How To Hustle: You Have to Push

Everyone Has A Hustle...

“Hustle” is a buzz word in our culture today, and having a side-hustle is all the rage now. We have our regular day job, but then we have that thing on the side that we’re excited about. We have that thing that gives some extra “fun” money. (I’m looking at you, guy who fixes computers in his garage on Thursdays. Rock on!) We take the word “hustle,” enlarge it to 800-point font, and put it on a big vinyl banner in our living room. Then, we’re reminded we’re hustling every morning when we get our coffee. All good, right?

Well, sort of.

Personally, I’m all for you hustling to achieve your goals and dreams. I believe it’s an important part of your success. But, in doing that, I’m afraid many of us have gotten so lost in our activity that we’ve forgotten what it really means to hustle. And that’s why in the next few weeks, I want to give you a clear definition.

You will need to hustle on your career journey, but first, we have to clearly define it.

Defining Hustle

Here’s my definition of hustle, and it’s made of three P’s:

HUSTLE -- Pushing Persistently to Progress.

Read that a few times. Let it sink in.

Defining what it means to hustle isn’t enough. To start hustling in your career, you have to push.

Let’s Work It Out…

Imagine in your mind that you’re working out. Now, imagine you’re doing push-ups. If you’re watching the movie in your head right now, then you have a few things going on. You’re holding yourself up. Your body is arched over the ground, a solid place that gives you stability. You’re probably wearing some neon-colored, expensive workout shoes. You’re ready to go, and you start your push-up routine.

Your first 10 push-ups are fine. But pretty soon, you get tired.

As you go along, it may be easier to stay on the ground and not finish the push up. It may be tempting to quit. But you have to reach your goal. To do a push-up, you don’t stop at the bottom. You have to push against your body weight, and the same is true on your career journey..

The first part of really hustling in your career is you have to push. You push against problems, push against setbacks, and push against the voice in your head that says you should give up.

When that happens, keep going. Keep going because of this truth -- as you start making wise career decisions, all of these issues will show up to make you want to quit.

Your problem or setback may may be a co-worker at your day job who says you can’t live out your dream. It may be a parent or relative who tells you, “Well, I don’t know how practical that is.”  As you start making wise career decisions, resistance like this will show up. But, you can’t give up, because resistance keeps coming.

You must push past resistance, and realize you’re aiming at something more for your life.

Enter the Promised Land

I love what author Steven Pressfield says about overcoming fear and pushing against our resistance:

We fear discovering that we are more than we think we are. More than our parents/children/teachers think we are. We fear that we actually possess the talent that our still, small voice tells us. That we actually have the guts, the perseverance, the capacity. We fear that we truly can steer our ship, plant our flag, reach our Promised Land. We fear this because, if it’s true, then we become estranged from all we know. We pass through a membrane. We become monsters and monstrous.
— Steven Pressfield, "The War of Art"

Let me encourage you -- you have the guts, the perseverance, and the capacity. You can pass through this “membrane” Pressfield talks about. You can do more in your career. You can do work that matters. You can make wise career decisions. You can “hustle” and have it be more than a word you use.

You can hustle from a deep place in your heart. But it all starts by pushing against the resistance that will come against you.

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