I posted this link (9 Lessons in Entrepreneurship From Shark Tank) last week in The Monday Mix and have been thinking about it a lot. I’m not an entrepreneur, and never plan to be, but found this article just to be good life advice. In particular, lesson #2: Hustle is necessary but is not sufficient. This lesson points out that while your hustle is good, so isn’t everyone else’s – so you need to hustle, but hustle in the right direction.
I have been thinking about this a lot because I feel like, for the last few months, I’ve been hustling in the right direction and I’ve never felt happier.
In the past, I have been guilty of getting hung up on or obsessed with crap that just doesn’t matter (lesson #3: don’t be blinded by passion). Things that cause anger and pain and frustration every day. I think as I’ve gotten older I’ve shifted my focus to the long game; the knowledge that everything I do today should have purpose, meaning, and repercussions far into the future – whether it’s the relationships I foster, the food I put in my body, or the big picture choices I make at work. That’s what hustling in the right direction means to me – making it count and doing it with purpose.
Being grounded also helps. In fact, it’s a game changer. I’ve gone through too many years of feeling displaced, uncomfortable, anxious, and directionless. Being grounded keeps me focused and strong. It has also helped me mature so much over the past 5 years (man, does 25 to 30 make a huge difference). To me, being grounded is my marriage, my job, focusing on self care, and being creative. I know these things now better than ever, and go to them when I’m feeling lost or overwhelmed. To be grounded is to do what feels, and comes, most natural to me. And those are the things I hustle the hardest for.
Knowing who you are is key too. Over the past 5 years I’ve been concentrating on my strengths (lesson #6: know your core competencies) – organization, leadership, planning, relationship building – and being real about my weaknesses – indecision, impatience, guilt, worry, negative self talk. My weaknesses impede my hustle, I know that. So now I take active steps to challenge them. I have to credit my husband here – he has given me confidence I never knew I had to be assertive and stand up for myself. My hustle has absolutely been learned from him which is another life hack: surround yourself with people who make you better and who push you to actually do it. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from John is that you can’t get what you never ask for. It’s so important to be courageous about asking for what you believe you deserve. No one else is going to do it for you. And, ultimately, finding the strength to empower yourself is the take away, not getting the thing you asked for (though, that’s a nice bonus too!).
Maybe it’s reductionist to boil life down to all or nothing success. What I’m trying to convey is that when you’re in control, happy, and achieving all of the things you want, nothing can stop you. The hustle I’m talking about opens all the doors; makes all possibilities real. It’s taking what you may perceive as your average self and using your strengths to work harder than anyone else to get what you deserve. Not only can you do it, you can do it bigger and better than you think – even when you feel like a failure or an imposter. Hustling is the beginning of anything you want. Hustle in the right direction and the whole world is yours.