guy opening shirt“C’mon, hustle up!” yelled the coach. Ugh. I hate hustling up, I thought. I was a 7-year old kid who wanted to watch airplanes fly overhead instead of playing left field, so hustling was not exactly my forté. 

While my history with the word “hustle” may not be the same as anyone else’s, it definitely turns off a lot of people. Maybe it’s all those gangster movies where somebody’s always suspicious of being “hustled,” or it’s the image of that skeevy guy who’s always hustling his friends to get in on whatever questionably crappy venture he has going this week.

Safe to say that the word “hustle” carries some icky connotations. Which is why I hate using it. These days, when I picture somebody who’s “hustling,” I think about those guys on instagram posting pictures of themselves in a private jet or next to a tricked-out Lamborghini. Or both at the same time. Do they really fly in private jets sipping champagne every day? We don’t really know, but they are hustling, so… maybe? The idea seems to be that if you’re not hustling (while leaning on a bright yellow Italian sports car), you’re probably shooting heroin on the couch, binging every season of Duck Dynasty. It seems that you’re a failure if you’re not hustling.

Sometimes it seems that everyone who “hustles” automatically craves private jets and impractical race cars. When you finally get your Level 5 Hustle Badge then woa! It’s a set of toned abs and a pair of $1,000 designer sneakers. I don’t want to know what’s waiting for me in level 6.

Can we stop the hustle train? I want to get off.

Now “rustle up” sounds really good, like we’re going to rustle up some grub. I like to eat, like, a lot, so rustling I can totally get behind.

I have an alternative to the hustle. Let’s cancel hustling altogether and start talking about passion and community. Let’s go back to doing those things we love because we love doing them and they sustain us – spiritually and yes, of course, financially.

Hustling sucks. Hustling feels like keeping up with the Joneses. Hustling is McMansions,  Tony Robbins and his n’ hers Hummers in the driveway. And aren’t we over all that by now? Okay, but can we be over it?

Instead of thinking you need to be hustling all the time, ask yourself some simple questions.

What are you happy with in your life? What do you want to change? What things are you seeking that are someone else’s idea of success and not your own?

There are no wrong answers, unless they’re someone else’s answers. You. do. you.

I know you probably want to earn more money. Maybe you’ve tried some online programs, maybe you feel stuck in a full time job that’s not fulfilling you, possibly you’re finding yourself suddenly unemployed with kids at home. You’re looking for a side gig. You need money and you want to feed your soul.

It’s totally possible. The answer to achieving those two things may not look like anything you’ve ever seen, or anyone else has seen, and especially not something advertised online as the “right” solution for everyone. That’s because it has to be designed by you, for you.

The first step is to cancel the word hustle. Don’t participate. Stop hustling. Go ahead and delete it from your vocabulary, unless you’re streaming a Paul Newman film. You can get the things you really want and create the life you want to live without the pressure of hustling.

Take a few deep breaths and think about what a happy, successful life looks like to you.

I think that when you see it, and you keep it in your mind, you’ll automatically start moving towards it. And yeah, you’re going to have to work hard. Just forget the hustle.

Rustle it up.

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