The word hustle is a little tarnished these days. The hashtag #hustlehard has been used 2,308, 093 times and counting on Instagram. And it’s filled with pictures of men, with a black and white feel, with slogans like ‘You can’t have a million dollar dream with a minimum-wage work ethic’ or ‘If you’re not gaining knowledge, connections or money, you’re wasting your time’.
Pass me the bucket already!
So what if you do want to run a successful business (on your terms) and you don’t want to feel the pressure of having to work 60 hour weeks to get it? Can you still hustle a bit? How much hustle is enough, or too much? Or does hustle have to be 100% going for it or you may us well shut up shop and go home?
Here’s my 5 top tips to hustle happily
1 – Know what success looks like to you
Do you want an 8-figure business? 7 or even 6? Or would a cool £50k a year do you? How much money is enough? What do you need to live off?
A study in America found that after £50,000 people weren’t any happier, so why are we bombarded with messages about amassing tons of wealth – if it doesn’t actually make us any happier?
Then when you know how much money you want to earn (£50k might be a jump, start small if you need to and build your business gradually from there), work out how many weeks you want to work, how many days a week and how many hours in a day.
There you now have a rough idea of how much you need to ‘hustle’ in daily to meet your targets. And relax.
Also know what success looks like in terms of time with family, time spent learning, time spent relaxing. Whatever makes you happy, make sure you have time for that.
2 – Turn that should upside down
The words we use have an enormous effect on how we feel, our blood pressure and stress.
If you’re running around shoulding this and shoulding that, stop and ask yourself what’s going on here.
I know we’re using should to motivate ourselves, to get yourself going and up and at em. But is the word should damaging and adding an extra edge of pressure to the hustle you don’t need?
Try replacing the word with could. ‘I could do this’, one it removes the immediacy and it also brings a question of ‘why’ you’re doing what you’re doing? Should sounds hard and unbreakable, could feels flexible and more manageable. Plus you might just end up giving yourself the space to try something completely different.
3 – Bring some joy back in
Why are you doing what you’re doing?
Sometimes we get so hung up on the hustle and all the to-do’s we forget why we’re doing it in the first place. Remind yourself why you are doing what you’re doing.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed place both feet on the floor, heels down and breath. Remind yourself of your why. Your mission. The reason you’re putting all this darn effort in.
4 – Plan, plan and then plan some more
The word hustle can feel out of control, there’s a lot of doing in it. A lot of movement, creating, stretching. But are you hustling in many directions all over the place?
Have you got a plan? Do you know why you’re doing what you’re doing?
If you’ve got a big project, can you break it up into manageable chunks over many days? Can you see an end to the hustle?
Some time spent at the beginning of whatever you’re planning on doing, will save heaps in the long run.
5 – Give yourself rewards
Got a big hustle coming up? Launching a new product, doing a kickstarter, re-desinging your website?
After you’ve got your plan of action make sure there is an end date to your hustle.
Sometime we need to hustle hard, to out our backs into it. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort and willpower to get shit done. But we can’t be pedal to the metal constantly, that’s when a breakdown kicks in.
Give yourself that end date and then factor in a reward. Got a big project coming up that requires a ton of hustle? Book yourself a long weekend off at the end of it. Create space to recuperate. Settle down and read some books, go on long walk, eat brunch with your mates, or if you can afford it go on a little holiday.
Our brains like rewards, so make sure you factor some in!
Sending you lots of happy hustle hugs,
P.s.. This was written after a fantastic conversation with Ebonie Allord for the Women Who Create podcast. That interview will be out on 6th December, but there’s plenty of juicy ones coming up before then! Check them out here: http://debbiedooodah.co.uk/podcast/ or look for Women who Create on iTunes and Spotify