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Outsmart the Hustle

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It’s Time to Outsmart the Hustle

I’m over it. I’m done with the hustle. And 2018 presents a very clear shift in direction for me as an entrepreneur. It’s time to “Outsmart the Hustle.”

As entrepreneurs, it’s drilled into us that in order to succeed, we need to hustle. In fact, “hustling” is generally glorified in the realm of entrepreneurship. A good ‘ol story of grit and hustle makes for a much more compelling story than the entrepreneur who figured out a way to sustainably grow her business while making great money, working the way she wants, and having the impact she desires.

Or does it?

Increasingly, the conversations I’m having with independent entrepreneurs has shifted from “how can I build my business?” to “how can I get my life back?” From the outside, it looks like many entrepreneurs have “made it.” But make time for a little real talk and the conversation quickly turns to working all hours, living in constant overwhelm, and hoping that everything won’t come crashing down.

And unfortunately, most of these brilliant service-focused entrepreneurs are going to stay stuck in indecision, all the while, allowing their creativity, joy, and energy to turn into frustration and burnout.

And if this hits close to home, but you don’t know how to fix it, here’ why:

No one is talking about it!

Everyone seems to be focused on marketing funnels and sales pages and high conversion webinars and all of the things you “must do to 3X, 5X, or 10X your biz.”

And we forget that focusing on quick fixes or the latest hot strategy is not the only option.

The truth is, hustle doesn’t lead to an extraordinary life if you value things like taking time enjoy your food (eating in front of the computer doesn’t count), spending quality time with friends and family, and taking great care of yourself.

And on top of that, hustle can only get you so far. Hustle might get you to a good 6-figure biz – $250k/yr tops! But it’s not what gets you to anything beyond that. And it’s certainly not what creates lasting impact.

Ready for a dirty little secret in the world of self-funded entrepreneurs? $1M+ biz owners all say the same thing. “It’s way easier to run a bigger business than a small one.” In fact, many of them point out that if you’ve got a $200k/year business, you’ve most likely created a really high maintenance job for yourself.

So what’s the alternative?

There are a million people out there who will teach you how to make an overnight business. I’m not one of them.

But if you want to know how to build something beautiful – something sustainable, something you’re proud of, something that lasts, and yes, something that’s highly profitable – the reality is that takes time.

And it’s time worth spending.

But that doesn’t mean you have to put off having fun until “someday” so you can focus on your business. You don’t have to buy into the messages you hear about “hustling” and “going all in.”

You can work hard and build a profitable business – and still have a life.

It’s time to start thinking differently. It’s time to do business in a smarter and better way. It’s time to simplify, maximize your capacity, and do less, not more.

If you’re not having fun, your business is dead

I don’t care what anyone says. Running a business takes a ton of time.

You start getting really creative with carving out little bits of time you didn’t even realize you had. An extra 30 minutes here. Working on a weekend night there.

But it’s moments like these that can be really discouraging. Is all this work worth it?

What I’ve learned is that it’s not enough to work hard. I’ve learned to love the craftsmanship of building a sustainable business while also JUST PLAIN HAVING FUN!

This is a total reframe to the “HUSTLE ALL THE TIME” advice you see out there. You see, if I’m honest with myself, I’m the type of person who can easily spend all my time working.

If you’re someone who loves what you do, you might be tempted to go on vacation and spend the whole time looking for high-speed internet so you can grow your business. I know, I know.

We all need to recognize the responsibility that comes with being an entrepreneur. But the biggest risk with this lifestyle is letting your life take a backseat to your work. And that’s a risk I refuse to take.

We get obsessed with making our businesses successful ASAP. So what do we do?

We “buckle down.” We start “hustling” (puke). A lot of us stop going out with friends. We stop having new experiences, the very experiences that we promised ourselves we would have, that energize us, that make us realize why we’re doing this in the first place! We stay in and work – taking pride in the idea that we’re just “weirdos” that most people can’t understand.

You often hear the phrase that entrepreneurs are the only people who are willing to work 80 hours a week for themselves in order to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else.

This sounds admirable, doesn’t it? It’s heroic to make sacrifices that other people aren’t willing to make, so that you can achieve what others can’t.

I don’t mind putting in an 80 hour week here and there. But let's be honest. That’s a sprint! Do that all the time and you’ll break.

This is where blending your work and life pays off. It’s actually easy to put blinders on and work 60-80 hours a week. It’s much harder to think about how to blend work and relationships and travel and new experiences.

Real life is a marathon. You can have a great life AND grow a sizable and profitable business. But it takes being thoughtful and refusing to defer what you really want until someday.

In other words: Build the life you want now, then work for it. Don’t just hustle blindly or you’ll forget why you’re doing it in the first place.

I’m curious: What are some of the messages you’ve heard from the entrepreneurship community that you’re realizing might not be true?

For example: “I have to HUSTLE ALL THE TIME.” Or, “I’ll have fun later… but for right now, I’m all in on my business.”

Live bravely,

Michael

Whenever you’re ready, there are two ways we can help you enjoy life now, create stability, and scale towards impact:

  1. Participate in the upcoming Council of Visionary Business Builders

I’m putting together a new cohort that’s going to start soon… stay tuned for details. In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about how the Council can support you with creating more stability or scale in your business, just grab a spot on my calendar and we’ll have a quick chat. Or, reply to this message and put “council” in the subject line.

  1. Work privately with me

If you’d like to work directly with me directly to design and create more joy, stability or scale in your business, just grab a spot on my calendar or reply to this message and put “private” in the subject line. Tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and we’ll take it from there.

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