Hustle, But Don't Hustle

Hustle. Such a complicated little word. The first thing I did when I sat down to write this blog post was google the definition of hustle. I've always had an adverse reaction to the word, even though I use it ALL THE TIME. Good ol' Merriam-Webster gave me: 

01: to crowd or push roughly
02: to convey forcibly or hurriedly
03: to urge forward precipitately

I like Urban Dictionary's better: 

01: Anythin' you need to do to make money...
be it sellin' cars, drugs, ya body.
If you makin' money, you hustlin'.
02: Dance from the 70s.

I started using the word 'hustle' when I first launched Witchcraft Branding. I called it my 'side hustle,' which instantly informed 2 things to the person I was talking to: that I had a day-job and that this business hadn't taken off yet. I would cringe inwardly after the words left my mouth. I'd laid out all my weaknesses and cards right on the table - willingly. After some time, I switched to calling it my 'small business' or 'side business' to give it a more official sounding title and not sound so desperate for cash. Although I was...internally...but that's topic for another day. 

But I didn't stop using the word hustle, I re-purposed it. 

There's a value to the concept of hustling. There's value to putting all you have into something you enjoy doing, especially if it's to serve others. Now, when I talk to clients and people in the Witchcraft Branding community who reach out for advice, we discuss hustling from the perspective of working dedicated and smart hours. I call them 'hustle hours.' 

If you want to get your business off the ground, hustle DOES NOT mean you have to work until 3am after a 9-hour shift at your main job, which will lead to suffering from [medical] exhaustion and end up causing you to take a week off of work [main and side], because you're too sick to get out of bed. And I say this from experience. Exhaustion is a real thing and it's not pretty or productive. 

What I mean by getting your hustle hours in, is putting your all into what you are working on - even if it's 1, 3 or 5 hours a week. There's no doubt 1 productive hour is worth 5 half-ass hours of 'working' while you answer texts, check Facebook, and jump between items on your to-do list.

Back when I launched Witchcraft, I had to figure out how to balance my day-job, this side business, and daily life shit. I told my wife, for 1 hour a day I'm going to lock myself in the office and be as productive as I can with no distractions. I said: "Don't interrupt me, even if the apartment is burning down. It's okay, I'll smell the smoke." I was committed and it was hard and it was drastic. But that burn to get my productive hour in every day led to me getting more things done to better my business in less time than ever before. It gave me a routine and that routine gave me the opportunity to know my business better than anyone. And that led to being able to talk about and sell what I was doing better than I had before, because I was immersed in it. I was knee-deep into my own hustle. 

A great little 'hustle hack' [I'm just full of puns today] to get you into the hustling mood is the "3 small tasks" list. It works like a charm! On a piece a paper make a list of 3 things you can accomplish in 1 day. AND MAKE IT SMALL THINGS. Perhaps even break up 1 task into 3 smaller tasks. With time you’ll master the 3 tasks a day and can make it a longer list. AND make it a real list - as in write it down in a notebook you can carry. The physical act of crossing out things off your list tricks your mind into feeling it has accomplished something and that leads to you feeling good and doing more things. 

Are you ready to hustle? Reach out to me to talk more about hustling or pretty much anything else. 

- E. from W.

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