Hustle isn’t the answer, its actually part of the problem

Alright, cue all my startup friends (and really, anyone anywhere in the startup world) to be upset with this post. But I just can’t take another sticker-blog-video-tshirt-etc espousing the necessity of hustling.

The internet is riddled with hustle blogs, hustle quotes, and yes, hustle memes.

And look, I used to be all about the hustle. The problem is that most of the time, when people look to hustling as the answer, one of two things happens.

Either they do in fact start hustling, which in this case means working day and night, busting their a$$ to make any form of progress, and then before long, they’re burned out. And not seeing their family, friends, or taking care of themselves. Working that much usually results in poor decisions on health and mental well-being.

But more likely, that’s not the way it plays out. Very few people have it in them to HUSTLE! all day and night. So instead, not hustling leaves people feeling depressed and deflated because they aren’t working hard enough, and it gives them the excuse that, well of course I’m not successful, I’m not hustling my face off.

Instead, we should be talking to people about focusing. I wrote recently about my formula for success: Be Kind + Work Hard + Stay in the Game. That middle part – Work Hard – is different than hustling. Of course you have to work hard if you hope to accomplish anything. But more importantly, you need to work smart.

I used to be a hustle-machine kinda person. When I was younger, I worked like a maniac to get my company going. And possibly that was required when I was 21, because I didn’t know where or how to focus my time. So I did everything and anything to move the ball forward. I worked an insane amount of hours, and saw less of my wife and young family than I wanted, lost touch with old friends, and found it hard to make smart health decisions.

But now, with 20+ years of experience, I see that real success comes from focusing. I find it best to a) find your Purpose, and then b) focus your time accordingly.

Hustling is not the answer. Hustling is actually the easy fix to not spending the time to determine what you should be focusing your time on. Believe it or not, it’s easier to simply decide to put in more hours, to grind away, than it is to reflect on where your time really should be spent.

In 2019, I ran my first marathon. I published my first book. I acquired two companies. I rebuilt the way Dragon Army operates (and we’re healthier and growing faster than we ever have). And I founded a new nonprofit.

I did all of this while also spending more time than ever with my enormous family (5 kids, y’all.) I’m working less time overall than I ever have (let’s say around 50-55 hours a week), but accomplishing more.

And you can, too. Just stop focusing on the hustle. It’s a cute phrase and an easy mantra to point to when we see people like The Rock out there doing seemingly more than any human can…but trust me, it’s not for you. Focusing your time and finding your Purpose, THAT’S the way that you will accomplish your goals.

Let those other turkeys hustle (or pretend to) all day. You get smart, keep your head down, be kind, and stay in the game long enough…and you’ll make it happen. Trust me.