One of the trendiest words in all of business these days is “hustle”.
Whether you’re starting a “side hustle” or your are #hustling your way success, this concept of grinding it out for your business or work has become so ingrained in the American culture that we don’t see hustling for what it is: workaholism.
The irony is that hustling isn’t even necessary for achieving success.
In fact, more often than not it only leads to failure and burnout.
Today I want to dispel the #hustle myth and then give you a new and healthier framework for achieving success in your business and life.
If you look up the “hustle” in the dictionary, you may not like what you see.
To crowd or push roughly. To sell something to or obtain something from (someone) by energetic and especially underhanded activity. to obtain money by fraud or deception. To engage in prostitution. – Definition of “Hustle” in Merriam-Webster Dictionary
What once meant something negative, something people did out of desperation, has slowly evolved in the eyes of the public to be something to be commended!
Books are sold about hustling, entrepreneurs gain large followings talking about hustling, and it’s become a proud hashtag on social media.
I don’t know about you, but regardless of popular the term is these days, “hustle” is not a word I want my life or business to be associated with.
People actually love to #hustle.
They see it as a badge of honor – or a better way of life.
Take this Instagram post for example:
“I’d rather hustle 24/7 than slave 9 to 5” – Not me buddy.
This is a false and misguided dichotomy.
This mentality assumes that there are two choices – work a deadbeat job as a “wage slave” to someone else, or hustle for your own business all day, every day.
The reality is that hustling 24/7 is simply a different kind of slavery. You are now a slave to yourself and your own business!
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather be a slave 8 hours a day, than 24 hours a day!
But why do so many fall for this myth. What is appealing about it?
In a word – it promises what we all want: success.
The underlying promise of the #hustle mentality is that if you give up everything (for a season) for your business, you will see success, more revenue, and a greater impact.
It’s assumed that you MUST do this in the beginning to lay a foundation for the future.
There are two problems with this:
It turns out there’s a much better way to achieve your goals!
If I may be so bold, I’d like to call hustling out for what it is.
Hustling (or workaholism) is laziness in disguise.
It takes lazy indiscriminate thinking to just “push push push” and do “all the things” hoping that you’ll make money.
Rather stopping to learn (what you’re doing right now) and assess what is strategic in actually growing your business and serving people well, will grow your business faster and with less effort.
Set boundaries, do only the work that moves the needle, and ignore all the noise out there.
“Easy for you to say, Graham – your business is already successful. I bet you had to hustle in the early years!”
Actually, quite the opposite.
Since Day 1 of my business I have worked only 4 days a week, between 9-5 each day.
In fact, these days I only work from 9 to 2.
Weekends are family and Fridays are for running errands, riding my bike, having coffee with friends, or taking a mid afternoon date with my wife.
In order to get so much done in such a short period of time I have to be strategic and intentional with every minute I spend working.
At first this is much harder to do than simply hustling 24/7.
But overtime you can whittle your schedule down to 20 hours a week or less with ease.
Now, if you’re wondering if I’m saying hard work is bad, you’re not hearing me correctly.
While I’m not a fan of hustling, I am a big fan of being diligent.
Look up “diligence” in the dictionary and here’s what you’ll find…
Steady, earnest, and energetic effort : persevering application – Definition of “Diligence” in Merriam-Webster Dictionary
I love that definition.
Steady. Earnest. Energetic. Persevering.
The businesses that are successful today, the ones that have been serving people well for decades are the ones who took the slow and steady path of diligence.
Don’t chase a quick buck, and don’t sacrifice your life for your work.
Be strategic, be diligent, and be patient. Your business will grow.
I hope you’re beginning to see the crack in the #hustle myth. That it’s unable to deliver on its promise.
Believe me, I want your business to succeed. I want you to achieve success. But I want you to have a life as well.
So if you’re willing to be honest, I’d love to hear from you.
Have you found yourself #hustling in your business?
If so, how does it make you feel?
More importantly, has it proven to help you reach your goals while maintaining balance in your life?
Leave a comment below!
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