Writer | Marketer | Creative

My Blog

A lively take on creativity, business, and life.

The Difference Between Real Players and So-Called "Hustlers"


I'm going to be harsh to accentuate a point. There's a sad trend going around the entrepreneurial and young professional spheres. In fact, I'm so disappointed in the talented people caught up in this cultural movement that this isn't my first time writing about it.

Entrepreneurs and young professionals are obsessed with the concept of "hustle." They just wake up early, feed themselves a massive diet of motivational prose, and say they worked their tails off. That's not how any of this works!

All trends start somewhere, right? This one came from the Gary Vee's and the Grant Cardone's of the world. The concept of "hustle" came from people who actually lived it for decades.

They discuss all the things they had to do, to provide value and guidance for the up-and-coming stars who will one day take their place. They've taken their entire life's work - all the successes and countless more failed attempts - and condensed it all into one beautiful word.

You do not get to use that word! It's one thing for a 45 y.o. who worked 80-hour weeks for years and years and years to say "Yeah, I hustled for a long time, and eventually it paid off. That's what you've got to do." It's another thing entirely for the 25 y.o. still spending weeknights at the bar to try and pull it off.

I write about how much I work only when I have no idea what else to write about. Otherwise, I spend my time doing instead of talking. You'll notice that's a common theme among successful people in any realm.

When a Gary Vee figure talks about what they've done and continue to do, it's to motivate others to keep going, to not give up. When an unproven individual talks about it, it's meaningless.

You need to let your followers know what you're up to, simply so they can keep up with you. But when telling others what you're up to becomes the focus, you've missed the mark.

The difference between real players and the so-called "hustlers" of the world is this. Real players discuss what they've done, because someone asked them how they did it. Wannabes talk about how much they "hustle," because they have no other value to offer.