Immerse. Monetize. Lean in. Rise. Grind. Repeat. Build your empire… of what, exactly? Fuck that.
Hustle culture can go to hell — it pushes us to constantly move the goalpost and promotes the batshit belief that exhaustion is a virtue.
Working hard, even hustling, doesn’t need to equal exhaustion. It doesn’t need to equal continuing to move at all costs.
An ultra-successful entrepreneur with quite a following, whom we sometimes agree with, once wrote: “The secret to success is this: work harder. When you think you’ve worked your hardest, go even deeper. “
For many people, hard work is a determining factor in success, depending on how you define it. But like, what even is hard work?
Hard Work is Subjective
A mom working part-time is absolutely busting ass, working harder, even, than her young, single co-worker working full-time who lives with their parents. For someone feeling crushed by depression, just showing up might be hard work. Taking one class might be a grind for someone to whom school doesn’t come easy.
Once, we interviewed a young attorney about an award she was receiving. We asked her what she was most proud of in her career, and she told us a story about breaking her arm after crashing her bike while she was training for an Iron Man. Instead of going to the hospital like a sane person, she went to work for a fucking week before finally going to the emergency room. Her superiors phrased her as a badass who shows up for the firm no matter what. For neglecting a severe injury in service of the all-mighty hustle, she was told she was “a cut above the rest. A beast. A real asset.” While we smiled and nodded and said, “Woooooooowwww,” we really wanted to ask her if she was mentally ok.
Perfect is the Enemy of Good
We love working hard. It feels good. When you own a business, you gotta work like a motherfucker to be successful. You do have to keep moving forward, inch by inch.
At Vuglar Advice, we love our work so goddamn much. Writing for the enjoyment of the masses is all we’ve ever wanted to do, and we can’t fucking believe we get to do it every day. We could do it all day, every day. Sometimes, we do. But even in doing the thing we love most, we burn out. And it usually happens before we even realize it.
We’ve learned to work in a way that gives us a return, whether immediate or in the future, to quantify and qualify our actions related to work so we aren’t perusing amorphous “growth.”
Working hard without depleting your resources is a skill worth learning. Yes, we know that the economy is a fucked place for many, and not being depleted isn’t an option for everyone. But if you are meeting your needs and inching toward your goals, then by all means, fucking chill.
As our favorite enemy of the church once said, perfect is the enemy of good. In pursuit of an ideal life, you can fuck up a good life.
One of the ways we grow is by making sacrifices in the present that will pay off tomorrow. Or, as we like to say, doing your future self a goddamn favor. But hustle culture encourages us to swing too far the other way, to kill our present for the future.
You can build a fucking awesome future while living deeply in your present.
Today, turn the volume down on your hustle.