The Hustler’s Playbook: Whatever It Takes

If you want success, you have to do whatever it takes. But, know that there are boundaries on whatever it takes.

Whatever it takes, as long as it is not illegal or immoral. You may want to be on the cover of the New York Times, but what the headline reads is important, isn’t it? There is no recipe for success that requires you break the law or act immorally. In fact, both of these things (even if you see others do something illegal or immoral to gain financial success), ensure that you are not successful.

Whatever it takes, as long as whatever it takes doesn’t harm others. You don’t have to take advantage of someone to be successful. You don’t have to force them to do something that doesn’t benefit them, and you never have to be manipulative. These are the choices of the weak, and they’re the strategies of those who lack character, influence, and the ability to persuade people. You are a failure if what you do to “succeed” harms others.

Whatever it takes, as long as what you are doing isn’t what is easy instead of what is necessary. Both of the paragraphs above speak to the idea that some people try to take shortcuts to gain the success they want. They try to do what is fast, instead of doing what is right. They don’t play the long game that real success requires, and they aren’t patient in their pursuit. Real success often comes overnight—after you have put in years of hard work.

Whatever it takes, as long as it is aligned with your longer term goals. Success now isn’t going to look like success later. What is important to you at 28 will not be what is important to you at 48 or 68 or 88. “Whatever it takes” needs to include your legacy. What are you going to be known for? What is your contribution? “Whatever it takes,” as long as it is something you will be proud of having done.

If “whatever it takes” makes you believe you have to do something that goes against the ideas written here, you will never be truly successful. Success is a matter of who you are, and if you are someone who is willing to succeed at the expense of others, you are not successful, and you are not thoughtful or resourceful enough to have the success you desire.

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