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Killing Hustle Culture is Your Best Entrepreneurship Move

February 1, 2023

Hustle culture promoters have written and breathlessly preached about the benefits of grinding and working tirelessly on social media. Promoting how they are getting things done while others (you) sit back and wait for the opportunities they have earned.

It seems like everyone has a hustle nowadays. Starting a new dropshipping business is a hustle. Driving for Uber is a hustle. Picking up a side gig (or five) is hustling.

In fact, LendingTree found that 44% of Americans have a side hustle. If you feel uneasy about your current financial situation or business’s state, you may be considering taking on a side hustle or diving into everything that “Hustle Culture” promises.

So let’s talk about it.

What is Hustle Culture?

Hustle culture- the updated branding of workaholism - is the encouragement of overworking yourself and pushing yourself beyond your limits for the sake of business. It teaches that putting in additional hours and weekends, working multiple jobs, and sustaining yourself using fewer resources and/or less expensive means will lead to the expected rewards.

Hustle culture's values, being prominently spread through social media, imply that overworking is the only way to have a successful business or lifestyle. Working according to this belief creates major stress and burnout for an entrepreneur and employees alike.

The Impact of Hustle Culture on Health

Simply put - absolutes usually indicate false answers. Overextending yourself for the success of your company can potentially materialize into a short-term bump in results, but put your health in jeopardy.

Health professionals caution that giving into hustle culture creates extensive feelings of anxiety and guilt associated with one’s company and self. Often, an overworked individual will experience immense fatigue that leads to a decrease in productivity and creativity in the long term.

Benefits of Taking a Beat

It comes as no surprise that a night of quality sleep is essential for any working individual, but just how essential is it?

A restless night can affect your overall health, causing a decrease in creativity and motivation, immunity, as well as reducing your life expectancy. Studies have shown that sleeping 5 hours or less a night on average can reduce life expectancy by almost 12 years!

How to Entrepreneur Without Giving in to Hustle Culture

As an entrepreneur, it’s important to stay disciplined and focused on your work. However, there are better ways to do that without racing toward burnout.

Take Care of Number One

Often when people participate in hustle culture, they focus solely on work, letting the glorified long work weeks overshadow the importance of self-care. However, Meta-analytic studies show that sleep deprivation is a strong inhibitor of workplace performance.

Lack of sleep leads to detriments in job performance, productivity, and career satisfaction, as well as an increase in job-related accidents, absenteeism, and counterproductive work behaviors developed to cope with the lack of self-care. In contrast, better sleep equals better performance. It has been linked to improved memory, knowledge acquisition, and learning.

Practicing self-care benefits you professionally. Self-care can help minimize burnout, increase engagement and even boost productivity! Simply put - we cannot divorce our personal selves from our professional selves. So, keeping up with personal wellness such as exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep should be a vital priority at all stages of entrepreneurship and in life.

Balance Your (Time) Budget

In personal finance, balancing your budget begins with knowing where you spend your money. Similarly, your allocation of time can be tracked, optimized, and made to work for you. You likely have a long list of things you want to accomplish in life as an entrepreneur. But when everything is a priority then nothing is truly a priority.

Working hard for your business is pointless if you don’t also get to see it flourish and reap the rewards of the work. We all want to live a meaningful life, impact the world, build strong relationships, learn new skills and grow as individuals, and take care of our health - in short, achieve a fulfilling and productive life. Time bucketing can help you move toward that.

Pre-scheduling your workload is a great way to prevent burnout. Being mindful to not overschedule and to keep true to your true needs. Throughout your week, allot amounts of time to just strictly working with no distractions. You can delve deeply into your scheduling by separately planning specific times for creativity, execution, and self-growth. Or you can more broadly schedule those under working on your business.

When you are done working, give yourself time to relax or to do something that you enjoy outside of work. By keeping guidelines for working time, you will naturally fall into a more intuitive schedule that works for you, thus, avoiding burnout.

No One Compares to You

Social media makes it very easy to compare yourself to the curated version of the Joneses that may appear “more successful” than you and attribute their “winnings” to hustle culture. But it is 2023 and we know better than to define success through a singular cliche angle.

Starting a new venture is a success. Building a business is a success. Finding your purpose is a success. Focusing on your own growth and celebrating your accomplishments - no matter how they compare to others - is going to positively impact your health and the health of your business. Negatively comparing yourself to others simply will not help you.

There is also no timeline or age limit to achieving success. Data on successful entrepreneurs shows the average age of business founders is around 40 years old, according to research by MIT. Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook at the age of 19 while Reid Hoffman founded LinkedIn at 35. Both companies are now publicly traded and established worldwide.

Kill The Hustle

Running a business takes hard work. It is bound to cause stress at some point. But despite potential future challenges and growth goals, it is paramount to prioritize one’s well-being. When mental and/or physical health struggles, so too does the business.

Be realistic with your limitations and innovate toward better solutions than overexertion. Your future self will thank you for a more harmonious life and boost in productivity, confidence, and creativity achieved from abandoning hustle culture.