Soft skills > hard skills

How to gain a leg up in your part-time endeavors

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I’m not the smartest, most technical engineer out there.

Despite my shortcomings, I’ve found success in my field thanks to the many soft skills I’ve accumulated over the years. Skills like decision-making, communication, and leadership.

Soft skills are personal attributes that enable you to work effectively with others and on your own. But they’re much more than that. They’re secret weapons that will propel you to your goals faster than any technical skill out there.

If you can cultivate the right ones, you can become a top performer in any industry, including the creator economy. 

As a part-time creator, here are the 5 soft skills you’ll want to help “climb the ladder”:

1. Discipline

Side hustles are not easy.

Extra work is hard, and time is extremely limited. It’s easy at the end of a long workday to say “F it” and do nothing. The couch and your phone win that battle every time…without the appropriate level of discipline.

But with the right amount, you can make it work.

The only problem is that it takes a lot of reps to build your discipline. Hell, I’m 34 and still building mine up. I have to be careful not to add too many new things to my plate at once.

Yet here I am with a family of 5 (about to be 6), a full-time job, and I still make time to workout every day, plus work a little bit on my writing.

If there’s one soft skill you need the most to succeed as a part-time creator, it’s discipline.

All the magic happens with consistent, dedicated work.

2. Prioritization

Prioritization is next on the list.

Part-time creators are smart but busy people. We all have a million things to do with limited time to do it. 

That means the actions you take in your limited window of work have a much bigger impact on your overall progress. The wrong actions over a string of a few days mean you might not publish something that week.

Every now and then, I catch myself doing something stupid like updating the copy on my Medium profile for the tenth time that month. When I do, I redirect my focus back onto the more critical tasks (i.e. outlining, writing, and editing).

Identify the most important, effective actions and do those first. Watch as the wins stack up.

3. Adaptability

Adaptability is the ability to adapt to change and priorities.

One of the awesome, super frustrating things about the internet is that the landscape constantly changes. Social media apps rise and fall. Today, TikTok might be the most popular app in the US. Tomorrow, it could be banned (wishful thinking).

Something like that forces change upon creators. The successful ones adapt. Others don’t.

For years, Mr. Beast has been using an open mouth on his video thumbnails. After some A/B testing, he found that his videos actually got more views when his mouth was closed!

Basically, things change — algorithms change, tools (looking at you, AI), and behaviors too. You never know what’s going to happen from one day to the next.

If you’re adaptable, all is fine.

4. Creative Problem Solving

You already know that you’re creative.

But can you apply that to the way you solve emerging problems?

Again, we know that time is limited for part-time creators. Being able to recognize and solve a roadblock quickly, with as few resources as possible, makes all the difference.

5. Patience

This one might be the most obvious, but it’s also the hardest to grasp. 

Patience in part-time creating means having the guts to keep going, even when you hear crickets for a long time.

99.9% of all creators quit before they should. They stop when they feel tired, demoralized, or unseen.

But the truth is, you need to pay your dues before people accept you as a creator. You can’t expect to come out of nowhere and convince people that you’re somebody worth listening to.

In time, your dedication and hard work prove your worth.

You just gotta be patient enough to get there.