‘Hustle’ is Dead, and You Killed It

The word ‘hustle’ has quickly become the most abused word of 2015. You won’t see any charities raising money for the awareness of hustle abuse, in fact you will probably see something more along the lines of e-fist bumping and high fives in the name of abused hustle.

Perhaps the most unfortunate effect of this abuse is the tarnishing of hustles name sake. A word that used to represent gritty, hard and effective work has now been reduced to dicking around on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Don’t get me wrong, these platforms are a great place to hustle, but that is not what they are being used for. They’re being used for a bastardized version of hustle, if you can call it that.

Let me paint you a picture of what hustle is supposed to be.

Dennis Rodman, HUSTLING after a loose ball

Above you can see Dennis Rodman of the 90's era Chicago Bulls diving for a loose ball, saving it from going out of bounds. This is a demonstration of an intense, hard, focused and concentrated effort to accomplish a difficult and well executed task. This is what hustle used to represent, and this is what used to represent hustle.

A more recent example of hustle is a man named Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary V is actually responsible for popularizing the word ‘hustle’ in recent times, using it as his mantra and super hero ability in the business world.

Gary V hustles. Check out a typical day in the life of Gary V from his YouTube channel.

As you can see, Gary busts ass all day long knocking out meetings and tasks from morning until late night.

When asked what his key to success is, his answer is always built around the word ‘hustle’.

This display is very inspiring, and the length of his work days while remaining productive is staggering. I’m sure this has inspired a lot of great work and accomplishments from onlookers as well.

It has also created a lot of abuse of the word hustle.

Instead of focusing on work quality, time efficiency and total work completed people are now focusing on hours worked.

“I work 25 hours a day!” is now being touted like a badge of honor. What did you get done though?

I BET you, you could have gotten the same amount of work done in a handful of focused, concentrated and well executed hours. You would have also had time to sleep, which is always a nice perk.

So congratulations, you have officially killed the word hustle. A word once beloved by many is now fully claimed by lolygaggers and newsfeed dwellers.

Side Note: In my hometown there was a 3 ft tall wall that some folks used to sit on all day long. It was assumed that these people didn’t have jobs due to the immense amount of time they spent perched on the wall smoking cigarettes. The wall is now a Facebook wall, and cigarettes are now Starbucks coffee’s, but not much has changed. Except they never claimed they were ‘hustling’.

They say if you throw a rock into a pack of dogs and one yelps, that’s the dog that got hit. If you catch yourself yelping while reading this, don’t take it personally. It is very easy to be lulled into the trap of equating hours worked for total work accomplishment and quality. But life is better with a little free time, higher quality work, and you know, getting outside and doing some stuff.

Starting today, ask yourself how you can be better and more efficient. Figure out what you need to get done, and what you would like to get done. Sit down, prioritize, focus and get it done. Then plan the same thing for tomorrow. Don’t feel guilty if you have this evening off. Go to the gym, cook a meal, drink a glass of wine with a friend, and hit it hard again tomorrow.

Obligatory arms crossed blogger pose

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