People like to talk about the freedom and lack of judgement that comes with going to college, but it’s not always that simple. Even at a large campus like Penn State, many students still find themselves fearing what others think of them. This mindset can be detrimental, especially at a time in your life when you should be pursuing all of your passions and goals.
In the digital age, side hustles like podcasts and blogs have become more popular. No matter your major, there are so many options for you to practice your skills and put yourself out there. Having some kind of creative outlet or business venture is a great way to do what you love while building your resume, but it can be an incredibly daunting task to get started.
VALLEY is here to help you face your fears and encourage you to be the total boss you know you can be. There’s no time to waste—get started on that side hustle!
Forget About What Others Think
Yes, this may be the most cliche piece of advice, but it’s SO important to keep in mind when you’re thinking about starting your side hustle. Of course there are always going to be a few people judging and criticizing you if you choose to put yourself out there, but they shouldn’t matter. It’s likely that the people who will judge you the most are also the most jealous of your successes.
Realize that most people either won’t care at all, or they’ll show their support! Have you ever been annoyed when someone you follow posts about their blog or YouTube channel? Most likely not! If you’re not checking out their projects, you’re probably scrolling right past their posts. No one cares as much as you think they do, so you have nothing to lose if you choose to go public with your side hustle. It’s also important to understand that so many people are in the exact same boat as you. Show your support for others and others will show their support for you!
There is an unnecessary stigma around posting too much, especially when the posts are about yourself. People tend to limit themselves to one post per week or even one per month, but if you want to have a successful side hustle you have to break the stigma and don’t be afraid to post as much as you want. You’re less likely to gain viewers, readers or subscribers if you don’t make yourself and your passions known.
Of course it can be terrifying to post about your side hustle on social media, especially knowing that your followers may choose to take a look and be interested — or uninterested. Turn your fears into an incentive to make everything you post and publish your best possible work. Being aware that your friends, family, classmates and acquaintances are looking at what you share means that you will have more motivation to keep your posts consistent and entertaining.
Value Your Skills
There’s a reason you wanted to start your side hustle, whether it’s a blog, a business, a podcast or a YouTube channel; you know what you’re capable of and what your talents are. If your side hustle has something to do with your future career goals, it is especially likely that you know what you’re doing. Be proud of yourself and most importantly, be confident!
If you remain confident in your abilities, it is more likely that the people around you will encourage you and want to know what you’re working on. Most people probably won’t prioritize keeping up with someone who seems insecure and unhappy with their work, so get out there and show everyone what you’re made of!
The Bottom Line
There are so many reasons you may want to start a side hustle — for a little extra cash, to gain exposure for projects, or to prepare and practice for future career endeavors. No matter what your reason is for starting, recognize that facing your initial fears is likely going to be the hardest part. Even though it is much easier said than done, leaving your worries behind is essential in having a successful side hustle. As a college student, you truly have nothing to lose by putting yourself out there in a positive way.
Always keep in mind all of the possibilities that could come out of starting your own business, blog, podcast or YouTube channel! It could help you land a future internship or job, or even turn into your primary career or a significant stream of income. All of the possible benefits outweigh the brief amount of time you’re going to spend worrying about what others are thinking of you.
Have a cool side hustle you want us to feature on VALLEY? Tweet us at @VALLEYmag