The Hustler’s Playbook: A 10 Step Guide to Hustling

What is hustling, anyway? Ask a different person and you’ll get a different answer. Some will tell you it means always pushing forward, others think it is staying focused on a single goal or using sheer willpower to motivate yourself. There is no one definition for hustling. In fact, successful hustlers know that rather than trying one angle or perfecting one quality, hustling requires a set of principles that help you constantly work toward the things you are trying to achieve. After being in the game for many years and seeing how the best of the best manage to make their hustle into something meaningful, I’ve noticed there are certain things that every hustler makes sure to incorporate into their routine. Here is my 10 step guide to help you hustle with the best of them.

1. Figure Out Your “Why”

The first step in becoming a world-class hustler is to decide what you want for yourself. What really makes you happy? Hustlers have big and concrete reasons why” they do what they do. Non-hustlers drift. The why helps you stay on track and gives you the energy and drive to stay committed to your goals even when you’re downtrodden. You’re not going to feel like jumping out of bed at 6am, making cold calls, getting rejected over and over, doing things that scare you etc. if these actions aren’t attached to a bigger “why.” Connect your day-to-day tasks with a larger purpose that fills your life with happiness and meaning and you’ll see the difference it makes in your hustle.

2. Create Value

The best hustlers know how important it is to create value for others. The life that you want is dependent on it. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking about potential customers as people you can manipulate or trick into buying from you. Think about what you can actually offer them. Great hustlers are always working to develop this skill while non-hustlers are thinking in terms of what they can get away with. Your ability to maintain success in the long run is directly proportional to your ability to create value that others are willing to pay for.

3. Build Your Capabilities

Your personal and professional development is the biggest and best investment you can make in your life. Highly effective hustlers strive to continuously improve every single day. Growing and expanding your capabilities and skill set increases your ability to create value for others and allows you to create greater levels of value. If personal growth isn’t pursued, you can find yourself in a state of monotony, where progress stands still and your inspiration starts to fizzle out. Non-hustlers are lazy in that they believe someone else needs to pay for and facilitate their development when actually it is only up to you to do it.

4. Create Opportunities

Hustlers always seek out new opportunities. They look for areas where they can make a difference and where their work can move them closer to their ultimate goals. Everything that you’re doing should be working toward moving you closer to what you want. Non-hustlers will wait for opportunities to fall into their laps. They want someone to notice what they are doing and reward them for it. Hustlers don’t sit around waiting for opportunity to knock – they go out and chase it down and if it’s not there, they create it.

5. Execute

Hustlers get stuff done and they do quality work. They work hard to ensure that whatever project they take on is done as well as possible and they never skimp or cut corners. Hustlers act with urgency because they know that time is money. This doesn’t mean that every single effort leads to success – but that isn’t the point. The point is that, while failure isn’t avoidable, nothing they do fails because they didn’t put forth the effort and execute it. Non-hustlers are all talk while hustlers know that the thing that speaks the loudest is execution.

6. Grind It Out

No one ever said getting things done was easy. But true hustlers know the importance of grinding out the work, even when it feels arduous and exhausting. While non-hustlers are happy to stay bored on the plateaus, hustlers use downtime to work even harder. They start work before others and stay later. They don’t give up just because they are tired or feel like taking a break. Hustling successfully often means working away at some obstacle until they hit a breakthrough – even when there is no guarantee of that breakthrough happening.

7. Promote Your Successes

Hustlers aren’t afraid to promote themselves. With their hard work, they build up a solid track record of success that they can proudly share with the world. Being successful means building a reputation for yourself so that people know they can depend on you to deliver. If you’re dedicated to what you do and are persistent in your efforts, you will stack up victories and successes that you can feel proud of. Hustlers aren’t afraid to share their successes because it instills confidence in their clients and also provides more momentum for pushing ahead in their careers.

8. Share Credit

In addition to promoting your own successes, great hustlers also know when to give credit where credit is due. Hustlers aren’t always working as lone wolves – they wouldn’t accomplish nearly as much that way. Big projects often take big resources and it actually works in everyone’s favor for the hustler to share credit by promoting the people they work with. These people and companies have helped them achieve their successes and appreciate the shout out. Sharing credit also helps foster good relationships, which is incredibly important in the business world.

9. Keep Getting Bigger and Better

Instead of playing it safe, hustlers make it a point to keep tackling bigger and bigger goals. They never level out, but keep stepping up a rung or two at a time. This is different from setting out to achieve the world’s biggest goal right from the get-go. Hustlers focus on a goal, complete it, and then set their sights on a bigger goal each time. They keep climbing the ladder one step at a time – and as they gain momentum, they step up two or three rungs at a time. Unlike non-hustlers, they aren’t intimidated by big goals and they don’t psych themselves out by thinking of big goals as “unachievable.” They are comfortable with recognizing their own power and ability and love to continue pushing themselves to reach for further success.

10. Celebrate

Last, but definitely not least, hustlers know how to celebrate their victories. Hard work and success deserves to be rewarded, and hustlers enjoy this part of the job as much as the rest of it. Non-hustlers don’t embrace celebration because they haven’t put their all into a goal so the acknowledgments don’t always feel deserving. But hustlers know that they’ve earned it and love the rewards and celebrations of victory that go along with the hustle.

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