How to Change the World on a Budget




Introduction: How to Change the World on a Budget

Be warned! I tend to ramble a bit, english is not my first language and this is my first instructable, so please bare with me.

There's a lot that can be done to change do world. Be it big or small things, there's something for everybody. Probably the most accessible way to do that is by being happy. Thing is, being happy is not always easy. You don't have a chance to do this or be that and that takes it's toll. So i'll try to give you enough so you can work on being happier.

To change the world, you firstly need people with ideas! Give resources to people with ideas, and the possibilities are endless!

This instructable is for those people.

Material List:

- Idea!
- Pen or Pencil
- Notepad
- Willpower (Sometimes lots of it!)

Step 1: Have an Idea!

There is (at least i hope there is) a really big amount of people thinking of new stuff at any given time.
Maybe a cool new app or the idea of a career doing what they love most.
While it may sound great, most of these ideas die in the first few hours, sometimes even seconds. 
Why do they die? I believe it's first and foremost due to lack of knowledge and resources required to turn the idea into something palpable.

Anyway, now that you had your idea, let's put it through a few questions:

- Was it done before? If so, can i make it better? How?

- What skills do i need to be able to do it? (programming, sewing, cooking, whatever)

- Should i learn all that is needed or take on a partner? Do i know someone willing to help me?

- Do i love it? (Chances are that if you do, more people will share the same feeling)

Step 2: Write Everything Down!

You wouldn't believe the amount of stuff that i forgot that i wish i didn't.
But, there's a solution for this:

Write Everything Down!

What it is, what it does, how it does it, what color it is, what is it made of, etc.
Do this for 30 days with every idea you have - 30 days is roughly the necessary time to turn it into a habit.

Get that notepad and use it! If you don't like the idea of carrying a notepad everywhere, you can always use your phone but do write it down on your notepad as soon as you can. Besides staying on paper, it will make it easier to imprint it in you memory.
Believe me, you'll be amazed at the quantity of stuff you'll end up writing when you get used to it.

Drawing is an awesome way to get a glimpse at your idea. If you're thinking "but i don't know how to draw", i got that covered so, no excuses.
Get a copy of You can draw in 30 days by Mark Kistler and you'll never have to say "sorry for the bad drawing" again.
Like writing, you'll end up drawing ideas you never thought you had.

Step 3: Organize Your Ideas!

Now you have taken all of that stuff from inside your head and it's all on that notepad.
You know what you want, how you want it an when. Take some time to go through all of it and start defining priorites.
Write down a list of everything you need to do by priorities. 

Step 4: Find the Resources You Need!

Now, this for me always was the hardest part. A lot of my projects ended up trashed at birth by lack of resources. I've seen a lot of people saying that they don't do what they want because they don't have the financial resources it takes. While there are a lot of stuff that you need money to have or do, most of the times you need to money to pay for services. If you want to have someone to develop your idea or go to school to learn a new trade, you'll probably have to pay. 

Working almost always on a tight budget i was always missing a tool or trying to find someone willing to help with something i knew nothing about. Luckily there are a few ways to gather knowledge and resources without breaking the bank.

If you need to learn something new, there are a few ways to go about it.

Searching this website is a great way to do it! Search on youtube, google and the likes. Probably someone did it or something similar and made a tutorial about it.
Search forums and websites, register and ask questions if you need to. There are a lot of communities that might be able to help you. The internet has a lot more to offer besides fluffy kitties.

Books and DVDs are my favorite way to do it. Why you ask? Because if you are careful with the selection you make, you can get great results. What do i mean by this? You'll find awesome books and technical DVDs made by the people with years of experience that will help you cut a few corners and avoid common rookie mistakes. Finding stuff made by the best in their field will help you even further. Be prepared to spend some time reading or in front of your screen. If you are learning something new, i suggest you start small and progress from there. What i mean is, try the most basic stuff first. Although it is tempting to jump to the last steps, these are the steps you can't fail. It might suck a bit (hence the need for willpower) but the more time you spend learning, the easier it will be to do it in the future. If you followed my advice, you learned from some of the best in the world so with practice you'll be half way to be better than most. Find what the best have in common and used it. If it works for them and they're great, it may help you too.

Now, if you need a helping set of hands, it's a bit harder but not impossible. You can try using classified adds, hacker spaces, ask someone in the business or retired from the business to teach you. Remember, if you are going to ask someone to help you, be truthful, polite and say thanks. It sucks to help ungrateful people and it closes opportunities for other people that might want to learn. Make friends, enjoy the process.

Step 5: Do Something!

Not anything though. You should have that list of priorities to guide you.
Start on the top priority and build on that. Since the beginning, you should do stuff like it was meant to change your live or even the whole world for the better. It's a great way to keep yourself motivated. Think of what good might come out of it. Do this through the entire process and you'll keep motivation high and might find a few other ideas pop up on your head.
When you visualize the final product in your mind, you might be surprised to see something change. Your mind may remember something new and take the liberty of adding it.

Step 6: Final Touches and Putting It to Work!

Hopefully you found everything you needed and work got done.
At this time you should take a look and see if there is room for improvement.

Do not take this as an opportunity to procrastinate! Do not rearrange everything when it's almost done!

Improve details if they don't mess with almost anything and charge forward!
Design it, build it, sell it, be it... Whatever you set out to do, do it!
If you still think it could be done a better way do not stop what you are doing. While you test the idea you had, you can follow these steps for the new one. Think of this as a chance to improve. Even if it goes wrong, you'll learn from it and then you can take the knowledge you gathered an improve on the new one. 

Step 7: Enjoy Life!

You took an idea and made it real! That's an awesome thing you just did! Congratulate yourself, do something new to celebrate! Eat a cupcake, jump of a plane, whatever you want. You earned it!
And next time you go to sleep, leave your notepad by the bed. You never know what you'll dream of next.

For the ones brave enough to still be there, i would like to leave you with some words:

Always aim high! That way, if you fail half of what you set out to do, you still got half of it done and it might be pretty big.

And if you're a quote-lover-person, here's something simple for you: You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky

Best of luck with all!

From a fellow dreamer,

André Perdigão

Step 8: Improve! (Addendum)

As they say, work is never over.

Now that your confidence is at an all time high, try something new or improve on what you have.
Get outside your confort zone and make it confortable.
The more you expand it, the more you will enjoy.

If you liked this instructable, take a second to give some feedback. If you didn't, take a second to tell me why.
I would love to know what you think of it.

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    2 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    This was inspiring. I have to make an "Instructable" for a class full of Engineers.... and I aspire to be an Anthropologist. Great job!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm truly glad you liked it! It actually turned out to be inspiring for me too and it went from instructable to a book with the same name. It should be finished and published before summer.
    Best of luck with your endeavors!