Are you doing the hustle?
“I’m hustling, are you?”
“You’re not in the game if you’re not hustling!”
“I’m hustling every day!”
If only I had a dollar every time I heard this. Truth be told, it’s doing my head in a bit and I had to take a step back and reflect why this little word, “hustle” was making the hair on my arms stand on end.
I’m putting it out there. I HATE THIS WORD.
This word bothers me. It bothers me a lot.
If someone told me that the reason why I’m having the peaks and troughs in my business was due to the fact that I’m not out there ‘hustling’ for new business, I’d give them an evil death stare.
But why? Why does this word really irk me?
In my head, I have an image of Paul Newman who played Fast Eddie Felson standing over a pool table and trying to break into the major league and doing it by high stakes wagering. He believes in his talent and ability but in order to crack into the professional hustling, he has to behave in this underhanded manner.
And this doesn’t sit well with me.
So I checked out the dictionary to see how the word was defined.
As well as having several different meanings that include jostling, or a state of activity, the word also has a negative connotation that you obtain something through swindle or forceful action. The Urban Dictionary defines it as “make money from doing something slightly shady“.
This is ringing all sorts of alarm bells.
In a world where we are bombarded by advertisements or we have slick content marketers and new guru multimillion dollar entrepreneurs with their fancy headphones standing on stage inspiring others to become like them, to create more, to do more, to push more, to build more – the more I disengage.
We mistakenly start to believe that the only way we need to build our own business is to do the same things they’re doing.
Follow what they’re doing – and in the manner that they do it.
So I believe ‘hustling’ is the wrong word to use in this context.
In a social world, if you’re someone who engenders generosity, trust and authenticity with your clients and together you work on projects that create meaning and impact to not only your business, but your own professional and personal life, don’t use a word that contradicts your values.
So, no. No hustle for me – and I’m not a loser.