In the words of the great artist Eminem:
Look, if you had one shot or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted in one moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?
I’m pretty sure you understand two words in your realm – hustle and grind. A friend who lives by the side hustle introduced me to these terms. I had to ask what they meant; sounded like some illegal activity was going down.
Hustle. The art of doing everything you can to make some cash. Dog walking, catering, blog writing, creative art projects, accounting. There’s really no limit, it’s the idea of ‘if you pay me, I’ll do it.’ In the Merriam-Webster definition sort-of-way, not the Urban Dictionary sort-of-way.
Grind. I like the dictionary version better than the real life version. Grinding is constant friction that polishes or sharpens something. I want to be polished! And sharp! Although the notion of constant friction…well, I guess I won’t become all smooth & clever without a little conflict.
Talk about action words. Hustle & grind – do everything you can all the time. I think that sums up the entrepreneur’s life accurately enough. People ask me how the start of my week is going or if I’m excited for the weekend. I usually give them the answer they want to hear, the one they understand. The truth, as you know, is that there is no weekend. My Monday is exactly like my Saturday. I work flexible hours – as in, I work at 6am and at 9pm and everything in between. Of course there are perks, I am one of the few people who go to the gym mid-day. And it’s just me & the retirees at the food store. But what if there’s only one opportunity, one chance? You have to do the daily hustle & grind so you’re ready.
The only way you will survive the start-up world is if you have the drive, the passion for it. Ok, let’s call it what it is – obsession. The pace will wear you out unless you are driven by the insatiable need to succeed. You’ll have your moments. When the wave of ‘just can’t do it anymore, I’m too tired/beat up’ hits you. And that’s ok, but here’s the thing – to succeed you can’t stop until you succeed. Makes sense right? We are all just trying to figure it out as we go along, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- Get a business mentor. Or someone who understands what you are doing, so you can word vomit on them if you need to. For me, it was a friend who is a side hustler. She gets it when I vent, she sends me miscellaneous resources as she comes across them, and in general, gives me support and encouragement.
- Have a total breakdown. Do it! It’s ok. But there’s a 5-minute time limit, so set your alarm. I allow myself to have a good solid wallow in self-pity & exhaustion, and then I tell myself to get it together and I’m back at it.
- Chisel out time for yourself. Do what relaxes you or what turns your brain off. For me, it’s going to the gym or walking outside in nature. I listen to music, allow myself to feel what I’m feeling, and appreciate the little things – like the fact I can walk.
- And repeat. It helps, I promise.
Why do we do it?
Why do we work all the time, no weekends, no nights off?
So here I go it’s my shot, feet: fail me not
This may be the only opportunity that I got
You can do anything you set your mind to, man