We are still early in 2013, so it’s a good time to think about how to get the most out of this year. While there are several ways to do that, I’d like to focus on just one suggestion here: take a new challenge.
Taking a new challenge is a good way to expand your personal capacity. It helps you grow and achieve your full potential – just doing what you usually do won’t help you grow.
But what challenge should you take? Here are some ideas.
1. Start a side business.
I’m a big proponent of having side projects, and building a side business is a great project to embark on. It’s a good idea because you don’t need to leave your day job; you can keep your day job while building a small business in your spare time. Later, after your business has grown, you can consider quitting your job.
While these are not the only ways, here are some steps to start a side business:
- Identify your passions.
- Find a way to provide value based on your passions.
- Find ways to make money through it.
- Take action consistently to build the business.
For example, when I decided to build this blog, I identified two passions of mine: personal growth and writing (step 1). I then decided that starting a blog was a good way to provide value based on those two passions (step 2). To make money with it, I put some ads on the blog (step 3). I then wrote regularly on the blog (step 4).
2. Learn a new skill.
What skills do you think can enrich your work and life? Consider learning at least one of them this year. In my case, I want to learn speed reading, since I believe it will prove valuable.
The skill doesn’t have to be a mental skill. It can also be a physical skill (such as swimming) or an artistic skill (such as playing guitar).
3. Work on a social project.
Is there a cause in your society that you care about? For instance, you might be thinking of helping street children or the elderly. If that’s the case, then you might consider working on a social project. You can volunteer for an existing project or even start your own project.
4. Take an online course.
These days, you can take many online courses to educate yourself. Places like Coursera and Udacity allow you to learn together with other people, and they’re complete with the assessments.
5. Write a book.
If you have been thinking about writing a book, this year could be a good year to actually do it. The rise of self-publishing means that you can get your work directly to the readers without going through traditional gatekeepers such as agents and publishers.
Think carefully about the topic you want to write about, research it, and then write consistently every day. You can later publish the book through places like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing.
6. Experiment with outsourcing.
You can accomplish so much more if you use others’ time and skills instead of doing everything youself. These days, you can do that by outsourcing your tasks through places like Elance, oDesk, and Fiverr.
Outsourcing takes practice, so you might want to experiment with it this year. Start with simple tasks and go from there. Once you master outsourcing skills, you will be able to multiply your productivity.
These are some challenges that you can take this year to expand your capacity. Of course, there are many more possibilities out there.
What challenge do you plan to take this year? I’d like to hear from you in the comments.
Photo by kelsey_lovefusionphoto