While it may sound strange for me to say this, sometimes working on too many projects is actually *not* a good thing. Hear me out. Taking on too much can lead to overwhelm, fatigue, burnout… It can also lead to things falling through the cracks, which -- when it happens often -- can erode your professional reputation.
So how do you choose which project to focus on when you’ve got so many options in front of you? We’ve put together a few questions to help you choose your next time investment.
What is your highest priority right now? Money, career advancement, artistic expression? Which project(s) match up with that?
Take a moment and get really clear on what you want to achieve in the next six months to a year. You can go further out if you’d like, but for the purposes of choosing the project you want to move forward next, it’s better to keep this timeline shorter. And don’t judge yourself for what comes up as you do this work. Wanting to generate a certain amount of income is a perfectly valid reason to choose one project over another. Your goals and priorities do not necessarily have to be altruistic. They simply serve as a benchmark against which you’ll make a decision.
If money and time weren’t issues, which project(s) would you pursue?
Here’s where you can start to think about your passion projects. The ones that light you up. The ones that are maybe more ambitious but also more creatively fulfilling. Let go of any BUTs you may be carrying around and dream big! Which project(s) comes to the forefront?
Which project is most in alignment with your Big Why?
If you’re early in your content entrepreneur journey -- or even if you’re not -- you’re likely still finding and cultivating your creative voice. Your creative voice is linked with your Big Why, and projects that are most aligned with that Big Why will help establish you and your creative voice in the industry. What do you want to be known for?
For which project(s), if any, do you already have a team, location, or other puzzle piece?
Now you can start to get practical. Which project is already in motion? Where can you capitalize on forward momentum? Getting started is the hardest part. How can you make it easier on yourself?
Which project scares you the most?
It can be either good-scared or bad-scared here. Sometimes fear is there as a reminder of how much you want something. But sometimes fear is there to protect you. Which project came to mind first when I asked what scared you? And, if you’ve got an inkling, jot down whether you think you’re good-scared or bad-scared of it.
If you knew you were going to die one year from today, what would you want to spend your time doing/working on? What legacy would you want to leave?
On some level, we are all drawn to this industry as a means of making our mark on the world. Leaving something behind after we shuffle off our mortal coil. If your body of work could only add one more piece to it, what would it be?
Which project sounds like the most fun?
Honestly, this might be the most important question. Making a career in this industry is tough enough. Shouldn’t we be having more fun? Which project brings you the most joy to think about?
Now, after you’ve answered all of these questions, look for patterns. Is there one project that comes up over and over? If so, it sounds like you’ve got your answer. But if there’s one project that emerges as the winner yet you’re feeling pulled in another direction? Well, then, you’ve got your answer. 😉
Remember, saying YES to one thing means saying NO to something else. This exercise is intended to help you get clear on your priorities so that you can start taking action. In the end, it really doesn’t matter which one you pick, as long as you move forward with purpose and intention. Don’t let the process of choosing hold you back from making a decision. Take the leap!
Do you have any tips for choosing a project? Let us know!
Ally Iseman is a writer and Co-Founder of Film Launch who is committed to creating a more transparent, supportive, and connected entertainment community.