I have a confession to make. I was wrong about what it takes to be successful, and I want to apologize.
I, along with countless others, subscribed to and promoted the “hustle culture” as the way to be successful. For years my mantra was “if you treat your business like a hobby, it will reward you like a hobby.” So if you want your “side hustle” to take off, you need to work just as hard on it as you do your day job. Or I would repeat the quote, “In order to have what no one else does, you need to do what no one else will.”
Ten years into owning my own business, I still have the mentality that I’ll take a break when I’ve earned it. And although I hit my goals, I keep increasing my goals.
Success has become this unattainable thing that I’m always striving for.
So I keep working. Longer hours, weekends, no vacations. Basically, all…the…time.
Recently, best-selling author and motivational speaker Rachel Hollis went on a rant on TikTok stating that the reason she’s more successful is that she gets up at 4am and works harder than others are willing to. I worry about the message that it sends to people who want to be like her. They will believe that in order to be successful they have to work harder and harder.
While it’s true, that if you want your business to be a success, you do need to put in the work and you can’t “dabble” in your business. But this “hustle culture” philosophy comes with a cost. For me, it cost me so many things, like relationships, self-care, and even my own health.
The truth is, you don’t need to work so hard to get that “hustle” going.
I’m sharing one TIP, one TRICK and one STRATEGY that can help you overcome this hurdle:
TIP: PUT RELATIONSHIPS FIRST
You might think, “my family will understand how hard I’m working because I’m doing it for them.” Yeah, I’m gonna call B.S. on that one, because I’ve said it myself. What your family really wants and needs is you.
In order to put your relationships first, you need to start with YOU.
There’s a reason why flight attendants tell you to put your oxygen mask on first. If you aren’t well, you can’t take care of everyone and everything else, including your business.
As simple as it sounds, my tip is to take care of yourself. Not only will it help you physically, but mentally too. Otherwise you get angry, bitter and resentful of your kids and your spouse and you’ll get cranky. And then NO ONE is going to be happy about the situation. Everyone, including yourself, will start to resent this business you’re building because it’s causing you all that negative energy to yourself and those around you.
TRICK: BUILDING A BUSINESS IS ABOUT MINDSET
I work with hundreds of business owners every day, and I can tell you from what I’ve observed that the reason business owners “hustle” is because of competition. They want to one-up the competition to feel like they’ve won.
I’m here to tell you, you are enough.
I took my business to another level when I stopped caring about what others thought of me. I stopped checking my likes and followers because let’s be honest, we aren’t doing it to measure the effectiveness of our content. We’re doing it to measure our self-worth. And your self-worth isn’t found on Instagram and Facebook.
Racehorses don’t compete with the horse next to them. They don’t think “If I had those black leather blinders I’d run faster.” Or, “That horse in lane 3 has a shinier mane. I’m going to buy that brand of horse shampoo so I can look like THAT horse.”
No. They just run. They stay in their lane and they run. I want you to put on YOUR blinders and stay in your lane.
The only person you should be competing against is yourself. Try to bear this question in your mind whenever you do a self-assessment check: “How can I strive to be a better version of myself?” When we show up as the best version of ourselves, we can move mountains. We can do anything!
With this good mindset, we can also inspire others to be the best original version of themselves.
STRATEGY: HAVE A STRATEGY
Sounds metaphorical but my strategy is to have a strategy. That all begins with having a goal and then creating the steps needed to reach that goal. So many business owners I work with do this completely backward.
They are doing so many things that won’t get them to their goals because of what their competition is doing or receiving advice from others on what to do. As a result, we are trying to do all these things like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google, Networking, Blogging, Email, Podcasts, YouTube…it’s so much! No wonder why we’re burned out!
Instead of doing that, create a goal of where you want your business to be in 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years’ time. Know who your customers are and the best ways to reach them. Forget about EVERYTHING else for the moment. Just focus on THOSE things and what you need to do for the time being. It will become easier to strategize and make actionable steps.
When you have a strategy for growing your business, it’s like plugging a destination into a GPS and having turn-by-turn directions. You can relax and enjoy the ride because you’re only focusing on the path that will help you reach your goal.
One additional tip, and I’ll call this my super-secret bonus to kicking the hustle culture: BE INTENTIONAL ABOUT YOUR TIME.
I’m a big believer in time blocking and batch working. I schedule my work and stick to it. This keeps me from going down a rabbit hole of “research” and wasting 2 hours watching TikTok videos or doing useless stuff that is not important to my business.
If you need to set an alarm on your phone to tell you to STOP working, then do it! I do! Otherwise, I would be sitting at my computer 14 hours a day!
So now that I’ve admitted that I was wrong about the “hustle culture”, I want to apologize. It took me a long time to realize that my “hustle” work habits are burning me out. I don’t want that for myself any longer, and I don’t want that for you either.
There is no perfect strategy to become successful in what we want to be and what we want to achieve. But we can try to find balance in everything that we do.
What I shared with you is my first-hand experience and my own “personalized” formula to success:
1 TIP: Put relationships first
1 TRICK: Building a business is about mindset
1 STRATEGY: Have a strategy
Even now, I am still on this journey. There are always challenges along the way but I’m making a promise to you that I will continue to move towards working smarter instead of harder.
Will you make the same promise too?
I’m here to help support you on your journey towards growing your business.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon! (I am just an email away.)
PS: You are amazing and you can do this!