If I see one more person using #hustle on Instagram with some kind of stupid picture and inspirational quote in front of it, I’m going to lose my mind.
Oh my Goooodddd. Stop it.
Here’s the deal. I love working hard. I would argue that my hard work is the main differentiating factor I have. I’m above average intelligence I think, but there are plenty of people out there way smarter than I am. I’m not a business genius, I’m not a brilliant web developer. In fact, you can ask David (my web developer) how often I break websites. It’s often.
I have drive. I have determination and I don’t quit.
So trust me, I believe in hard work. I believe in #hustle.
Here’s the problem.
YOUNG KIDS ARE WATCHING TOO MANY GARY VAYNERCHUK VIDEOS AND CONVINCING THEMSELVES THAT IF THEY POST ENOUGH INSTAGRAM PICTURES AND CREATE ENOUGH MOTIVATIONAL YOUTUBE VIDEOS THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BUILD A BUSINESS!!!!!
Okay. Deep breathes Tim. Let’s elaborate.
Efficiency is More Important Than Hustle and Intelligence
This conversation always leads to the same place.
“Work smart. Don’t work hard.”
That’s ridiculous. Hard work is essential. Smart people generally will get beat by hard working people. But more important than both hard work and intelligence is efficiency.
Working efficiently is infinitely more important than working smart and working hard.
Here is the question you need to ask yourself on a daily basis.
“How much did I progress?”
There should always be an objective in mind. If you are really serious about Instagram (even though you shouldn’t be) than you should have a daily, weekly, monthly or even all time goal of engagement and followers you want to reach.
Perhaps you are creating a tee shirt line. Rather than randomly posting pictures on social media, I suggest that you make phone calls to wholesalers who may want to buy your product. I suggest that you start finding ways to drive traffic to your website so you can collect email address. How many email addresses are you striving for? How much money do you need to make a day?
You need to quantify your time and your efforts in some way. You need to create a metric to ensure that the time you are sacrificing has a return on it. Or else you are just spinning the hamster wheel. You are working without actually getting anywhere.
So be efficient. Be methodical in your approach and truly get shit done.
Busy Does Not Mean Productive
It is very easy to be busy, but busyness should not be something we want to strive for. You can’t let busyness trick you into thinking that you are being productive. Seth Godin has a beautiful stance on this subject.
Seth Godin elaborates…
“Before, when your shift was done, you were finished. When the in-box was empty, when the forms were processed, you could stop. Now, of course, there’s always one more tweet to make, one more post to write, one more words with friends move to complete. There’s one more e-mail message you can write, one more lens you can construct, one more comment you can respond to. If you want to, you can be never finished.”
You see, it’s not about the amount of work you do. In this day and age, it is literally possible to never run out of things to do. There is enough media and stimulus out there to keep us all twitching for the entirety of our lives.
What matters most is how much value you added. How much meaningful work were you able to contribute to the society, to humanity and to the world?
This is going to be the determining factor of your success, not how little you slept or how much time you spent #hustling. What truly matters is your capacity to produce.
You’re Forgetting How to Use Your Brain
When I was younger, I used to get in trouble a lot.
I mean all the time. I couldn’t stay away from trouble. I don’t know how my mother put up with me. Anyway…
Every time I would get brought home by the cops or suspended from school, I would get the sit down.
It would go something like this:
Dad: What were you thinking?
Me: I didn’t think that….
Dad: EXACTLY!! YOU DIDN’T THINK!!!
Oh man. The memories.
The point is, our youth is so enamored by this #hustle culture that its clouding their ability to think rationally or critically. We see digital entrepreneurs as rap stars. We follow their every move on social media. We look up to these people and we fill our days with as much work as possible in hopes that one day, we will get the break we deserve.
Somewhere in that bombardment of stimulus we lost track of the present moment. Somewhere in between the 30th YouTube video of the day and the 15th cup of coffee, we forgot to be quiet. We forgot to be still.
We forgot that having a clear plan of action, clearly calculated and thought out, will be the shortest path to success.
Read a book. Go sit on the beach (without your cell phone). Go for a night time walk. Just sit on your back porch and listen to the birds chirp.
I promise, if you would actually give your mind time to process and decompress, the answers will come to you naturally.
We spend so much time doing that we have lost the capacity to think.
If you are reading this, be honest with yourself. Take an honest evaluation on how often you fill your mind with stuff. Do you check your phone in every single moment of solitude? Every time you have to wait in line at Starbucks or every time you stand in an elevator?
Let your mind be free. Stop restricting your minds capacity by filling it with junk all the time. If you are wanting to be an entrepreneur then that’s great! But please, you need to embrace your thinking. You need to learn problem solving and creative thinking and relationship skills and all areas in between that have nothing to do with apps or tweets or selfies.
Take care of your brain. Take care of your mind. It is the greatest instrument you will own.
Pay Attention Kids! This Is Important
This is an area that really concerns me.
I don’t think cell phones and social media are evil and I’m not nostalgic, but I worry about the trend that I see within our youth. We are accidentally teaching our kids that busy is a recipe for success.
#Hustle is not an actual skill. It is a trait, and a very valuable one. But if you want a job or you want to start a business, your willingness to work has to be paired with your ability to produce a result.
Life doesn’t give out participation trophies or sportsmanship awards. Life gives trophies to winners.
You don’t want to be remembered as a busy person, you don’t want to be remembered as a smart person. You want to be remembered as a winner.