I think one of the many reasons people don’t pursue side hustles or other streams of income is simply because they don’t think they’re capable of making it happen. They’ve bought the lie that they’re incapable of really starting something or that they don’t have the skills they need yet, and I think that’s a major shame.

Yet so many people fall into the trap of over analyzing and trip up before they even begin.

Mindset is hugely important.

This is something that tends to get overlooked, I think. What you think about has a huge impact on what you do. Your thoughts and headspace matter far more than you might think.

If you think you can’t be successful at something, you’re likely to never bother trying. True? Think about that for a minute.

If you think your blog will never get any traffic, are you going to bother putting the time and effort into it to make it successful? If you don’t think your YouTube channel will be noticed, are you going to work to create content for it? Of course not.

On the other hand, if you know that you can succeed – even if it takes a long time and lots of trial and error – you’re going to actually put in the time and effort required to be successful.

Let’s put this in a different light: Why would someone go to the gym if he truly believes he will never be healthy? Right? What would be the point? If he had this fatalistic mindset that nothing he ever does will be good enough to improve his physical health, then why even try?

On the other hand, if he knows what he should do – eat right, exercise, and take care of his overall health – and commits to doing it, that gives him hope that one day he will reach his goals.

Be willing to try, fail, and get back up.

The thing I think many of us get wrong is this: We’re afraid of failure. We genuinely think that if we’re going to fail or stumble at some point along the way, there’s no point in trying.

But that logic doesn’t work, does it?

Who do you know that’s successful currently who hasn’t failed massively at some point? Can you name even a single individual who hasn’t had a single setback on the road to building a successful side hustle? I can’t. If you can, you’d be the first.

The reality here is that the path to success is not a one-size-fits-all, smooth sailing experience. There will be setbacks, late nights, disappointments, frustrations, and annoyances along the way. I guarantee it. If your experience is different, you’ll be the first person in history to be successful that way.

Thinking back over my own experiences, I can’t even count the number of times I started something, got discouraged and then gave up. That’s nothing but an unhealthy waste of time. Looking back, I wish I had stuck with it and pushed through – knowing that there would be rough days and setbacks. That’s the norm. I often wonder where those ventures would be today if I hadn’t given up.

So I’ve learned the hard way to stick with it and not give up even when I get knocked down because getting knocked down doesn’t keep me from success unless I quit.

Learn as you go.

What do I mean by “learn as you go”? This:

  1. Learn from failure.
  2. Actively seek to acquire new skills.

Failure can be a great teacher. Well, that is… failure that’s framed correctly can be a great teacher. What you do in the face of it is what matters.

When something doesn’t go as you had planned, what do you do? Do you get frustrated, panic, get mad and give up? Or do you learn from it, taking notes on what didn’t work and adjusting course for your next attempt?

How you approach failure when you fail (not if) can make or break the journey for you.

Secondly, realize that you still have much to learn – no matter what it is you’re trying to build. Whether you’re getting started writing on Medium, building a blog, building an email list, starting a print on demand business or anything else – you need to acknowledge the fact that there’s much you don’t know.

There’s much that I don’t know. You and I don’t even know what we don’t know.

I love YouTube for studying my niche and for learning from other content creators, for example. Even as I try to build a YouTube channel, I’m learning that there is much that I don’t know. And as I write on Medium and elsewhere, I’m often finding – and relearning – that there is much that I need to learn still.

Right now you might not have the skills to do all that you want to do. Maybe you want to be a published author. Maybe you want to have a successful YouTube channel. Whatever the case may be, there are skills that you’ll need to get from where you are to where you want to be.

Adjust your mindset before you start.

The headline here that I’d really like you to take from this article is this: don’t let the thought that you can’t be successful keep you from actually being successful. Now I recognize that might sound trite and silly, but I mean it.

If you have the mindset that you’re unable to be successful before you even begin, that will affect everything that follows. It will affect how hard you work, how you react when failure comes (not if, but when), and how long you stick with one course.

On the other hand, if you know that there will be setbacks and that success doesn’t come overnight, you’ll be more likely to stay the course and persevere when disappointments come. After all, it’s only by staying the course that you get to your desired destination, right?

Yes, it’s important to have realistic goals and to ensure that you’re not setting goals for yourself that you’re not likely to reach in a reasonable timeframe (because that gets pretty discouraging). But if you let yourself think, for example, that you can never have a successful blog, will you ever? If you let yourself think that you can’t write and get paid for it, are you ever going to do it? No.

Don’t fall into that trap.