A few years ago, when I first went freelance, I would watch hours and hours of videos from a man called Gary Vaynerchuck on YouTube. ‘Vee’ (Vaynerchuck) promotes a hustle mentality. He’s the type that would tell you to sleep when you’re dead. Pretty aggressive hustling, quite masculine in style. I’d get really fired up from watching Gary’s videos and I still do on occasion, but now I take them with a pinch of salt. I’ll explain why.
The mentality of the hustle is a tough one. Many people need this fire under the butt talk to get them to make significant changes in life. The amount of people, mostly women, that I hear talk of starting businesses or side projects but never make any efforts to do so is frustrating and sad.
Frustrating because I know they have it in them. Sad because they can’t see it, or they have some kind of personal block that won’t allow them to move forward. It’s not an uncommon story for us women, it seems for some reason we find it harder than our male counterparts to ‘just do it’.
Do us women want it as much?
Sure. Probably more. Do we let more stop us? Mmmmhm.
So for this, Gary V works. Sort of. Because a few months after falling into the well of ‘no sleep gang’ and the various other catchphrases that help us to get off our arses and do something, we burn out. It’s inevitable. I’ve watched even the most hustling fo hustlers reach burn out. It’s not pretty.
You see, what I realised is that this hustler mentality works predominantly for men. Simply put, and to generalise, men often have more freedom to maintain a hustler lifestyle. Women, again to generalise (but rightly so) do not. Sure, there are exceptions – I am actually one of them, but it’s widely the norm.
Also, most of us women will openly admit we aren’t purely driven by being the best, the first or the most well paid. What we want is a better lifestyle for ourselves. That lifestyle to us includes daily luxuries. Things like being able to shop when we want, or take our family to get massages. Stop working when we want to. Take the day off if our kid’s sick and not feel guilty about it. Go and get a facial at 2pm and feel no way.
Of course we also want to be good at what we do and of COURSE we want the money to show for it! BUT… we want a cocktail of all those things at once. Yeah we want our fucking cake and yes we’re going to eat it too, thanks. So the mentality of hustling doesn’t always work for us, not emotionally or physically.
Over time, I started moving away from Gary’s teaching. I still very much admire him and I very much agree with him on a lot of what he says about marketing and industry movements. I’ve learnt a lot from him over time. But the vibe of his general approach isn’t quite right for me.
Not right now anyway.
Because, a while back I started working with a money and manifestation coach who helped to open my eyes to the idea of attracting what I wanted into my life instead of working myself into the ground for it, a new concept to me and as I discovered, most people.
A complete opposition to Gary’s school of thought.
At first these two sides would often fight against each other. The Gary side felt like it has something to prove. ‘But I’ve worked longer and harder than you, I deserve it more!’
And then there was the side that I dubbed the ‘slow hustle’. The side that knows that everyone is equally entitled to success. And that sometimes, the easier the work is, the more likely it was destined to be your role, and the more you’ll be paid for it. I opened my mind to the idea of making money doing things that I found… well, easy!
The slow hustle ethos is this…
1. We work smart and hard. But hard in the sense of ‘I’ve put my all into this’ not ‘I haven’t slept in two days to deliver this’.
2. We look after ourselves without that becoming an excuse to slack off. We know when we need to take a break and we will recognise when we need downtime. The key to doing this right is to be respecting of our bodies and minds when they need a break, not indulging of them when they want to be lazy.
3. We don’t overcommit ourselves to people or projects because we ‘should’. We say no because we know it’s right for us.
4. We’re open to money coming into our lives easily. We understand that if we are active and use our initiative to start things even when no one is paying attention that it’ll attract the right stuff to us.
5. We don’t put down anyone who doesn’t ‘work as hard’ as us. We know that humans are complex beings and sometimes we are in the privileged positions of not having limiting self beliefs to stop us. We acknowledge some do and we don’t judge. We try to help.
6. We respect the balance. We know that business / career success is only one aspect of our multi faceted lives and we get as much enjoyment and fulfilment from the others too. Family, friends, fitness, food and fun.
I’m fully converted to the slow hustle way of life now. I won’t deny that very occasionally the Gary on my shoulder starts telling me to work longer and harder and show everyone else how much better I am than them but you know what I realised? That voice is ego. And that dude needs to take a chill pill maaaaan. Or perhaps get a 2pm facial on a school day. Because that my friends, is reaaaally making it in life.