Tough Love Tuesday: Is Hustling Good or Bad For You?


I'm a little late talking about the controversy over Gary Vaynerchuk's use of the word "hustle." A lot of articles and think pieces were going around saying that hustling is terrible for you and Gary Vaynerchuk wants to kill you. After speaking with Gary, one person retracted that statement, but I still feel like it's a topic worth talking about here. A lot of people get Gary's words twisted and I think that happens because something about the way he approaches work and life triggers them. They see someone promoting a ton of hard work, and then they see themselves not working as hard, and then they get upset about it.

Here comes the anti-hustle mentality, which is basically trying to figure out how you can do less work and still achieve the goals that you want. Neither strategy is better than the other.

That was Gary Vaynerchuk's point. For him, hustling means to go all in to live the life you want. If you're happy in your job making $40,000 a year and you have that free time to spend with your family, friends, and kids, and you feel comfortable and secure in that, Gary wants you to change absolutely nothing. If you're unhappy in your job, be it making minimum wage to making high six figures, and you really want to make a change, then that's the moment you need to take stock of your life and figure out what you need to do next. That may mean quitting your job and going full hog on your business. That may mean moving back home or selling your house and moving into a cheaper apartment. That may involve trading in your car for something that costs less. Gary only wants you to go hard if that's what you're called to do. He doesn't want anyone to be unhappy and spending time doing something that makes you miserable is not the end goal here.

It also reminds me of the money mindset master Dave Ramsey's saying of "live like no one else so you can live like no one else." That means you have to make the sacrifices right now to live an extremely happy life in the future. Gary wants you to look at your life and ask what steps can you do now to make things better later on. People tend to worry about the next seven years, but they forget about the next seven days. They worry about what the future is going to be like, but they're not making the steps to get to it now. That's what the hustle is. Hustle is just a catchphrase. All they are saying is what can you do right now to get you to where you want to be.

Some people thrive in working long hours. Some people look up the Tim Ferriss and adopted The Four Hour Workweek approach. Neither is better than the other. What I am doing with my BT's Bootcamp clients are figuring out the best way that they approach work. I have them take The Four Tendencies quiz by Gretchen Rubin to see how they approach meeting expectations. Not only expectations others set for them but the expectations they set for themselves. The four tendencies are Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, and Rebel. I'm an Obliger which means I meet outer expectations and resist inner expectations. Obligers love being held accountable so I need people around me to make sure I am putting in the work. If it were left up to me, I would be sitting on my couch watching YouTube, but I know that I need to write a Tough Love Tuesday post because you all are expecting one every Tuesday. If I had to guess, I think that Gary Vaynerchuk is a Questioner, who meets inner expectations and resist outer expectations. He definitely does what he wants, and does not need other people's approval to do it.

Knowing how you approach work is going to define how you feel about hustle mode. Someone who is a Rebel, who resist both outer and inner expectations, would be completely turned off by working 10 to 12 hour days. But they are still people that contribute to society, so they find the way that works best for them to get work done. Upholders are the most self-motivated people out of us all because they meet both outer and inner expectations. They just get the job done when needs to be done. No one has to ask them to do anything.

I was a little frustrated when I saw people complaining about those who promote hustling because like with anything if it doesn't work for you, then move on. I almost thought it was a little damaging to say hustling isn't good for you. Some people need to go all in or else they won't do anything at all. I know I am that kind of person. If I get too comfortable, good luck trying to get me to do anything, but when I'm in work mode I go all in, and I don't stop until I'm done. That works best for me. Some people can approach things at a slower pace and reach their goals, and that works fantastic for them.

There's nothing wrong with hustling. There is nothing wrong with the anti-hustle. Just find the best way for you to approach work. Find the thing that makes you happy and is going to lead you in the right direction of your desired life. I'll leave you with a quote from the introduction of Gary Vaynerchuk's ‘Crushing It’.

If there’s anything this book should teach you, it’s that the only thing stopping you from achieving a lasting career and life happiness is you.