a potential means of making a business but also can be creative. It can be blogging, making scarves or painting. In my experience this improves your life in other ways, particularly that during your spare time you now have a purpose and passion. Even Google have a 20% rule where employees can spend one day a week (20% of their time) working on side projects that they find interesting.
I joined MengYa as a side project while working full-time. MengYa is a company dedicated to bridging the gap between books and the field. We combine lectures, seminars and workshops with tourist activities to fully go in-depth exploring. I am motivated, innovative and enjoy what I am doing. This was where my interests are; education, social science and travel. And I became happier. Side projects can be a step in the right direction if you aren’t sure about entrepreneurship but also are just fun if that’s what you want.
You just have to find out what you like to do from cooking to tutoring, anything can be started on the side.