The Myth of The Hustle

What's your relationship to the word "Hustle?"

Me? I used to wear it like a badge of pride. "I'm a hustler!" I would proudly proclaim. And I worked through long ass hours living that coveted Silicon Valley life.

Then I burned out in corporate.

"Ok, no more of that!" I said. Then I started my own business and became a high-flying consultant. Literally. I was flying to different countries, working out of hotel rooms and airport lounges, proud of my so-called "freedom."

Then I burned out again.

See a pattern here? Let me be a cautionary tale to you. And today I want to tell you about the myth of the hustle.

It has been programmed into many of us that you gotta continue to hustle to survive. You gotta strive for success. And when you reach success it's not enough, and you have to chase more.

There's a term for this. It's called the "hedonic treadmill." This is when people repeatedly return to their baseline level of happiness, regardless of what happens to them. In essence, never truly being MORE happy because there is no "enough."

I can share that while I have lived a generally happy and grateful life, I have been caught in the need to hustle, hungry for more.

I learned this behavior from my immigrant parents. The difference was that they were hustling to survive and put a roof over our heads. Me? Hustling to prove that I was enough. Worthy enough. A good enough daughter.

Even after they died I felt like I had something to prove. But when I was working 12 hours a day in March every day I knew that something had to change.

It was time to get off the treadmill and find more balance in my life. Conveniently my boyfriend, who is a startup CEO, came to the same conclusion about his life too. So we both committed to find more balance.

Now I'm all about prioritizing my health and relationships before wealth. I'm working on my passive income goals, and generally, taking it easier.

I don't need to hustle to survive. Many of us in the modern world don't anymore, even though it's programmed into us. There's a better way.

More balance IS possible.

What?! Yes. It really is. The thing is, work life balance doesn’t look like an even split between work and life.

So what does balance mean then? It means juggling, prioritizing, re-prioritizing, iterating, finding out what works for YOU.

There’s no perfect stable recipe. One day you could be working a ton and the next you could be at the beach with your family.

As I tell my coaching clients: Work life balance is a sliding scale. A see saw. There are ebbs and flows.

As an entrepreneur, my work is an integral part of my life. But I don’t let it consume me entirely anymore.

Does this topic make you feel some kinda way? Are you nodding your head a bit? Then I can highly recommend reading this Atlantic article on Why Success Won't Make You Happy . As Arthur C. Brooks explains: The pursuit of achievement distracts from the deeply ordinary activities and relationships that make life meaningful.

  • What role does hustling play in your life?
  • What would more work life balance bring to you?

Take care of yourselves.

With love and light,

Jenn