Writer | Marketer | Creative

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What Does A Day In the Life of Hustle Look Like?


Do you use the word "hustle" to describe yourself? Do you wake up and "just crush it"? Do you spend your days telling people how hard you work? Then you, too, can be an entrepreneur! Or an obnoxious buffoon.

I've grown to hate the word "hustle," and it's probably because I've yet to see someone both use the word seriously and add value at the same time. Look, I get that you need to tell people you're working.

It's like high school algebra. If you don't show your work, how does anyone know what you did? But you have to actually do things. Maybe you are doing things! But are you living up to your own hype?

I love that all of one's passion, determination, and eagerness to grow can be summed up into a single word. But the execution has been poor. Actually hustling isn't glamorous. It's not noteworthy. It's really not even something you want to talk about.

I don't want to talk about what I do every day. It's full of failure and long hours and rejection and near hopelessness. Why would I want to share that? But I've been challenged to share more of my personal story. So, on a small scale, this is what it actually looks like to work your tail off (with specific actions instead of inflationary adjectives).

Absolutely no later than 7am, I've started working. Not just checking email and social media notifications, but creating, writing, and straining my brain to provide something of value for the few thousand people who sometimes pay attention to me. If I can fit a chapter of a book in before or after writing and posting, I do.

After 60-90 minutes of this, I get ready and go into the office of the job that actually pays me, and I pretty much keep my nose to the keyboard, drawing board, or my cell for four hours. Creating content, developing strategies, managing digital channels, etc.

During my lunch "break" (which I'm not getting paid for), I catch up on email and social, and try to make a few new connections. Then I go back to the office, trying my hardest to fight off the afternoon slump so I can make some decent headway on the mountain of projects sitting on my desk.

I go home, have a delicious dinner with my wonderful wife, and then the two of us run our day's errands. I take a break when we get home, then bemoan the need to turn off How I Met Your Mother to start working/writing for another 2-3 hours.

Rubbing my eyes, I grab my latest self-improvement read from Barnes & Noble to help me relax. If I'm efficient, I get 7 hours of sleep before starting over.

After a while of doing this, you realize that a 10-hour workday means you've been lazy. But that's what a typical day for me looks like! If I'm not having to travel, Saturday and Sunday are each 5- to 8-hour days, too. None of this is glamorous or hype-worthy!

I spend 70+ hours a week trying and failing and trying again to grow and develop. Plenty of others do more! (And are far better at all this than I am.) But it's not something cool and trendy.

No, it's not all "hustle." No, it's not all passion and "crushing it." It's a never ending to-do list, and praying to God for a payday! It's getting acid reflux from drinking enough coffee to keep you "inspired." It's not "Oh, this is awesome, I get to hustle so much!" It's "Man, when will I catch a break?"

I have an incredible amount of respect for any and everyone who does more than a standard 40-hour work week. If you're doing extra, you're doing well in my book. What grinds my gears is the person who's too caught up in ideas of grandeur to step on the field and become a real player.

We're all capable of doing something awesome and becoming incredible leaders. But the path to get there is not pretty. The path to success (however you want to define it) is like hiking the Appalachian Trail when it's raining sideways.

You know you have to keep putting one foot in front of the other to finally reach your goal. But man is it a rough hike! You're slipping and stumbling and thinking of all those people already at the shelter, dreaming about being there with them.