Episode 13. Do The Hustle? Or Align?
Van McCoy in 1975, advised us all to do 'The Hustle,' in a catchy popular, uplifting, disco song. People all over the world, in every disco, were doing 'The Hustle.'
Originally a line-dance, but in Wolverhampton, it became a high-energy, foot shuffling, stepping dance, akin to the Northern soul dances. Hustlers adroitly moving everywhere with apparent ease. They hustled the original dance, into something else.
Although a great track and dance, it's not so great to be a hustler in real life.
I have encountered the word 'hustle' many time this week. Some business and personal development coaches now use this word to make clients take constant and forceful action.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines hustle as:
1. To push roughly, or jostle.
2. To force, coerce, deal with hurriedly or unceremoniously.
3. To obtain by forceful action, or swindle.
A 'hustler' is defined as:
An active, enterprising, unscrupulous individual.
When I hear the word used, in the context of building a business, or indeed, as a way to personally develop, it conjures negative feelings within me. If I was told by a personal development coach to 'keep hustling,' I would immediately cease all contact with them. It is terrible advice if you want to gain trust or a good reputation, or to grow a business.
Being a hustler, makes somebody known for all the wrong reasons. To keep hustling, or to keep taking random, unfocused action, implies a person is no more than a busy fool with a hidden agenda. And being busy is definitely not the same as being productive. Hounding people only irritates them. This activity won't bring in sustainable business, returning clients or help to keep good friends. No one wants to be constantly harangued by an irritating nuisance, who by definition, might swindle them. It suggests someone without a clear direction or purpose.
Hustling is merely playing the numbers game, relying on chance, to hit an unknown target, hoping to find someone with whom to do business. It may eventually yield the occasional result, but because of its unsustainable nature, hustling always leads to more hustling, in order to constantly connect with new people over and over. Once trust and respect are lost, and annoyance sets in, people are gone forever. They also tell others about their doubts and bad experiences.
A better strategy, that greatly helped me, is to think about where you want to be in the future. What do you want people to say about you, after you're dead? Reputation is paramount. This works both on a business and personal level. What are your personal values?
Assessing how to get to a future point, from the place you're at now, is the foundation of a plan. When you do this work, you can identify what actions you can take to reach your goal.
The next part is to live those values. Build a good reputation by aligning your actions to your values. When you do this, you can answer the question, 'what do I want people to remember me for when I'm dead? Identify what action you need to take, to bridge the gap from where you are now, to the place in which you want to be. Actions become meaningful, no hustling is required. Let everything you do be in alignment with your values.
This alignment within yourself, will also align you to others with the same values as you. People will trust and like you. The same works for hustlers. They align to other hustlers. I don't think they trust or like each other very much.
Building up trustworthy and reliable relationships in our personal lives, and in business, means people are more likely to support and help us. Good recommendations negate any need to constantly pester random people. With a clear vision, you identify who you need to align to. Time can be used productively, with focus and confidence, to move steadily, authentically and morally toward important goals.
Hustling is a directionless, uncertain business. It detracts from identifying and acting upon the proper steps necessary to realise any goal, ambition or dream. It's also a strategy used, by unscrupulous people to distract attention away from underhand motives.
Purposeful, aligned practices, founded on sound values and beliefs will always win out over spurious, desperate hustling. Optimism and faith in a good plan, to move towards identified goals, engenders, security and peace of mind.
When you can take pride in achieving success, through transparent, fair and proper means, others will also be proud of you and be proud to associate with you.
A collective celebration of success.
Do you still want to do 'The Hustle?'
Actions really do speak louder than words.
©Gillian Cullis 25 August 2018