The world belongs to hustlers.
Hustling makes your dreams happen.
I used to look at online entrepreneurs, people I considered “successful,” and wonder how they did it. Usually, I would get a bit envious. I’d justify this feeling based on my assuredness that they must have had some sort of “luck” that got them where they are. To me, there was no way they could be just another person. Obviously, they were superhuman.
The reality, of course, was that I was just using this idea as a personal excuse to actually showing up and doing the work. I didn’t know how to work hard and keep pushing toward something I really cared about, especially when I didn’t know if/how my efforts would ever be rewarded.
But that’s the essence of hustle: Working toward something with all your heart and effort without knowing for certain the outcome.
The magic of hustle.
I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.
– Thomas Jefferson
Success isn’t chance. It doesn’t just happen. It’s something you have to strive for and continually work toward.
I’m not saying luck isn’t involved. It just seems that you have a significantly lower probability of getting lucky if you aren’t doing anything at all.
When I was in business school, a professor once told me that entrepreneurs have to be crazy enough to make something work when everybody tells them that it shouldn’t. And that’s what I’ve learned to be true about hustling: That you end up making something work even if by all practical assessment it shouldn’t have.
If you’re really hustling, really showing up every day and putting forth your best efforts, something will happen.
At minimum, you will start to learn what doesn’t work. More likely, you will keep getting better at your craft. Even if that doesn’t bring overnight success, it will at minimum bring some level of fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment.
Whatever the case, the odds of something working out increase proportionately to the amount of time you put into it. So, show up, hustle and repeat.
Your excuses are holding you back
There are hundreds of excuses holding any one person back (“I don’t have time,” “I don’t have all the money in the world,” etc.), and I could’ve systematically annihilated each one.
Instead, let’s hit all your excuses with a single underlying, root problem: You’re afraid.
Afraid of failure. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of not being “ready enough.”
That’s ok. But don’t be so ashamed by fear to let it keep you sidelined. Just admit it and press on. Find friends to help you through it. Find a community that will support you. Talk with people who have tackled similar fears and won. Do anything but sit and be paralyzed.
Here’s the problem you want to hide behind: You might fail.
We’ve all been there. Your project might not ultimately work out. You might have to hustle for a long time before you realize your goal wasn’t the right one. Your product might flop. You could find out nobody cares about your topic.
But, guess what? You might succeed.
Isn’t that awesome?! You might create that company, make your website work, or start defining life by your terms.
That should be your reason for hustling.
Hustling vs. Spinning Your Wheels
What’s the difference between hustling and spinning your wheels? Hustling takes deliberate practice. Don’t waste your time on systems you know don’t work. Don’t keep repeating the same process you already know because it’s safe and familiar. Don’t get frustrated at failed attempts and never learn from them. Try new things, challenge yourself, and constantly improve at your craft.
If you’re doing this kind of work, something is bound to click.
You might not win by being the first or the best or the most talented. But, you can win over time. You can put in the effort and succeed simply because you keep showing up and getting better.
It’s the ole’ tortoise and the hare. Slow and steady. Day after day. Hustling.
So, what should I do?
It’s easy to point to the supposedly overnight app designer whose company got purchased by some mega corporation for millions while you struggle for years on your website that’s seemingly going nowhere. Forgoing the fact that I don’t believe overnight successes just “happen,” that’s not what matters here.
Sure, some people just get lucky. But there’s many more people who “get lucky” as a result of hard work. It’s a matter of whether or not you’re willing to put in the time.
You simply have to show up and keep learning. Hustling isn’t easy, and it’s not supposed to be. But it’s vital to making your dream work.
Our question: How are you going to start hustling right now?