You know how to “hustle.” Everyone’s talking about it — TV, the internet, books … content everywhere is reminding us to take part of the “rise, grind, and make it happen” mentality.
But is there a difference between hard work and hustle, and is this “hustle mindset” really helping business leaders and employees achieve their goals?
On a recent episode the #FlipMyFunnel podcast, #TakeoverTuesday host Carlos Hidalgo, author of The Unamerican Dream (bit.ly/unamericandream), interviewed Bryan Kramer, who’s an author, speaker, coach, and President and CEO of PureMatter, an #H2H company.
Bryan took us through his life’s journey, which led him to a 30-person agency, before he purposely toppled everything and started over, with just his wife. He tossed out the “hustle” mindset, and started approaching every day with his true goals in mind. The result? He got his health back, his family back, and he actually makes more money.
Here’s what we’re unpacking today:
- The difference between hustle and hard work
- Why failure isn’t the end
- Trapping your identity within your career or profession
- What Bryan’s learned from the rise and restructuring of his agency
This post is based on a #TakeoverTuesday episode of the #FlipMyFunnel podcast. This episode was hosted by Carlos Hidalgo, who interviewed Bryan Kramer. If you’d like to listen to the full episode, you can check it out here and below.
Tell us about the ‘I failed and I survived’ Facebook post?
Bryan Kramer: We create our own path, and sometimes in the mix of that and the messiness of it, we forget what we started out wanting. We find ourselves creating the life we didn’t want. For me, it was starting an agency, creating a team of 30 people, and carrying on the business and doing well. Yet, I didn’t enjoy it.
The company owned me. I didn’t own the company.
And it made it really hard for me to want to go to work every day. My wife and I owned the company together, and we looked at each other and said, “The clients are great (and huge), but they’re driving the business more than we can drive our own business.” We made a strategic decision to restructure, shut it down, and go do the things we wanted. We didn’t want to wait, and we didn’t want to sell the company. So, we went into debt.
We helped everybody as much as we could, to get on their feet with jobs and such. Then we moved into a better place, and now, I’m living. I breathe in and out every day, I’m happy to wake up, I love what I do. It’s created almost more abundance: I’m making more money than I did with a 30-person company. I’m traveling when I want to. My family is happier. I can keep going, but you get the idea.
And so, I posted all that on Facebook. I spelled it out more specifically, and it seemed to resonate, because I think we all go through that on some level.
Why do so many fall into the trap of finding their identity in their careers or businesses?
Bryan Kramer: We get caught chasing something that doesn’t exist. We’re looking at the: “What if?”
My wife would laugh and say: “Bryan, you’re always saying if we just get two more accounts, then we’re going to get there.”
Me: “Well, if we do, then we’re going to be better, we’re going to make more money. We have to support all these people. So, if we just get two more accounts, we’re going to be fine.” Then I would get them, and I’d say, “Well, but we can hire 2 more people if we got 2 MORE accounts.”
My wife’s frustration would come out: “This is never ending!”
We chase this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow that’s not there. That’s not to say that you can’t make a lot of money. It’s not the money I’m talking about, it’s the question of: “What are you actually wanting?” What is at the end of the rainbow that’s so desirable that you think it’s going to give you everything that you need? It’s not what’s at the end of the rainbow, it’s what’s here right now. So, we forget to be present.
What is your response to this whole hustle craze and rise-and-grind kind of mantra?
Bryan Kramer: There’s such a difference between working hard and working to the point to where your health is making it so you can’t see the opportunities. That’s where I was. I was speaking around the world, and I was on the road 200 days a year eating airport and hotel food with very little rest. Then, I got diabetes. So, there I was, giving TED Talks and speaking to everyone about being human, and I felt like such a hypocrite. I thought, “This is not serving anyone else but me, and I don’t even see what it’s doing to me.”
Now , I’ve reversed that, and I’m doing everything the exact way I wanted it in the first place — More time with my family, more time to think, to be creative, to be open, to work with people I love, to do podcasts like this. There are so many more benefits from working slower and in the moment than being hustle-minded. I’m not an advocate of it, if you can’t tell.
If you knew before you started your business what you know now, what would you be doing differently?
Bryan Kramer: Make sure you take an hour for yourself a day. And I mean an hour for you, not for you with your family, not for you as your business. It’s an hour that you get to spend on you.
What parting advice would you give to anybody in the hustle mindset?
Bryan Kramer: The number 1 thing people forget, is that we’re all here to help each other. When you’re truly giving to someone else, you feel like, “Wow, I’m making a difference in their lives.” And they’re going to walk away better for it. There’s this endorphin that goes off — it’s almost like when we’re working out. And if you’re trying to achieve what you’re defining as the “American dream,” which could be another podcast, one more account, 2 more clients, whatever — then achieving those actions alone is just not going to make you happy, at least not in a healthy way.
Creating and building a community where you’re helping each other and being creative with each other: That’s the magic. And I think that is what creates more abundance for you. I wouldn’t be where I am without my community.