Are you a hustler or a business owner?
I’ve always been a super ambitious person. In elementary school, during reading time, I would sell bookmarks that I made from loose leaf paper to my classmates who forgot theirs for 25 cents. They were required or you would get in trouble so I would sell 1 or 2 a day. I would fold some loose leaf paper and make some drawings and start peddling behind my teachers back, just hustling my heart out. As an adult I’ve realized I always had a knack for finding ways to make a couple extra dollars here and there and that’s what makes a good hustler.
Let’s fast forward to when I was 19 years old, where I met a man who we will call Johnny. Johnny introduced me to a company who’s name I won’t mention but they franchise their insurance and personal finance operations to anyone who is willing to sell their core products. While I was with them I learned a bunch about finance and different financial products.
Johnny was my trainer at “the company”, his job was to train me on how to sell the products and in turn he would get a percentage of my sales. Sadly, I didn’t last very long with that company. I was pretty young and I didn’t understand the importance of mentors then. However, Johnny did teach me one thing in the time that we worked together , “a business is something that works when you sleep and if you have to be there everyday to make sales and keep the company going then you don’t have a business.”
That quip was the basis of a lifelong understanding of what makes a business, a business. Some may disagree, but no one gets in to business to work everyday for the rest of their lives without building wealth and essentially that’s the difference between a hustler and a business owner.
The term hustler often has a negative connotation, but for the purpose of this article let’s say that hustlers are just people who are really good at finding ways to make a few more dollars every month. Hustling is a measure of effort and tenacity. If you’re willing to work hard and stick with whatever you put your effort into then you’ll be a great hustler. People who are good at hustling make great entrepreneurs but they often spend most of their time at their businesses and have little personal time for family vacations or pet projects. Every dollar they make is directly related to the time they put in and therefore their income potential is always limited.
Business owners on the other hand, make investments in infrastructure and teams so that they can have plenty of time to pursue personal goals and spend time with loved ones. The problem is that in order to become a business owner you have to be a hustler first.
Hustlers get the business started and make the first sales. They organize deals to make enough to support their family but often fall short of a long term sustainable business. Normally these entrepreneurs work really hard, put in long hours and have great ambition, but when they call me they have often maximized their efforts and are frustrated with their lack of growth in their personal income, even though they are working harder than ever. They often think they can’t do anything more with their business and that they have grown their sales as much as they possibly can and start focusing their efforts elsewhere but after a few moments of conversation they see a new strategy start to form and a path to becoming a business owner forms in their minds.
So then how does someone make the transition? Well, the first step is to build systems to standardize quality and output. Once you figure out a system that works you can build a model around it and replicate or scale it until you reach your goals or even further. It will take hard work and some technical skills but once you figure out how to scale and what your drivers of growth are you’ll be on the right path.
Along the way you will experience bumps and bruises but that’s where the resourcefulness of starting out as a hustler comes in and helps you find solutions to those problems. Next, you need to develop a solid team of employees and advisors that will help you continue to grow the firm.
Finding both a hustler and a business person in one person is rare but when you do, you find a brilliant entrepreneur who lavishes in success.
So, which one are you? How do you plan to scale your model to reach your goals?
I love to help so contact me if you feel like you’re stuck with your business!