Why you have to start that passion project or you will regret it forever

How to avoid the bitter regrets and ruminating of a life less lived
Why you have to start that passion project or you will regret it forever
Jake McNeill
July 1, 2021
5 min read
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I speak to a lot of people who want to start creative businesses, passion projects, and personal brands.

But they don’t. Why? Fear. 

People are scared at failing with their dreams so they don't try.

You don’t need to quit your job. In fact, it’s better if you don’t.

Start a side hustle. 

Creative businesses take a long time to build. Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself. 


Some of them think it’s already too late. I’ve written about Time Anxiety before.

Time anxiety is the fear of wasting time trying to start a creative business in a crowded market.

People think it’s too late; so never start. Then regret it for years as people who started —when they didn’t— build successful careers.

It haunts them. Envy combined with regret is a bitter pill to swallow.

I’ve seen it so many times.

Crowded markets are full of opportunities. There are gaps that you can leverage by employing contrarian startup or investor thinking. 

I’ve written about that in-depth here.

Other fears range from fear of the unknown to fear of failure. 

Truth? Fear is a good thing. We’re programmed to run from it but we need to strive towards it.

Fear is just our egos trying to protect us by keeping us in our comfort zone.

You will achieve nothing in your life in your comfort zone. 

I’ve had my fair share of successes and failures. Everything good, and that includes the lessons I learned from my failures, has come from striding towards fear.


Overthinking is another classic thing that stops people from getting started. Analysis paralysis.

I’ve been guilty of this in past. In fact, it used to hold me back a lot when I had a younger face. 

The good news is it’s an easy fix. 

Simplify. Everything is simply a series of processes. We start with the goal i.e start and publish a podcast?

That’s the goal or lag metric. Then you reverse engineer it into a process of daily steps.

Start on step 1. Complete each step until you achieve the goal. 

Stop comparing yourself with other people's highlights

Every creator and indie startup hacker is inspired by others. We consume their content and want to create our own.

The trouble is you compare your work with a creator who has been at the top of their game for years. 

Please stop doing that. Or you will never start. 

Go and look at their early content. Everyone is rubbish in the beginning. 

Here’s the first-ever episode of Joe Rogan’s podcast compare and contrast to his newer episodes.

Compare yourself with episode # 1 not episode # 200 or #2,000

You will see that the creators who inspire you once felt the same as you do right now. 

They were full of self-doubt. But they got started and got a bit better incrementally every day. 

“90% of success is any project is just showing up. Most days you won’t want to but it’s pushing through that and doing it anyway”— Joe Rogan


It’s overrated. It’s not the predictor of success. 

Some of the most talented artists I worked with didn’t connect with an audience, some of the least had big hits. 

If you worried that you’re not good enough? Don’t be. 

Here’s David Bowie’s first review from the BBC

“Amateur sounding vocalist who sings wrong notes and out of tune…The singer is a cockney type but is devoid of personality.”

Every famous comedian has been booed off the stage. Everyone. 

Every artist crashed and burns in the beginning. Everyone.

Truth? The more you do something the more talented you get.

Want to hack your learning curve?

Want to get talented fast? Whatever it is you want to do it every day

Ed Sheeran did 300 gigs in 365 days. 

John Grisham wrote one page a day. 

I’m writing 50 blog posts in 50 working days. 


Want to connect deeply? 

You need empathy with your audience? How can you genuinely mine empathy with others?

Solve your own pain points. 

Find the way to solve your problems. Simplify and serialise it and serve your audience. 


Compassion means to share suffering. And this is what creativity is. 

It’s having the empathy to articulate the pain and the compassion to serve it to your audience. 

Be compassionate. Solve problems. 

Process goals

Reverse engineer your goal into daily process goals.

Get the process goals right and the results will follow. 

Stop living someone else’s version of your life

“I wish I had the courage to live a life that was true to me and not the life others expected of me” 

👆 This is the most common regret according to palliative nurse, Bronnie Ware. 

Bronnie spent the final weeks with hundreds of dying people. 

Don’t make the same mistakes with your life that they did. 

Interested in 1-2-1 Creative Business/ Personal Branding Strategy?

I help creators and solopreneurs become famous in their niches. I specialise in:

  • Creative business strategy
  • Personal Branding Strategy
  • Standing out in saturated markets
  • Overcoming creative blocks that are holding you back
  • Building audiences. 

I do discovery calls to check we’re suitable.

Cost? $0.00 Commitment? Zero. Time? 30 minutes

More info? Go here

A bit about me

I’m an ex- multi-platinum artist manager. I created strategies and built audiences for artists who sold millions. I’ve challenged myself to write 50 articles in 50 working days. 35 down, 25 to go.

You can read more in the archives here. Find out more information on my website or connect on my LinkedIn

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