8 Things That Don't Make You A Hustler

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Hustle Writing

I used to be a pretty dumb guy. I’m not saying I’m not now, but I definitively used to be. There was a time when I thought that if you had a leatherback chair and a desk where the top was see through glass, you had pretty much made it. I’ve changed my mind a little bit. But I see things online all the time that just amaze me.

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to provide my take on the 8 things that don’t make you a hustler.

Working 80 Hours…

Doesn’t make you a hustler. Makes you tired. Makes you sad a lot of the time. Gives you more money. Doesn’t give you any time to spend it. I’ve worked 80 hours a week. Literally. For several years. My bank account looked awesome and I’ve never been more depressed. It depleted my body of most of the minerals you need to survive. It wasn’t pretty.

Also, working 80 hours tells me one thing about someone; they’re not very efficient. I don’t want to know that you can work long hours. That tells me you’re probably not great at prioritizing, delegating or managing your time and work. You’d likely be an ineffective leader because you probably have your hands in too many pots. Now I work about 20-25 hours a week, although I ramp up to 50-60 hours in a pinch when I’ve got several projects on the go. Don’t work more. Work better.

Quitting Your Job…

Doesn’t make you a hustler. Quitting your job makes you unemployed. With all due respect to the great Gary V, this is where I strongly disagree with him. You can have a job and be a hustler. It’s absolutely possible. In many ways, it’s kind of fantastic.

And being unemployed doesn’t make you a hustler. Hustling makes you a hustler. Being unemployed makes you desperate. And desperation is sometimes a good thing but not in and of itself. If you have a great idea and the plan to back it up, go for it. But don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not hustling if you have a job.

Having An Idea…

Are you starting to notice a pattern? Do you have any idea how many people have ideas that go nowhere. Let me be very clear. Having an idea is worth nothing. Executing an idea is worth everything. Think of all the apps on the app store. Between Apple and Android there are over 4 millions apps. Each of those apps represents someone’s idea but just think of how many of them are poorly executed. Even better, think of all the people you know that have a “great idea for an app” and didn’t even make that list of 4 million.

Having an idea is a really good start. But having an idea doesn’t make you a hustler. Hustlers DO things. Hustlers execute. Hustler’s don’t have a notebook full of great ideas. They have a notebook full of plans with X’s through them. An idea is nothing. Remember that.

Having Business Cards…

Or a website…or an office. None of these things is a barometer of success. I can build a website in an hour and any fool can sign a lease. I can have business cards delivered to my door in less than a week. So now I’m a great success, right?

So many people think that handing out some pretty business cards makes them a success. That used to be me. If I could just hand someone a business card, my whole world would change. And then I thought about all of the business cards people had handed me and what I’ve done with those cards. Think about it.

Having A Twitter Account…

One of the first things that I do with each new venture that I launch is collect all of the associated social media accounts. But registering a twitter account for an idea does not make you a hustler. The really great thing about social media is that you get to present yourself in whatever light you want. But that light isn’t always truthful.

When I first started with my Twitter account, I posted so many half-truths. I was “working” on things that I was actually just thinking about. I was “building” things…in my mind. Social media provides us with an outlet where we can say whatever we want. So when you see a company posting on social media, take it with a grain of salt. Having a Twitter account doesn’t make them a hustler.

Business Lunches…

When I left the computer shop that I was managing it was to go work for a consulting company. One of the reasons I went to work for them was the courtship. Expensive lunch after expensive lunch, pint after pint of expensive beer. It was amazing. It was also all a big farce. The company was hemorrhaging money and was just a few small steps away from bankruptcy.

Spending money on things you don’t need doesn’t make you a hustler. Having a coffee machine or a foosball table or business lunches or a beer fridge doesn’t mean anything. If you don’t have the money coming in to cover it, all you’re doing is digging your own grave.

LinkedIn Recommendations…

I don’t know how many times I’ve posted an anti-LinkedIn comment or post, but it’s probably time for another one, so here goes. LinkedIn is probably the most useful and appropriate social media platform that exists for businesses and professionals…in theory.

In practical application, anyone can recommend anyone as having a certain skill set on LinkedIn. If you have a lot of friends, you can count on them recommending you for all sorts of things that are barely true. The number of people that I know that I see with skills that don’t at all match the skill set that I know they actually have is incredible. Someday I want to post a skill that I absolutely clearly don’t possess just to see how many people say, “Yes…Mike knows a heck of a lot about molecular biology.” P.S. I don’t.

Knowing All About The Hustle…

You can read all the blogs and watch all the videos and register for webinars and go to conferences and shake hands with movers and shakers and not be a hustler. Hustling is about doing. Hustling is an action, not a mentality or a thought process. It’s not a list of things you’d like to do. It’s a list of accomplishments.

Am I a hustler? I don’t know. I know that I’ve got a lot of things on the go. I know that I’m currently organizing two digital oriented conferences while landing several new clients. I know that I wrote 3 thousand words this weekend and still had the time and energy to demolish a couple of plates of Thanksgiving dinner. I know that tonight when I get home after driving almost 4 hours with two kids aged 2 and 5 in the car, I’m going to work. Because hustlers work. Hustlers do.

So when you’re done reading this, what are you going to do?




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