Hustling is Not the Answer to the Question of Growth

Business not as hot as you’d like? Repeat this simple mantra, “hustle.”

That seems to be the answer you’re most likely to find for all your woes. Write more, create more, network more, pitch more. Hustle.

Really? Hmm…

I don’t have an across-the-board problem with hustling. My problem with it is that it can easily lead to more ugliness than it solves.

When you’re measuring your work against the hustle imperative, it’s hard to see others success in perspective. You end up repeating others hustling instead of figuring out what actions would best serve your own goals.

The hustle imperative can also force you to work from a sense of scarcity. There’s only so much time, only so many tactics, only so many connections that count. You’re constantly racing against the clock and your own sanity.

It’s not that it doesn’t work; it’s that it’s exhausting.

Hustling is not the key to growth. It’s the key to getting individual things done, checking things off the list, sealing the deal. It’s not a long term strategy.

Growth is big. It’s expansive. It’s nourishing.

Growth requires effectiveness. It thrives on ease.

If you’re ready to grow your business–make a bigger impact, reach a wider audience, or generate more revenue, you need to focus on discovering what creates the most returns (as you define them) with as much ease as possible.

Doesn’t sound much like hustling to me. What do you think?

Let’s go a bit deeper with this conundrum, though. It’s not enough to say that growth is more about ease than hustle. There’s a pervasive belief that, while concentrating on ease, strengths, and core desires can lead to plenty of good feelings and a softer variety of prosperity, these things don’t lead to the kind of immense impact that hustling creates.

What I want to see in this new year of growth is a melding of ease & effectiveness with big goals & hardcore prosperity. It’s not a choice.

A brave approach to ease really can lead to bold growth.

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As you begin to execute on your plans for this year, consider what bold growth might mean for you and your business: a bigger team, a shorter workday, 10,000 downloads, a life transformed, a 6-figure year, a book deal, a vacation, a baby, an investment. And as you’re tempted to do more and more and more to achieve that growth, remember that there’s a path–albeit, not well marked–by which you do less to reach greater success.

Effectiveness leads to expansiveness.


My new book, The Art of Growth, tackles exactly this subject. How do you make a bigger impact with your business without working yourself to the bone?