Learn, Invest, Network and Plan: 4 steps to get started on a new project

In last month’s article, we saw how to turn an idea into a reality through introspection and action. This month’s article will continue from there, assuming that you already have a concept and a plan, broken down into small steps to be achievable. I want to introduce the four next steps that are, for me, necessary to be able to efficiently develop a project. I called them LINP: Learn, Invest, Network, and Plan.

Learn: get knowledge will get you comfortable in your new field.

Sometimes, we want to start something new, but one of the obstacles we encounter is that we don’t really have any knowledge about it. Going out of our comfort zone is often intimidating especially if you don’t know anything about the thing you’re interested in. The solution is to learn new informations first. For me, when we talk about “learning”, this concept is still very much associated with the image of a book, a teacher, and an overall boring school experience. 

Today, this is very far from our reality, as we have many different tools and ways to learn: acquiring knowledge on specific topics had never been so easy. The Internet is full of resources, and people willingly happy to teach you whatever you want to learn. In essence, you can watch, read, or listen to contents, and it can be provided by experts or amateurs in many different tones and ways. Lately, one of my friends discovered an interest in cryptocurrency and investing. This is a complex world where you need solid knowledge to be able to dive into, especially if your goal is to make money (or at least, avoid losing any). He started by watching Youtube videos about the topic and step by step, got more picky and specific about what he chose to learn. 

Learning through social media is nowadays extremely popular but can bring another difficulty: most of our examples are people who seem fantastic at everything they do. We often forget the work involved to achieve those results, and starting by ourselves can feel harder than it seems.

To make this easier, give yourself the time and the best tools to facilitate your dive into the topic. Practice makes perfect and spending time and money on your projects is a great way to see how far you can go.


Investing: spending time and money will help you moving forward.

It’s a normal feeling to be hesitant before investing money when you start something new. You don’t know if you will like it yet, you don’t know if your investment will pay off and you might not know enough to make the right choices straight away. This is why it’s important to get the knowledge first, you will feel more comfortable investing afterwards.

This is what my friend did: after gathering knowledge about cryptocurrency, he traded every day for a few hours. He decided to spend a couple of hundred euros: enough to get motivated by a reward but not too much to lose everything. 

Starting with cheap tools or not fully involving yourself in your new activity might be counterproductive and discourage you. Having realistic goals and spending time and money can motivate you, and your investment will be rewarding, maybe even refunded.

Another way to invest your time is to build meaningful relationships: creating a network is essential in the development of a new project.


Network: meet like-minded people and create connections that lead to a common goal

Once again, if we assume that you have entered a field as a novice, chances are high that you don’t know anyone with the same interest. It is easy when you are a student or belong to a specific community to share a common passion. However, when you find yourself interested in one particular topic no one else knows about, building a network and meeting like-minded people will be a challenge but a necessary step.

Once you’ve acquired new learnings, you’ll come across other people with different knowledge and opinions, which will expand your view on the topic. Expressing your own judgment and bonding with people, finding experts, leaders, and inspiring like-minded peers will make you feel more legitimate but will also give you a lot of inputs to expand your own ideas and projects.

When you have a network, this might lead you to create a collaborative project or even better, you might get prospects or clients if your aim is to start a business. Then you are ready for the last step.


Plan: set up a timeline and real actions without wasting time to make something happen.

If you have ticked all of the above, you’re now well prepared to start your project for real. In fairness, you have already done a lot, and your plan is already existing: you have the knowledge, investments, and a network that made you ready to go one step further.

It’s time to take action and get organized by knowing how you work best: when are you most productive? Do you need a paper agenda or to download an app to help you? When do you have time to work on your project? Straight into practical and down-to-earth questions.

Then, start to call people and set dates and deadlines. Make realistic to-do lists and move towards your goals. Step by step, something tangible will emerge in front of your eyes, and you will realize that you are making it happen.

Once you’ve freed yourself from the technical and material hurdles, take some time to observe your mind. Do you have any mental obstacles or thoughts that prevent you from starting something? Do you have the feeling that you are not legitimate, or you might need permission before moving forward? Sometimes, our mind is not our best companion, and this will be the theme of the next article: how to overcome our mental obstacles in the making of something creative?

In the meantime, I’ll be happy to read about your projects, plans, and progress: you can tell me your story at c.dausmann@tedxvienna.at, and you never know, this might just be the theme of a future podcast episode on the ByeByeBoss podcast.

To go further: 

Learning by doing by Nathaniel Peat (TEDxBrune 2018)

Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon (an easy book full of significant inputs)

Together is better by Simon Sinek 

ByeByeBoss is a monthly column / podcast whose purpose is to share inspiring stories and initiate change for those who always dreamt of being self-employed. If you want to be a part of it, send an email to c.dausmann@tedxvienna.at

If you didn’t get the change to read the previous post from this series, have a look there:

#1 Bye Bye Boss: the new column about self-employment

#2 Turning an idea into a reality in 2 steps: introspection & action

Image by free stock photos from www.picjumbo.com from Pixabay

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About Caroline

Turning hobbies into money maker. Passionate about small business and trying to turn whoever has a great idea into being self-employed. ByeByeBoss is a monthly column whose purpose is to share inspiring stories and initiate change for those who always dreamt of being self-employed.

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