I have no idea who first came up with the concept of the online hustle, but I’d like them to be the first person lined up for the firing squad when the revolution finally comes.
To be clear, I’m not against ‘The Hustle’. If you’re busting your hump trying to get somewhere, I think that’s commendable. However, I believe ‘The Hustle’ has been co-opted by two online groups: The Online Marketing folks, and the Instagram Fakers. I can’t decide which is worse.
The Online Marketing people at least tell you that there’s work involved, I’ll give them that. But there are one or two of them that believe that hustle means working what amounts to 20 hour days, but that’s ok because when you’re in your 20s, you can handle it. We’re not built to do that, not at any age, not for a prolonged period. The body and brain will break down. That’s not a prediction, that’s my experience. I did it for about ten months before I had to stop, and it wasn’t a gentle suggestion that I do so, it was me passing out and hitting the floor face first and hard. Why would I do something stupid like that? Because I believed the hype. I believed that working your ass off, being the first to get there and the last to leave, and believing 40 hours a week was for losers. I believed it because my dad did it because people I looked up to did it. All of us, every single one of us, pays the bill when it comes due. Shortly after my incident, my dad had a heart attack. One of my friends went into rehab, and someone I looked up to just straight up didn’t come to work anymore, and disappeared.
To be more direct with the online guys, they suggest working your 8–5 job, coming home, and work on your stuff from 7 to 1 or 2 in the morning. Do the math. If you have a day job, this will eventually lead to burnout, or at worst the same result as my first example. I work from 7–9:30 pm and I go to bed at between 10:30 and 11:00 pm. I get up at 5. On the weekends, I block out some time to work on my podcast and other interests after dinner and maybe a little later than 9:30. I don’t stay up late anymore. I haven’t seen the other side of midnight in a few years, and I don’t care to.
On the other hand, Instagram Fakers are complete bullshit. I’m not even sure how far down this rabbit hole I need to go. In a world where you must realize that most of the social media is people posting their human highlight reels, “Influencers” are a step beyond. Recently, I saw one of these idiots climbing into a Rolls Royce talking like it was his. Then the real owner of the Rolls showed up. He was not happy. The faker responded that he was “doin’ it for the ‘Gram.” It’s laughable, and yet somehow they manage to convince people they’re legit. I’d like to recommend Baller Busters on Instagram. They’re dedicated to exposing these people for what they are: Clowns. While Baller Busters exposes one layer of garbage on Instagram, it’s really low hanging fruit. However, it’s a good starting place to learn how to be skeptical of what you see, not just on Instagram but social media as a whole.
There’s nothing wrong with working towards a goal every day, but ‘The Hustle’ is an illusion. Please don’t get tricked into believing the only way to success is non-stop work to the exclusion of everything else.