The cycle of “the hustle”

Apr 15, 2022

When people talk about hustling it seems to be from one of two different viewpoints. Either:

  1. You have to hustle if you want to be successful OR
  2. You shouldn’t have to hustle to be successful

What if both are true? But at different times.

I believe there are times that we need to hustle – and there are times that we shouldn’t hustle. The key is to know what part of the cycle we are in, so we can act accordingly.

Imagine you are surfing… in order to get out to where the waves are you have to paddle your buns off (that’s the hustle). Then, once there, you can catch a wave and ride it into shore (less effort required).

First, to define hustling… I consider hustling to be going “above and beyond” our desired or baseline working capacity. To be extra busy. Putting in extra effort. Moving faster. Doing more.

There are 2 things to note about hustling:

  • It’s not sustainable – if you are in a continual state of hustle you will burnout at some point. There is a price to be paid for the continual hustle.
  • It often requires us to be doing things that we don’t always want to be doing. And lord knows, there are MANY things in business that we don’t enjoy doing but that are necessary.

So when does it make sense to hustle? If you are doing something NEW, in a stage of enhanced GROWTH or when you are dealing with a CHALLENGE.

Hustle is often required to ‘gear up’ and get the ball rolling on something new. Starting a new business. Creating a new program. A new marketing initiative or launch. It’s also required when you are in a growth stage. When you want to take your business to the next level.

Or if you are dealing with a crisis or unexpected challenge in your business. We may need to hustle to find our way through, as so many have had to do in the age of Covid!

Imbalance occurs here when we should be hustling but we aren’t… and I have to say, I see this a lot these days. Folks are starting businesses and wanting to grow, but have bought into the adage that “I shouldn’t have to hustle!” I hate to tell you, when something is new, when you want to grow or find yourself in a crisis or challenge, hustling is a good thing! If you aren’t willing to dig in and give it your all – even for a short while – then you may never make progress towards what you want and may end up stuck or stagnant. If you want to catch that wave you need to be willing to paddle out to where the waves are.

When does it make sense to NOT be hustling? When you are in a cycle of maintenance or NURTURING. Or when you just need a BREAK!

As our businesses grow and we start to lay a foundation for success, guess what? You shouldn’t need to hustle quite as much! This might look like starting to bring team members on to take some of the workload off your plate. Or it might look like ‘riding the wave’ of your current programs and existing marketing channels that are already working (vs. trying to continually create something new.) It’s also OK to take a break as needed, so that we don’t burn out.

Imbalance occurs here when we keep on hustling past the time we need to be! And let me tell you, hustling can be addictive… it can be a hard habit to break. I remember when I first hit a nurture stage in my business it felt almost weird to not be hustling all the time. I started to hire team. I got things off my plate. And it felt weird not to be working less. “Am I allowed to not hustle? Is it OK for things to be easy in my business for a while?”… yes, you earn the right not to hustle at certain stages of your growth.

And it’s worth noting that yes – even when you reach a ‘non hustle’ stage that the hustle will be required again at some point. When you are ready to grow your business. If something stops working and you need to pivot. We still need to be willing to dig in and do the extra work when our business asks it of us.

Bottom line is – it’s OK to hustle. Just be clear on what you are hustling towards and take care of yourself along the way. And it’s OK not to hustle and to give yourself time to sit back and enjoy the ride for a season.

I’m curious – are you currently in a hustle or non-hustle stage?

When people talk about hustling it seems to be from one of two different viewpoints. Either:

  1. You have to hustle if you want to be successful OR
  2. You shouldn’t have to hustle to be successful

What if both are true? But at different times.

I believe there are times that we need to hustle – and there are times that we shouldn’t hustle. The key is to know what part of the cycle we are in, so we can act accordingly.

Imagine you are surfing… in order to get out to where the waves are you have to paddle your buns off (that’s the hustle). Then, once there, you can catch a wave and ride it into shore (less effort required).

First, to define hustling… I consider hustling to be going “above and beyond” our desired or baseline working capacity. To be extra busy. Putting in extra effort. Moving faster. Doing more.

There are 2 things to note about hustling:

  • It’s not sustainable – if you are in a continual state of hustle you will burnout at some point. There is a price to be paid for the continual hustle.
  • It often requires us to be doing things that we don’t always want to be doing. And lord knows, there are MANY things in business that we don’t enjoy doing but that are necessary.

So when does it make sense to hustle? If you are doing something NEW, in a stage of enhanced GROWTH or when you are dealing with a CHALLENGE.

Hustle is often required to ‘gear up’ and get the ball rolling on something new. Starting a new business. Creating a new program. A new marketing initiative or launch. It’s also required when you are in a growth stage. When you want to take your business to the next level.

Or if you are dealing with a crisis or unexpected challenge in your business. We may need to hustle to find our way through, as so many have had to do in the age of Covid!

Imbalance occurs here when we should be hustling but we aren’t… and I have to say, I see this a lot these days. Folks are starting businesses and wanting to grow, but have bought into the adage that “I shouldn’t have to hustle!” I hate to tell you, when something is new, when you want to grow or find yourself in a crisis or challenge, hustling is a good thing! If you aren’t willing to dig in and give it your all – even for a short while – then you may never make progress towards what you want and may end up stuck or stagnant. If you want to catch that wave you need to be willing to paddle out to where the waves are.

When does it make sense to NOT be hustling? When you are in a cycle of maintenance or NURTURING. Or when you just need a BREAK!

As our businesses grow and we start to lay a foundation for success, guess what? You shouldn’t need to hustle quite as much! This might look like starting to bring team members on to take some of the workload off your plate. Or it might look like ‘riding the wave’ of your current programs and existing marketing channels that are already working (vs. trying to continually create something new.) It’s also OK to take a break as needed, so that we don’t burn out.

Imbalance occurs here when we keep on hustling past the time we need to be! And let me tell you, hustling can be addictive… it can be a hard habit to break. I remember when I first hit a nurture stage in my business it felt almost weird to not be hustling all the time. I started to hire team. I got things off my plate. And it felt weird not to be working less. “Am I allowed to not hustle? Is it OK for things to be easy in my business for a while?”… yes, you earn the right not to hustle at certain stages of your growth.

And it’s worth noting that yes – even when you reach a ‘non hustle’ stage that the hustle will be required again at some point. When you are ready to grow your business. If something stops working and you need to pivot. We still need to be willing to dig in and do the extra work when our business asks it of us.

Bottom line is – it’s OK to hustle. Just be clear on what you are hustling towards and take care of yourself along the way. And it’s OK not to hustle and to give yourself time to sit back and enjoy the ride for a season.

I’m curious – are you currently in a hustle or non-hustle stage?

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