Jamie grew up poor. A kid with fewer toys compared to the other kids.
Clothes passed down from older siblings. Holidays that never included a trip to the airport.
Always had just enough, but never more than.
None of this made Jamie angry. He appreciated his parents and all their hard work.
But he wanted more, and throughout his childhood he dreamed of a life with… more.
He wouldn’t survive as an adult, he would thrive.
He wouldn’t give his own children just enough… he’d give them all they wanted.
Daydreaming each new day, Jamie imagined a life of tomorrow. He worked hard. Studied hard. Put in the time. Wanted it more than the other kids around him who had so much more…
As they went to the movies on a weekend, Jamie worked.
In the morning, before school, he had a paper route.
Through the rain and wind, sun and heat, Jamie walked miles and miles. He passed many houses, but one caught his eye from the offset. High ceilings and a large garden. Down a country road, away from the hustle and bustle..
Jamie never quite understood why he loved this house so much. But he did. One day he took a picture of it. Pinned it to his wall. Looked at each morning as he woke.
Stared at it each evening, before slipping into bed.
One day he would own that house. One day!
It defined his escape from the poverty line and into the life he believed he deserved.
From Childhood to Adulthood
As the seasons passed and the years with them, Jamie excelled. His hard work paid off, sending him to university and the highest grade in his class. He graduated with the world at his feet, and although he hated the idea of living in the city, he knew it was where he had to be.
A few years of hustle and bustle, then that dream house could be his.
A few years of climbing the ladder, and then an escape back to the countryside.
Jamie continued to work harder than his colleagues, as he did with his classmates at school.
Climbing the ladder high and fast, the zeros on his paycheck increased.
The speed of his company car did, too; a better, more beautiful model each year.
- The business he worked for, and it’s bottom line…
- His resume, packed with experience and accolades…
- His connections, both personal and business…
- His mind: travel, culture, personal development et al …
The years passed quickly now. The family he always wanted came to fruition. He gave them everything they wanted. He gave them the life he never had. They moved into a bigger house. And then another.
But rather than away from the city’s hustle and bustle, they moved closer to its heart.
A picture of the house he spent years desperate to have lost among the ‘things’ he felt compelled to own.
The Hustle and Bustle is What Poisons You
- Why did you start your business?
- Why did you join this entrepreneurial rollercoaster?
Why did you commit to a life most people on this planet are unwilling (and incapable) to live?
As Jamie did, most of us begin with a vision and a dream. We build a life dedicated toward it. We work hard — harder than everyone else — so we can one day touch it, taste and be it.
You have to. If you want something enough, you NEED to work hard for it.
Success doesn’t come easy. Those who sit back and wait do not change the world.
But all that hard work is a means to an end, right?
The hustle and bustle is just what you have to do to get there, yes?
Jamie moved to the big city so he could climb the ladder and one day escape it. He wanted to return to where he began, only this time with the means to live the life he felt destined to.
Yet along the way he forget this. Rather than move away from, he stepped further into the hustle and bustle. He lost sight of what he wanted, blinded by the fast cars and fancy suits he never needed.
Do You Own Your Business or Does it Own You?
Chances are you’re on the same path as Jamie.
It may not feel like it because you don’t wish to climb the corporate ladder.
You’re different because you’re an entrepreneur who owns the business; you don’t work for it.
Your wants are different to Jamie’s…
But are you really so different to him?
You had your reasons for starting your business. I won’t pretend I know what they are. Everyone has their own unique “why” to this rollercoaster we spend the rest of our lives riding.
The point is you had them, and you knew you had to work hard to get it.
- You were ready for the “hustle”
- You were ready for the late nights.
- You were ready for the ups and downs.
- You were ready for the hard work and endless pursuit.
The hustle and bustle was part of your dream. But it wasn’t “the” dream… was it?
A means to an end, yes?
Just as Jamie’s move to the city was…
The Fine Line Between Working “ON” Your Business and ‘IN’ it is The Most Important Line You’ll Ever Tread
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of the hustle and bustle lifestyle so many people glorify.
The online world has opened our eyes to how other people live.
Only… a lot of the time we only see an edited version of their life.
It’s not that I dislike Gary V, but I detest the message he has unfortunately created. He is not alone, of course. This isn’t his fault. No single person is the cause of this problem.
But he is part of it.
As am I.
As is everyone, to some extent.
I see people celebrate their 14-hour day, but what about the tears in the shower as they question if all “this” is worth it. Do we see those stories? Do we read their tales of woe, or simply those of WOW.
It’s driven people:
To push harder and longer, because if we don’t then does that mean we don’t want it enough.
We start with a dream. We have a vision. We wish to change our world and theirs.
We also know we must work hard. That hustle is fine. We’re willing to earn our stripes.
Yet we get caught up inside this hustle and bustle. We look at others and wish we had what they do.
We see them live and act in a certain way, and desire to match their dedication.
So you work and work… and work. You dive deeper still into the hustle and bustle. Like Jamie, rather than bit-by-bit edge away from it, you wake up years later at the heart of it.
Unable to escape. Incapable of remembering why you joined it in the first place.
Is a Hamster Aware it Goes Around and Around?
As the hamster runs around and around the wheel, is it aware it doesn’t move?
As the donkey chases the carrot, does it appreciate it will never reach it?
I don’t know. I’m no Doctor Dolittle.
But I sense not, for it’s fixated on what’s in front of it.
I see little difference between most business owners. They live life (as most people do) on autopilot, focused on what’s in front of them and what they supposedly want.
