Why I Hate the Word ‘Hustle’ (and how to talk about it)

Why I Hate the Word ‘Hustle’ (and how to talk about it)
[Katy Horst]

As entrepreneurs of businesses, whether they be blogs or passion projects or practically filling a need, we hear the word ‘hustle’ all the time.

Like, all the time.

We hustle to get new clients, new sponsorships, to do the accounting, and the marketing, and the IT, and the blah, blah, blah. We do it all. All the plates are spinning and all the hustling makes us weary. When we hear criticism about our business or when someone offers their unsolicited advice, we hustle to incorporate it. Or push through it unphased. It all comes down to us. Vacation? If we don’t do xyz, who will?

The world will go on, but our business won’t. Hustling isn’t pretty. It isn’t glamorous.

The hardships of the hustle are all ours. Completely, irrevocably, permanently ours. And, that’s the truth of the matter. And, that’s why when I talk about hustle, I’m venting.

My tired, entrepreneur heart just needs someone to tell me it’s good. It’s pretty. It’s effective. Because being an entrepreneur is hard. You don’t make what you used to financially. You don’t have a 401k plan. You don’t have a CEO who runs the show. It’s just you. And, you may have a small team who makes your life easier (I know I do). But, your hustle is still at the center.

USA Today reports that only 20% of businesses survive their first year. It’s hard. It’s all just tough. I’ve wanted to quit my marketing business (Katy Horst Creative) 1000x over.

Check out some serious inspo –
Girl Boss Highlight: So It’s a Show
Women You Should Know: Isabella Graham & Joanna Bethune
Girl Boss Highlight: Poppin’ Pallets
Women You Should Know: Cecilia Payne Gaposchkin

Hustling isn’t glamourous. So here’s three top tips on how to talk about the hustle and speak the truth.

    1. Don’t use the word hustle. Use examples to explain how you are feeling. A quick, “This month is slow and I’m stuck” conveys a lot more than, “Oh, I’m hustling more this month”. Unless you are a “hustler”, your audience won’t know what you mean. Chances are, you’re talking to someone who cares and wants to help. Be clear in explaining how you feel.

  1. Know you aren’t alone. There are so many different facets to this. You aren’t alone because your family (like my husband) is supporting your entrepreneurship hoop dreams. You aren’t alone because every business owner has gone through this phase (or is going through it right now). You aren’t alone because there are hundreds of Facebook and LinkedIn groups for people who own businesses in your industry. Reach out to members. It takes a village, really. Talk about it with people who get it.
  2. There is not an end date, but there are longer times to breathe. Enjoy it when you can just breathe. Breathe and take in the new client. The finished project. The new product. It is cause for celebration, so celebrate! All work and no play makes an entrepreneur a very discouraged boy (and GIRL). Enjoy the process. The hustle is only part of the whole.

The process is important: all the hustle (ew), the triuphs, the redirects, etc. It’s all part of your story and the story of your business. Keep at it, friends! Be bold, create boldy and be unafraid. Many have walked this path before you. Be the 20% who succeed.

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