Don’t Do The Hustle: Slow Down, Scale Back, Win More

Do the hustle: You’ll read this everywhere. You’ll listen & watch this everywhere. Is it the right thing to do?

David Heinemeier Hansson is the co-author of Rework, creator of Ruby on Rails, Founder and CTO of Basecamp. Recently he wrote a compelling piece titled Let’s Bury the Hustle and I couldn’t help but think and reflect on his point of view.

He writes:

“ The hustle has become synonymous with the grind. Pushing through pain and exhaustion in the chase of a bigger carrot. Sacrificing the choice bits of the human experience to climb some arbitrary ladder of success. I can’t connect with any of that.”

It’s the the dog-eat-dog or the rat on the hamster wheel thing coming back to haunt you again.

There’s a push for speed, hustle, scaling up, doing more, and achieving more. Blame the world of startups, fast cash availability thanks to investors, and our general tendency to give way and let greed take over.

Give a cursory look online, read any self-help book, talk to any established venture capitalist, or walk into any meet up or conference related to startups and you’ll see it all in action.

Do more. Do more. Do more. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.

It’s bad advice. If you ever catch yourself doing it, you are the victim of the crowd mentality.

This is a world where investors can dispense cash faster than an ATM can, entrepreneurs launch startups over the weekend, marketers make tall claims about getting positive ROI from your ad campaigns in a single week, vendors offering pro –services to help you get featured on Forbes or Huffington Post.

In a world like that, you will feel lonely, left out, and even guilty if you don’t catch up. You’ll lose the race. You won’t be able to catch up.

Feeling sick? Just don’t.

You don’t have to hustle. You don’t have to scale up. You don’t want to do more.

Susie Moore of Greatist lists out different ways to slow down so you can actually get more done. Jules Schroeder of Forbes also writes about the “Slow Hustle” and why you should slow down to do more.

She writes:

“To an outsider, it may sound crazy–absurd even. A work ethic like that couldn’t possibly be healthy or productive long-term. But within the entrepreneur community, it’s a mandate. A mantra. A mindset that determines whether you make or break it.

Subscription to the hustle mentality can be alluring. It promises to set you on the fast-track to success with a magnetic compulsion towards greatness.”

Fast track is no track. Hustle can stress you out.

You shouldn’t have to force yourself into a race. Instead, you can slow down and scale back here’s why:

You’ll feel sick, sooner or later

We are all different. If you work too hard and hustle too much, the burnout will come sooner or later. I don’t know when that’ll strike. I can’t predict how you are going to manage yourself when shit hits the fan and you can’t seem to bring yourself to work anymore.

The burnout stage is a nasty one: you wouldn’t feel like working; you won’t like to talk to your customers or clients; nothing seems to hold your attention span for more than a minute or less.

You won’t like that feeling. I’ve been there.

Hustle does this to you. When it happens, you won’t like it. You’ll suffer. Your revenue will slide. Your profits are exactly zero.

Slow down to Focus

Does guest blogging work for you? Or are you the type who’d like to rather invest on Paid advertising instead of wasting time with organic marketing? If you’ve done digital marketing for a length of time, you’d have figured out what kind of digital marketing efforts work best for you.

If you know what works for you, you can play to your strength. Instead of rushing about, spraying or praying and trying to do too much, you can slow down and focus on what exactly you want to do.

Quality of work suffers

Try to do too much of anything and the quality of your work will suffer. If I tried to publish 5 blog posts per week instead of 3 blog posts, I’d never be happy with what I’d end up publishing.

Try to put in more work than necessary into your sales funnels and they won’t work as well as they’d if you kept your sales funnels simple.

Situations, resources, personal strengths, and motivation levels are all unique to you. You aren’t Tim Ferriss and you aren’t Rand Fishkin.

You are you. Work with that.

You’ll overspend and overexert yourself (or your team)

Thanks to the “need for hustle” and the incredibly high-pressure to achieve more (and fast), you’d end up spending more on your campaigns or work harder to end up publishing blog posts.

In all these cases, you’d never perform at your optimum level (and we established that already). You’ll also overspend or overexert yourself (and your team).

It’s time to ignore the noise, slow down, and take several paces backwards. Are you doing it yet?

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