An Open Letter to Gary V and All Those Who Hustle
Dessa Brennan

I LOVE what you’ve written here.

As you said, hustle grows out of fear (built upon a scarcity mindset). Hustle seems to be closely related to the need to prove oneself, often by one-upping someone else in your circle/mental world.

Hustle appeals to people who are desperate and that’s where the danger of a hustle mentality is most obvious, I think.

Desperate people are desperate for answers, for help; hustle promises achievement, relief from fear, proof of self-worth, security; desperate people jump into a hustle mentality which exacerbates the fear and increases the stress and induces a cycle of anxiety and burn-out which tends to lead to more desperation, accompanied by increasing negativity and self-doubt because, in the world of hustle, burn-out is failure and failure isn’t acceptable.

I do think there’s a place for hustle, and that’s within the context of flow. Hustle within this context is so different than hustle as a primary mode of operation. When I’m in this flow mentality, I know who I am, I work in quiet confidence, I am clear on what to pursue and what to let pass by, and fear is not part of the picture (or, as you’ve said, it’s there in the rearview mirror but it’s not my driving force). When I’m in flow, I hustle at what I love, motivated by desire. The experience of hustle-within-flow is vastly different than hustle-from-fear. I’ve done both. Hustle works well as a tool or strategy, but poorly as one’s entire mindset. I choose to let flow be my operating mindset, and hustle be a tool I use within it.

Thanks for writing this piece. I really enjoyed reading it.

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