Perhaps this is a different kind of post than you're used to hearing from me. Generally I'm a warm and welcoming person. Generally I'm all reflective and talk about vulnerability and anxiety and self-care. This is kind of along those lines, but I'm a little fed up and y'all need to know about it.
If you've known me for long enough, you already realize that I am not all smiles and friendly hugs. I do those things a lot, too. (I really like hugs.)
But I'm also fierce and opinionated. In the South, they sometimes call it "sassy." (Or "bitchy.")
I call it "done with bullshit."
Hustling = Bullshit
Today I'm calling the entire mentality of "hustling" total bullshit.
I subscribed to that mentality for awhile -- that if you burn out from working longer hours ("first in, last out at the office"), talk about your company vision at enough networking events, read the right books about growth-hacking, and get the perfect kind of stickers for your company's logo -- you're hustling. You're building something you'll be proud of. Write a book about it and you're a f*cking hero. They might even make a movie about you.
All of that hard work isn't bullshit. I want to be clear about that. All of the long hours are not to be frowned upon. Working towards something you genuinely love and feel passion for is to be commended.
But the competitive one-upping, the glorification of doing more and being more and having more -- it's all bullshit.
And no one seems to be able to really agree on what "hustling" is -- their particular brand of "hustling," is, of course, the right way to go about doing business. But they're still hustling harder than you, man. All day, every day.
My beef here is with the aggressive, single-minded philosophy that "following your dreams" means over-extending yourself because of a business idea. The philosophy that our value is based on our output of work.
What the "hustling" mentality fails to account for is the fact that we are not all the same kind of entrepreneur/freelancer/artist/creative/CEO/badass.
There is not a template for success.
And there's not actually a trophy for "hustling," either, y'all. I'm not sure what you're running so quickly towards.
Sometimes getting more accomplished means taking TIME OFF. It means listening to your body and taking note of stuff like how high your anxiety levels are, how much fatigue you've been feeling, how desperate for sleep you've been. For me, getting more accomplished means I make time to be quiet, I detox from Facebook/Twitter/Instagram for a while, or I take a bath. Pulling myself away from all of the busy-ness means I get perspective and time for reflection. It means I refuel my tank, and that I'm not completely laser-focused on one project or goal -- of course I'm going to get burnt out if I'm only feeding one aspect of my persona.
Slow the F*ck Down
Instead of pushing harder, I suggest we slow down. Stop the chaos entirely and assess where you're at. Not only are you get a much-needed chance to rest (can you remember the last time you got actual *rest*?), but you're also getting a chance to look at where you're at and how far you've come -- and if you've grown.
Fill your time with other passions (your friends, your family, your pets, your art, your music) and find other places to spend your energy. Close the laptop for awhile. Have a real conversation with someone (and don't talk about your work).
You are not just your entrepreneurial self -- there are other parts of you that should be celebrated, too.
So f*ck hustling. Start enjoying more of what this world has to offer.