Hustle & Optimism

Updated: Jan 21, 2019

Believing is half the battle

A post by Kristina Libby, co-founder of SoCu

You are already halfway to becoming an entrepreneur. You are here in this moment reading this website. This means that you have gone past the first big hurdle: you’ve thought about the possibility that you too could be a business owner.

Believing is half the battle.

When I was 10 years old, I wanted to be an actress. When I was sixteen, I wanted to be a professor. My view of my own possibilities was limited by the people I saw around me in the rural town in Maine that I grew up in.

My parents were both business owners – but I neither wanted to own a construction company nor do anything of the myriad of business that my mom tried.

I was just born a little differently than that.

It wasn’t until my early twenties that I realized there were things I liked to do that I could also make money doing. I made and sold bath products. Then I was a florist. Finally, I settled into social media and built an agency that was able to work with clients I love – National Geographic and Philips to name a few.

I was a business owner, never daring to utter the phrase “entrepreneur.” That still sounded scary.

Then, I left my agency to take a fancy job at Microsoft. I was given carte blanche to make big changes and I loved it. For the first time in my life I saw people who had big dreams and were doing exciting wonderful things. During that time, entrepreneurship became the cult expression that it is now – the tales of millions of dollars lured every person I knew.

And, eventually I was lured back, too.

This time, though, I knew something different. I had seen a lot of women build, scale and sell companies. I knew that with the right team and the right idea, with a huge amount of hustle and a lot of optimism I could also grow something.

I am running an agency again – and again working with clients that I love – but now I’m also building a piece of software that will hopefully change how influencers run their businesses. I couldn’t be more excited to help them make sense of what they are doing and to help a nascent industry grow.

There are only two things I have learned through all of this – you have to hustle and you have to stay optimistic.

For me hustling is about finding opportunities, meeting people, looking for new stories, and helping others any chance you can. The thing is, though, hustling can be tiring. You can get burnt out. It can feel like other people aren’t helping you back.

That’s where optimism comes into play. Regardless of it all, you must believe that you are going to make this happen. This company, this idea, this new step – you are going to do it. If you believe this, then you will make it.

And I know you will because you’re already here reading this post, one step closer to making your vision a possibility. Next time, you’ll be the person people are looking up to on their journey.


Kristina Libby is a professor at the University of Florida and co-founder of SoCu – an agency, laboratory and research firm. Previously, Libby led consumer PR at Microsoft and prior to that ran a social media agency in NYC where she worked with clients like National Geographic, Phillips and more.

She has been published in Entrepreneur Magazine, PR News and others and has appeared in publications as diverse as Cosmopolitan, the LA Times, Entrepreneur, More, Family Circle and many more. In 2016, Libby published her first book “You Don’t Need Social Media, Unless You Are Doing It Right.”

SoCu is an agency but also a laboratory turning out technology, solutions and services for an ever-changing world. Find out more at