Today I felt compelled to discuss what hustle really means from my perspective. You hear people talk about hustle all the time, but what is it? Is it always being busy, is it not quitting on your dreams, is it moving from one thing to the next? How would you define hustle if someone asked you the meaning? I thought about this the other day and decided to map out my definition of what it means to hustle.
Firstly, you have to know what you’re hustling for, occupying your time with various activities that have no real purpose, and in turn no real reward, does not equate to hustling. Nor does proclaiming yourself to be a hustler when in reality you’re still trying to find your angle. A hustle is a vision, one that you work relentless toward until you’ve arrived at a calculated destination. For example, I have a vision to work fulltime on my clothing brands by January 2018. My vision is fueled by my children, financial, and physical freedom. My priority is to raise them the way I want to and not be dictated by an employer or anything else. As a result of this vision, I began to do the work it will take to get me there, aka I hustle. I have clear goals and direction, I set benchmarks to hit to ensure my “hustle” is always bringing me closer to achieving my vision.
Now, by having this concrete definition of what hustle means, I can then start to dissect how I’m going to maintain the level of effort it takes to keep the hustle alive. This part of hustling is critical to actually see your vision through. When you find yourself feeling the arrangement of your life is not following your vision, but you also feel like you’ve been hustling day and night, you need to do some reevaluating of your hustle. Your hustle should move you closer to your vision, so what this likely means is that you aren’t executing your hustle wisely. Likely it means you are letting tasks disable your vision. Yea, you’re busy all the time but no closer to the destination you’ve set for yourself. I’ve been in this boat many times. It’s a hard pill to swallow to admit you’ve been working hard the wrong way, you’re like damnit, I’ve been killing myself what more can I do? I want to avoid you and me feeling like this, I want to make sure we’re hustling towards the vision. Not allowing the illusion of being busy or things that occupy our time (time of which you have full control over how it’s spent) fill us with false hope that tells us we’re hustling, when in fact we’re not.
What I’ve formulated are these “can’t knock the hustle” guidelines. The main goal of these is to create checks and balances that evaluate the volatility of your hustle. Feel free to make your own set of rules, I’m sharing mine to encourage you to set whatever rules you need to thrive in your lives. So think of this as an outline if you need help getting started.
Can’t Knock the Hustle Guidelines
1. Talk is Cheap: The number one rule is, do more than you say. This may seem like a no brainer, but when you have a vision, the first thing you want to do is talk about it. You’re likely excited and just want to share the big plans you have with other people. Something I learned the hard way. Because I’m so full of ideas, I found myself talking a lot more than I was doing. That will get you nowhere FAST. Start executing your vision before you talk about it. So when you finally start talking about it, you have what you’ve DONE to reference and show for it. I’ll say it again, TALK IS CHEAP!!!!!
2. Work At All Times: If you’re getting 8 hours of sleep make it 4, on the train, while you eat lunch at the job you don’t want to be at, while you’re on Instagram for an hour (me..smh). All your time should be consumed with climbing each step you’ve mapped out to bring your vision to life. You should always be working!!!! Make everything you do beneficial to the vision. I don’t care if it’s picking up your kids, dedicate that car ride to an audio book that keeps you focused on your vision. Don’t sit on the phone talking to people who have less of a plan for their lives than you. If you’re going to talk to someone, let it be someone with a vision just as great as yours. I can’t tell you how much time is wasted giving people time who have nothing valuable to contribute to your vision. STOP IT…you’re working so you have no time for that.
3. Get Accountable: One of the best things I did was cut out people who have no desire to live their best life. I scanned my life and selected those people who are all about pushing themselves forward, those with a vision, thank God I have a quite a few real hustlers in my life. We made each other accountability partners. Every week we talk and send each other encouragement to keep hustling. We keep each other focused on our vision, we pick each other up when we’re down, we hold each other accountable when more talking is done than doing, we put timelines on our plans, we pray for each other, and most importantly we believe in each other. We believe in what we are capable of doing but we realize we can’t do it alone. Go and get yourself a few accountability partners who will run right beside you through this marathon until all of you cross the finish line!!!
4. Be Ready: Everything happens at the right time, even when it feels all wrong. You have to always be ready. I believe everyone has that turning point when they just know “this time is different.” When something about the way you’re going about it this time feels bigger than before, it feels like you’re ready. You’ve probably been saying something for a long time and use to have some doubt. When that doubt disappears it’s because you’re ready now, and weren’t ready before. God called you to execute and you better be ready. You don’t want it bad enough if when you’re called to show up, you’re not ready. Walk into your vision with the utmost confidence and claim all that you’ve worked so diligently to receive. Look at all you had to go through to get there and just be thankful you made it, BE READY!
I don’t know the vision you have for your life, I don’t know what the word hustle means to you. But I do know this, to anything and anyone who tries to come between the vision I have been called here to do, you can’t knock the hustle!! Set your life up so that nothing stops you, keep your head high and your faith strong. Hustle on!