Why do we do it? Is the success we envisioned really about working well into the night, every night, for the rest of our lives? Is that what we really wanted when we daydreamed about taking back our lives, or becoming adults who can do whatever they want. To hustle?
Do you know what hustle means? It means desperation. It means you have to keep frantically paddling to move in the direction you want to go, desperately trying to reach whatever finish line you have painted for yourself. But here’s the thing – it never comes. Because you’ve glorified the paddling. You’ve glorified the long nights and the working lunches and the overwhelm and the fifteen perfectly synced social media accounts. Damn it feels good to be a hustler, baby.
And yea. Yippie. You’re no longer in the water, you’re no longer drowning in financial distress, or job dissatisfaction, or self-loathing…but if you slow down you might just capsize that shit and be right back where you started: wet and sad.
You know what feels really damn good? Drifting. Throwing the fucking paddles overboard, kicking back, feeling the sun…and breathing. Going with the flow. Trusting it to carry you where you intend on going…at a pace that allows you to feel amazing in THIS moment. A pace that means you get to enjoy this moment. Instead of forever chasing a tomorrow when maybe you can finally soak up the sun. And without tired jello arms. Without bags under your eyes and a million people strong “network” of people who don’t know you for shit, who smile a crooked, crazed smile at you as they hustle past you in their own boats, shouting across the void that is your mutual existence….hey wanna buy some lipstick? Will you eat this pill, you fatty? Look at my pumpkin spice cappuccino. Please? #dathustletho
Look…the hustle is necessary. Hustling when you’re building something is amazing and it is usually what it takes to make something amazing happen. Hustle & Gumption. (2022 Mich here to say nope, turns out, that was wrong. It’s never necessary) But we get there, we build the thing, and we just get stuck in the hustle. We don’t create systems that will allow us to mine peace and freedom from all of that hustling. We don’t use the hustle to lay a foundation that will become flow.
10 Tips for Moving Beyond Hustle and into Flow
- Raise your prices, good lord, please. Why do I even need to say it. Do you even math, bro? You can’t charge $20/hr and make 6,000 a month (and see point 2) and expect to not die…literally die, of exhaustion and not being able to take a proper shit. Not literally, sorry, I’m excitable.
- Get real about money. Get past your childhood and your bullshit baggage and recognize that 10 year olds are walking around with $600 phones, in $100 shoes. Your idea of what a “lot of money” is …it’s flawed, my friend. You’re stuck to your craigslist pleather couch because you can’t afford air conditioning, so I mean…I get it. But get unfuckingstuck. Look around the world and recognize that your poverty is not a reality that should be limiting you.
- Set a damn schedule. Office hours. A start time that allows you to brush your teeth and wash your dirty bits and maybe even shovel some warm food into your head. Maybe even meditate and do fancy stretching things. Schedule a quit time, and then fucking quit. Treat yourself like an employee you really don’t want to pay overtime for. Go to a movie alone, or on a date, or fly a kite with your kids.
- Speaking of employees – hire someone. Hire out those tasks that make you want to gouge your eyeballs out with a dirty spoon. Train someone to be you in your business – so that when your child goes all exorcist on you, you’re not like hold plz bb, mommy needs to go make someone custom nipple tassles.
- Create passive income streams. Sell your knowledge. You know shit that other people don’t know, things they want to know. E-courses, webinars, podcasts, e-books…those are just the basic means of disseminating knowledge. Information sells. Know how to design cutesy little characters in illustrator? Upload your designs on RedBubble, CreativeMarket, CafePress and any of the million other easy peasy platforms that do the work for you. There are so many ways for you to make money in your underwear…figure out what you love and work from there.
- Recognize yourself for the badass that you are. Stop selling yourself short. Stop limiting yourself. Stop turning to dry sources and asking them to fill you up. Stop surrounding yourself with people and things that don’t make you feel good, and challenged, and inspired.
- Create an exit strategy for the hustle. Map that shit out so you know where you should be, when. So that you know when you will be tossing the paddles and declaring yourself entering flow-mode. Do you want to be working sixteen hour days, still, eight years into your business? So you kept your business afloat with desperate paddling, and you miss your baby’s first steps and last bedtime story… does that really feel like success?
- Quit bragging about the hustle. Stop pretending it feels good…look. Look. You’re almost always talking to other entrepreneurs when you say it. Why do we do it? We all know the truth. That we are tired. That a bubble bath and watching six hours of Buffy sounds amazing. We miss leaving our shitty job at the end of the day and being done – and no, we wouldn’t trade it. We wouldn’t go back – but we don’t have to fake it. It’s ok to be real about the fact that this sucks ass. We only need to glorify it if we don’t believe it will ever end. If it’s temporary…own it. Own the reality of it. Own the fleetingness of sucksville. We can love what we do and not love that we are doing it every waking moment just to barely stay afloat.*
- Stay current on systemization tools that will help you cut out steps and create more efficient workflow and better experiences for your customers or clients.
- Let go. Some of you may already be able to move past hustle and into flow- but you’re terrified, or a workaholic, or a control freak. Let go of that shit, man. Just let go and let yourself flow. If you just love it – really, profoundly feel contented with living to work, madly in love with the hustle. Forget everything I said – why are you even reading this. It’s ok that this isn’t for you.