What Hustle *Is Not* About

Hustle. Grind. Donkeywork. Elbow grease. They all pretty-much mean the same thing.

I follow quite a few people that preach on the power of hustle. Probably the king right now is Gary Vaynerchuk. His videos and posts are entertaining, informative, and can leave you with the distinct taste of ‘I suck’ at the end of each video. I know I’ve felt it, and if you’ve watched similar videos, you probably have felt it too. (But yet I keep watching them – because I love the SHOOOOOOW. I love the DailyVee. And I want to photograph him one day).

This sucky, nasty feeling we get comes from equivocating hustle with results, and therein lies the problem: We see success in others, we gauge their work level and try to duplicate it, and then feel bad when we don’t get similar results. And all of this self-judgment happens in the two measly minutes we watch a video on YouTube or see a ‘LOOK AT ME’ post on Facebook.

Yes – hustle is about hard work. We got it. Let’s talk instead about what hustle is not.

Hustle is not about efficiency.

If you can write 10 blog posts in a week and I can write 2 (admittedly, a struggle for me at this point), does your efficiency mean you ‘hustled more’? Of course not. You’ve learned skills or techniques or whatever to get your posts up quicker. Kudos. But I can still ‘hustle’ if I’m working hard towards my goal of 2. I look at it the same way I look at fitness. If someone weighs 250 lbs., any aerobic activity is going to peg their heart rate. Now, you might be able to run a mile without breaking a sweat in 7 minutes. But that other person is hustling, even if they aren’t ‘efficient’. In fact, I’d say that the 7-minute-miler *isn’t* hustling until they get that heart rate up! “Boom what?”, as my 10-year-old would say. Do the work – don’t get caught up on the efficiency.

Hustle is not about equivalency.

Someone else’s workday and productivity don’t equate to yours – even if you both are in the same field. We tend to measure our results purely based on the ‘lens’ provided by others. What we end up doing is comparing ourselves to the best that they are sharing. And we do this without knowing any of their backstory – are they married with kids? Single? Are you? Are you only able to work the side business for 3 hours a day because you have a day job to pay off school debt? Do you need to commit a sizable amount of time each day to working out because you can’t fit in your favorite/only suit (an E-Dog fitness goal for 2016). All of the these unknown factors weigh down on us. Don’t fall into a trap of thinking that since someone’s results seem larger, their hustle must be larger, and you suck. You don’t.


Your effort does *not* have to equal their results.


Hustle is not only work-focused.

Hustle isn’t just about your work. It’s about life. It isn’t just about results – it’s about happiness. Don’t equate it with just your job, but rather take pride in hustling for all of the areas of your life. Spending time with the kids? Hustle. Getting those groceries? Hustle. Making sure your spouse knows you love them and appreciate them? Hustle that everyday and twice on Sundays.

Am I good at hustling life? Helllll no. But I’m working at it, and in the end, it’s the hustle I want to be remembered for.

If you need to compare your hustle against someone else, compare it against yourself. Look for the improvement there. With hard work you will always find it.