the hustle. that damn funky dance, in the fulcrum of the seventies disco era. it was a craze in a wave of freedom and love. it was contagious. it was something you did if you were with it and hip, to be seen and felt in the places that were with it and hip. not to be confused with the places just shortly after that were so obviously not with it or hip.
hustle. a phrase and command I heard so often on the soccer field, meant to ignite energy and excitement and movement on the pitch. and you did, you moved! lest not to let your coach down nor your teammates and especially not yourself. hustle up and attack and don’t give up, this game is yours if you take it.
This graphic. showing that among the sparkling and engaging falsehood of a Charlatan and the blindly sacrificial devotion of the martyr exists this strategic in-between, toeing the line between hypnotism and hypocrisy and laughing all the way to the motherfucking bank. this is the essence and plight of the hustler.
lover, fighter, raconteur // hustler, fighter, entrepreneur.
Brooklyn I’m trying… to what? to fucking hustle. because this is why we live here. living ain’t easy and this city is far from a launch pad. it’s a sink or swim, make it or break it, love it or leave it, pushed out of the nest, training wheels off and you’re still back there right mom??!, it’s the penguin being pushed off the iceberg to see if anything below is hungry. it’s the hustle. It’s contagious and energizing and hypnotizing and us. it’s in us and that’s why we’re here in this town. for the conversations and inspirations we have and hear every day. for the way we learn people are living and the why we know they are staying. that indie hustle baby.
So how do you find yours?
Recognize that it’s all in your hands. in this is the era of self promotion, use your power for good and not evil. use it to spread and create, not to scroll and breed hate. recognition is integral to the creative entrepreneurial experience, and it’s all literally at our fingertips. you have never been more accessible nor your dreams more impressionable. create it, believe it, produce it, express it.
Identify and fight resistance, actively and aggressively. Because if you’re of this insatiably creative mindset, you are being fought actively and entirely by resistance, or anything that keeps you from meeting your goals. it’s entertainment, it’s leisure, it’s sex, it’s distraction. recognize what is tempting you from creating and building your best life. build your defenses. deliberately and relentlessly fight against it. all work and no play makes jack a dull boy but you were born of radiance. fight this resistance by being above it.
Demolish first step. eliminate it. because “the first step is the hardest” isn’t a euphemism, it’s the truth. trying to simply start feels nearly impossible, so defeat that step actively and purposefully. step all over it with your eyes closed. write the first word, sing the first note, paint the first stroke, schedule the first meeting. order business cards and sidewalk stencils. start, because
inspiration doesn’t gracefully fall upon you and opportunity comes to those who are prepared.
Own that shit. I had the opportunity a few years ago to see Cheryl Strayed, a hustler who turned her emotionally challenging past into an addictive advice column that then gave her a strong voice and confidence to go on to become a bestselling author… i had an opportunity to see her speak in brooklyn and she recounted a story that fell somewhere along that path between emotional challenges and novel-turned-blockbuster that will stick with me forever. she was talking about the power of permission. how if we are pursuing and believing in something other than what it says on our college degree or our business card then we often feel like we aren’t allowed to own it as ours. “i’m a digital strategist and i write on the side” or “i’m a server which takes away from my time to audition for broadway… which i guess is why i ended up in new york.” how simple and empowering all of these scenarios would be if we gave ourselves permission to let our passions drive our lives and conversations. to be the hustle. “i’m a writer working in digital marketing,” this is me. and it’s hard to say because you’re always worried about the next question – what are you writing now? what have you had published? ms. strayed recounted a story of her meeting with a colleague and he recognized her desire to be a writer, and didn’t really understand what the hold up was. “what are you waiting for, someone to give you permission? cheryl, you’re a writer. ok? you are. there, i gave you permission.” this passive-aggressive jab was empowering, ironically enough. she began to call herself a writer, believe in herself as a writer, and live her life as a writer. she owned that shit, and then reese witherspoon was nominated for an oscar for her portrayal of cheryl in wild.
Recognize, honey, that if you were born with the hustle in your heart you are one of the lucky and burdened few. you can’t rest but your waking hours are something to beheld. so behold and be strong and be more than you think you are and more than they can handle. do the hustle and hustle up, you charlatan-martyr you. I can’t wait to see what you create.