What It Means to Hustle

The idea that you should hustle means that you should work harder, that you should work with a great sense of urgency, and that you should focus your attention on the very few things that actually produce results.

It has nothing to do with the hours you work. It doesn’t require an 18 hour day, but there is nothing wrong with working long days if that is what you need to do.

It has nothing to do with being an entrepreneur unless you are an entrepreneur. You can hustle while you are working for the man, and that can be an extraordinarily rewarding endeavor. Jamie Dimon reports to a board of directors, and he owns some shares. Not the company.

Hard Work Makes Dreams Come True

You aren’t “hustling” just because you have a startup, unless you are working hard. Talking about your business is not the same thing as doing the work of propping up a business. It sure as Hell isn’t about showing up at conferences with a business card and tee shirt with your logo on it.

To hustle is to work hard.

Act With Haste

Too few people work with a sense of urgency. Instead, they spend their days “at work,” reacting to things that come their way, almost none of which is urgent. Urgency is what makes you a hustler.

In the words of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Burr, “Why do you write like you’re running out of time? Write day and night like you’re running out of time. Every day you fight like you’re running out of time . . .”

To hustle is to work like you are running out of time. Time, the one finite, completely non-renewable resource of which you are given an allotment free and clear, yours to do with what you will. Or yours to squander. Waste not, want not.

Do Meaningful Work

Most of the things that have your attention do not deserve your attention. Almost everything is a distraction. Except the very things that produce the results that you want to produce. The things that are aligned with your purpose. The things that make up the meaningful work you were put here to do.

Hustle isn’t talk. Hustle isn’t glamorous. Hustle isn’t hours worked. It’s the hard work that most people won’t do because they’d rather be comfortable than stretched. It’s the sense of urgency that compels you to produce. Today.

Right now. It’s the one, two, or three things that produce results and make a difference, the things you are going to point to as your contribution and your legacy.

Are you working like you’re running out of time? You are running out of time.

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