Hustle. It’s one of my favourite words.
For me, it’s code for energy, chutzpah, going rogue, for not taking no for an answer and for making your own luck.
It’s picking up the phone when everyone else hides behind email.
It’s being bothered when everyone else can’t be.
It’s when someone says ‘that’ll never work’, going out of your way to prove them wrong.
It’s turning up.
You can’t put your finger on it, but you know when you’re doing it and when you’ve got it.
At the bare minimum, Hustle is the energy that you use to tip the playing field in your favour. And at best, according to the authors of a new book on the subject, Hustle gives you the power to change your life with money, meaning and momentum.
And who wouldn’t want a bit of that?
“This book has numerous examples of people that rewrote the rules and directed their own destiny. It’s an inspiring and motivating read.”
As a veteran of the business self-help book (a cursory glance at my study shelves – note plural – reveals the extent of my addiction) the promise of a better, brighter, more persuasive me with a side order of resilience, grit, mindfulness and vulnerability (depending on the book du jour) proves irresistible. But how much of this particular book is helpful and how much hokum?
Hustle’s authors, Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits and Jonas Koffler define Hustle as, “decisive movement towards a goal, however indirect, by which the motion itself manufactures luck, surfaces hidden opportunity and charges our life with more money, meaning and momentum.”
Yes, but how?
In three ways apparently.
- The Heart. The advice here is to follow your own dreams but with an eye on the reality of your talent (or lack of it). This may mean finally letting go of the idea that just because you edited your school magazine aged 11, you’re a shoo-in to take over the Financial Times. Once you have a realistic dream/goal identified you’re ready for step two.
- The Head. AKA – get on with it. At this point the size of your ambition can feel so overwhelming that all you want to do is lie down in a darkened room. I liked the authors’ suggestion of a, ‘daily dose of pain’ to get you out of inertia. This is the smallest thing you can do today to reap a long term benefit, thereby prodding yourself to grow incrementally day by day. So you might shake up your daily routine or read a different newspaper or strike up a conversation with a total stranger – anything to give you a bit of a jolt & enable new synapses or connections in the brain. The theory being these small amounts of pain prevent our existing skills from atrophying which helps us anticipate and solve the complex challenges of our ‘thing’ – the goal that we are now hustling towards
- The Habits. This is about spotting opportunities and creating your own luck. This chapter particularly appealed to me as it’s what we preach (and teach) as part of our Pitchcraft programme where we help companies become better at pitching for and winning new business.
“At the bare minimum, Hustle is the energy that you use to tip the playing field in your favour. And at best, Hustle gives you the power to change your life with money, meaning and momentum.”All too often – in life as well as when pitching – we create restrictions or barriers that don’t actually exist. For example, one of the most common occurrences is a lack of contact and therefore a lack of relationship between the prospective client and those pitching between the arrival of the brief and the pitch itself. Why? Because the compliant companies feel they shouldn’t disturb the client who’s probably too busy to speak with them. Or they feel it’s, ‘not allowed,’ (says who?) or they’re waiting to be asked. Meanwhile, their competitors who are great hustlers haven’t waited to be asked, told or given permission. Like Nike, they just do it. And who’s more likely to have shown the prospect what a dynamic team they will get? The company that sat back and waited or the company that hustled to get the result they wanted?
This book has numerous examples of people that rewrote the rules and directed their own destiny. It’s an inspiring and motivating read. But what sets ‘Hustle’ apart from other business books (which can be heavy on case studies and light on actual application) are the practical tools and step by step approach it provides should you want to follow the authors’ road to success. And once you’ve read the book yourself, you probably will want to, even if it does mean taking the road less travelled. Because, if you have the hustle habit, you never take the conventional route.
Hustle: The power to charge your life with money meaning and momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits and Jonas Koffler (Vermilion) £12.99
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