Like Adam Sandler in the movie Click, they ride the rollercoaster asleep.
This is no way to live life. It’s no way to build a business.
Coasting so, you inevitably lose sight of what you really want. Instead you slip deeper into the daily grind of the many tasks you could do.
- You have a team, sure… but how much of it do you micromanage?
- You’re making money, of course… but how much of it relies on you doing the work?
- You experience growth, hooray… but how much time do you have to step back?
Entrepreneurs love to climb mountains. There’s always the next summit to focus on. This is fine. A fresh challenge is no bad thing.
But surely as you reach that peak you’ve spent so long striding toward, it makes sense to take in the view. Yet this isn’t what we do. We’re onto the next before we completed the last.
This is the hustle and bustle, and it’s no different to the one Jamie lost himself in.
I’ll Ask Again… Do You Own Your Business or Does it Own You?
It’s hard to say what the tipping point for Jamie was.
- A certain car…
- A promotion too many…
- Comparing himself to those further up the ladder…
- A specific number of zeros at the of his monthly paycheck…
Along the way he took down that picture of the house he so dearly wanted. Placed it in a draw. Assumed he would get it out, one day. But then too many passed.
He was in too deep to escape.
He was part of the hustle and bustle.
He was lost… maybe for good.
So many entrepreneurs hop on the rollercoaster, excited to own a business and enjoy a life of freedom and abundance.
It will all come someday soon. But first, I have some hard work to do. To begin with, I’ll get my hands dirty. But one day soon I’ll have someone else do most of it.
I’ll sit back and enjoy what I created. I WILL LIVE MY LIFE!
I’ll focus on less so I can focus more deeply.
I will buy that house and return to the countryside.
The thing is… you get used to the hustle and bustle. The money, fame and authority seduces you. You want more of it. You start to believe you need more of it.
Plus, you’re busy. You have no second to spare. You have no time to step back and reflect. One day, you will. But not now. One day you will own that house, but wait… what does that house look like again?
On But Unaware of The Hamster Wheel You’re Stuck Inside
You can hardly lay claim to own your business when it so clearly owns you.
You’re its employee. It dictates your day and has you held to ransom. The longer you leave it, and the larger you grow it, the harder it gets to escape it’s grasp.
- That team can’t survive without you.
- Nobody can or will sell like you.
- Who could possibly do it as well as you.
This, my friend, is what it’s like to be caught inside your business.
But the aim — in the beginning and always — is to work “ON” it. Because once you work “on” it you can step back as often as you like to reflect, observe and think about the big picture. You can work less, but produce so much more because you have the time to make the “right” decisions.
Proactive, not reactive.
This is why I hate the hustle.
This is why I say #FucktheHustle.
Because it’s the hustle and bustle mentality that places you on this hamster wheel.
- It begins subtle, tempting you aboard.
- It then seduces you with fame and accolade.
- It soon imprisons you, refuses to let you look beyond what’s directly in front of you.
It locks you inside your business, and it holds on to that key tight. If you let it, it will never even let you question it. Like a sick version of Stockholm Syndrome, you fall in love with it and need it. It becomes the dream, instead of a means to an end…
How To Escape The Hustle and Bustle Forever!
Nobody is immune from this harsh reality.
For thousands of years the human race was happy to survive from day to day. As the Lions, Tigers and Bears do, they hunted, gathered and foraged for what they needed.
But then we became farmers; extremely hard workers.
This happened long ago. It’s built into our society, and in part, your DNA.
We are all the potential victim of such a hustle and bustle lifestyle. And as a business owner you are not only at its mercy, but you invite it to your day and let it place a foot inside from day one. BUT… you do get to choose whether to remain part of it or not.
If you’re satisfied with the late nights and long days, fine. Your choice. Your life. Your decision.
But if not — or if you reach a point one day when it no longer serves you — turn your back on it.
It’s not easy.
But it begins with a single step.
And that step, on this occasion, is to be aware of it.
- I am working longer and harder than I would like to.
- I am caught inside my business. I am not working “ON” it.
- I have no time to spare because I choose to fill my time with endless tasks.
None of this makes you a bad person, nor does it mean you’re week. You are human.
But what you need to remember is, you only get ONE life.
As each second passes, it’s gone forever. The minutes wasted are already lost. The moments you waste today are, too. But tomorrow’s haven’t been spent… yet.
So… will you open your eyes and wake up to the situation you’re in.
Or… will you stick your head deeper into the sand and pretend all is well?
ON or IN — The Choice is Yours
The Avett Brothers once sang, “I don’t know how to separate the now from what used to be.”
None of us do. We cling to the past without knowing it. We live today based on the beliefs we formed yesterday. Our business, our life, our everything…
It sends you into a spiral where you simply do what you do. Often, it means you focus on things you don’t need to at best, and should avoid at worst.
You end up working inside your business instead of “ON” it.
You survive in scarcity, instead of thriving through abundance.
You scratch the surface whereas you could go a mile deep.
The hustle and bustle lifestyle does not serve you. It can help you get going, but it won’t help you return to the countryside and live in your dream house. I see people wearing masks of Jamie each and every day.
Some days I do. I am human, after all.
But I am aware, and this is the first step we must all take if we’re to one day escape.
- Are you ready to open your eyes?
- Are you ready to question it?
- Are you ready to fight back?
Are you ready to #FucktheHustle?
** to dive deeper into this notion of leaving the hustle behind so you can live the life you were destined to, check out my latest book; a business parable about how to #FucktheHustle for good **