The Hustle Is a Hustle

Hey there! 

It’s Gene Petrov- LDRBRND. Today I wanted to take a minute to talk about this idea of the hustle culture hype. 

Let’s talk about what this word means.


What does it mean to put that tiny modifier “the” in front of it?

Let’s go back to the basics. When I was growing up, we talked about somebody who hustles as someone who gives a lot of extra effort. They give their best and try really hard. Even if they don’t have the greatest ability, they’re able to overcome it with extra effort. 

That’s a good thing in my book. 

Pete Rose And The True Meaning Of Hustle

I remember the famous baseball player Pete Rose. He earned the nickname “Charlie Hustle.” His play in the 1970s demonstrated the mentality of “going the extra mile.” That hustle meant he ran for first base with gusto every single time.

He didn’t give up if he thought he was going to be an easy out. He tried for that extra base every single time and tried to give his best. It was those extra measures of effort that helped him succeed where others wouldn’t. 

That type of effort is great when we talk about hustle. Being equated with hard work, giving extra energy and effort, and going the extra mile? That’s a wonderful thing. That’s a beautiful thing and I’m all about trying to give the best that we have. 

The Danger Of The Hustle Culture

We also have the other definition of hustle. It means to perform a scam, trick people, or hoodwink someone. It means extracting money or value from people without giving anything in return. 

That’s not a good thing.




I can’t get on board with that.

Then there’s this third idea of “The hustle” (notice the small modifier). This idea comes from the world of tech, startups, and entrepreneurship. We’ve all seen the quotes, graphics, articles, videos, and podcasts. They glorify and perpetuate this idea of working 18 hours days – all in pursuit of being the next Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, or Jeff Bezos. 

What most people don’t realize about these icons of industry is:

  1. They are outliers. They are exceptions to the rule. Not everyone will build billion-dollar companies or brands. It’s not possible. Nor should we. We can find success where we are, with what we have, and the size of our business.
  2. Their talent and drive intersected with unique moments in time and technology. We can’t replicate that. No one can predict the future of tech and leverage it to their benefit. We may be able to ride some larger trends, but it takes incredible insight to create entire categories of products or services.
  3. Their personal lives aren’t exactly a model to follow. They’re zealousness in pursuit of their ideas created carnage to their family members. Divorce and generally unhealthy relationships seem to be the norm. Are we willing to pay the price for fame?

This is not to say that we should dismiss these titans. We can learn from them. But it is equally useful to learn what NOT to do.

We should work hard and give our best efforts. But we also have to be cognizant of becoming obsessed and unhealthy. We can succumb to overwork. We can become somebody who’s only a one-dimensional character. A one-sided human being (all work and no play) is no good.

That’s not healthy. 

Servant-Based Leadership Starts With Serving Ourselves

I believe in having healthy boundaries separating our lives so that way we can be whole people. 

We have our work person, our family person, our hobbies, and our ability to rest.

“The hustle” flies in the face of that. It legitimizes and normalizes a life of endless work and unrestrained passion. That lifestyle leads to incredible levels of stress and pressure to the point of mental breakdowns and illnesses. 

I don’t want that for any of us.

The sad truth is that there are people who’ve taken advantage of “the hustle” culture. They’re constantly talking about this type of hustle to sell people on something. It’s a vile and unethical industry.

These shysters perpetuate the myth and deceive people with their false success (stacks of cash, Lamborghinis, mansions, scantily clad models). Then they sell books/e-books, online courses, masterminds, t-shirts, shoes, journals, etc to dupe the innocent. These people are manipulators and shameful scam artists. They are playing on other people’s emotions for their own monetary gain.

That’s why I say “the hustle” is a hustle. 

There are too many people who are doing themselves and others harm by unwittingly glorifying and perpetuating this idea. Now we see “the hustle” culture and hustle hype experience a backlash. There are even people talking about avoiding, blocking, muting, and ignoring all the hustle porn. It becomes an addiction. 

Don’t fall for this scam. Let’s combat it instead, this way:

Work hard. 

Be diligent in what we do.

Then have time for family, hobbies, and rest. 

Let’s take care of health and well-being. Let’s make sure we support all areas of life:

  • – Mental
  • – Emotional
  • – Physical
  • – Spiritual
  • – Career
  • – Family
  • – Friendship
  • – Community
  • – Hobbies

When we choose to ignore one of these, it ultimately affects them all. That’s what it means to be a whole human being. We can invest in these areas and honor them by setting and maintaining healthy boundaries

I understand that sometimes we have emergencies. One area has to receive some extra attention for a while. But there has to be a return to homeostasis to promote long term well being and success. We can ask ourselves daily “Am I suffering in one area? What can i do to improve this?” Then go do it (follow through is a must). 

In the end, I want us all as LDRBRNDs to be characterized as people of high work ethic. But also as people who are healthy in all areas of life. Be a person who is multidimensional. It’s that holistic approach that I strive to model and teach because I believe in it fervently. 

That seems like true success to me. Don’t you think?

If you’d like to watch the video from this post:

The Hustle is a Hustle - Don't Fall Prey to the Hustle Culture and Hype

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