I’ve never resonated with whole ‘hustle’ movement that has been prevalent in the entrepreneurial / business world in the last few years. It feels aggressive, fake, and is usually served with a big dose of inevitable burn-out.
I must admit I actually cringe when I see the word in marketing spiels now. It’s over done, it’s been done over and it feels like the thing you do when you don’t actually have any control over your thing. And can you believe there’s people walking around with t-shirts with the following printed on them: ‘Less talk, more hustle’, ‘Same hustle different product’, and ‘Hustle: the most important word ever’, ??? Really??
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely times when you need to move fast, put in the hours, be uber motivated, drive harder than ever before, and shut your eyes and just take a leap. There are times when you need to learn something new, when you need to step up, when you need to get ‘out there’. That is inevitable, especially in the early stages of your business. Because if you don’t do the work, who will??? But these times must be metred and measured too. They must be balanced with times of calm and medium-state flow. They can not be constant. Because to try to constantly hustle is to invite a meltdown, in my opinion.
And I don’t think the results of constant hustle outweigh those of gentle consistency and the ‘right’ activities and conversations anyway.
Case in point.
This week, whilst on school holidays, and purposely not doing anything much by way of work, I had 4 new copywriting clients land in my lap from referrals (and I don’t market myself as a copywriter anymore), and another beautiful soul sign up to the Bali retreat.
I don’t tell you this to brag. I tell you this to make a point. The point being that when you gently and consistently keep making connections, keep turning up, keep sharing your value, telling your stories, enlightening others, getting better at what you do, then that eventually turns into momentum. It turns into referrals. It turns into being able to have a break and still have wonderful work to do when you’re back on board.
You don’t need to ‘hustle’ to make a business work. You DO need to be bloody good at what you do, you DO need integrity and you DO need processes. And you definitely need to align yourself with your message and share that meaningfully and consistently. Gently.
If I had followed (or believed!) the advice that I heard 7 years ago in the early stages of establishing my business, that “Good things only come to those who hustle”, I would be in an asylum by now. I know the ‘hustle’…I know what it feels like to go full tilt, to work late, to get up early, to attend every event, to post in every group, to check every social network until your eyes hurt, to write all the things, to make all the calls…and it’s impossible to keep that shit up.
Discover what works for you. Then find out if it works for your intended audience. Bridge the gap if there is one – and if you want to – or find a new audience.
Go at a pace that is sustainable. Attend the events that deliver you value and where you feel valued. Offer the services that are aligned with your forte and that you enjoy delivering.
And continue to realign when the pace gets disruptive.
And just do that.
Until you want to do something different.
But then do that thing at a sustainable, manageable speed.
What do you think??