How To Hustle: What I learned in 2016

As the year comes to a close, I can’t help but reflect on the stories, moments and ideas that defined the last 365 days.

As an entrepreneur, I’m continuously learning, discovering and listening to the signals of the market, thoughts of my team, and needs of our customers. I’m presented with new challenges daily and I fail frequently. The overarching theme that has defined my entrepreneurial journey thus far is learning how to hustle.

Hustling is the art of making sh*t happen.

It’s my crusade in the face of market adversity. It’s about being tactical and moving from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm. 90% of success is showing up, and sometimes you have to stop thinking and start doing!

Here are a few components of the hustle that I think about regularly and have defined my experience in early-stage companies. Some people are born hustlers and for others it is a learned technique. Regardless whether you are extroverted, or introverted you can master the art of the hustle if you work at it.

Build Your Brand: Growing your personal brand to create a digital footprint that endures in today’s chaotic digital world is essential. Start thinking of yourself as a corporation. You’re the Chief Executive Officer of your life. Growing your personal brand builds your credibility and empathy with your story. As a result, others will feel more inclined to help you get to where you want to go.

How To Own Your Personal Brand Like A Boss

Evangelize: While growing your brand, you have to make a conscious effort to promote it. Tell people what you are up to, and also have confidence in your accomplishments. Successful entrepreneurs are great self-promoters and believe in both their business and themselves.

Rejection: You’re going to fail. Repeatedly. You’ll fall flat on your face, feel like an idiot, and overcome huge waves of doubt. Embrace it, and challenge yourself. You have to be your number one fan, or you’ve lost. The market is really good at tearing you down so you’ve got to believe in yourself.

“If you’re not pissing anyone off, you’re probably not exciting anybody either” -Charlie Wollborg

Persistence: You are the driver of your own crusade. YOU have to make it happen. Sometimes it’s really tough. You have to remember that you’re in it for the long haul and being relentless is a desire that’s not shared by most. Your willingness to stick it out and break down doors is a large determinant of your success.

Listen: Ignore the haters, but listen to the people who were there from the start and will actually help you get to the next milestone. It’s easy to overlook the thoughts, conversations, and advice that’s right in front of you. You have two ears and only one mouth for a reason.

Be Amazing, Be Everywhere, Be Real. — Jason Calacanis

Patience: It takes time. It doesn’t matter if the last 3, 6, or 12 months haven’t clicked — keep grinding… so many people don’t realize how much work it actually takes to “get there”. I haven’t gotten there, but I know where I’m headed and I’m in the driver’s seat!

Get off your butt, stop thinking, and start hustling. The grind is real in 2017.

Good luck!

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