My dearest reader, it may interest you to know that, as a matter of principle, I do not buckle down, hammer away or hustle.
I don’t keep my shoulder to the wheel, and I most assuredly do not partake of – angels and ministers of grace defend us all – “the grind.”
Don’t misunderstand me, I have no aversion to hard work – that is, the continuous application of effort and skill to achieve a desired goal.
Indeed, I work hard every day to make my business a success and otherwise maintain the rockstar/rocket surgeon lifestyle to which I have become accustomed.
I simply don’t subscribe to the idea that hard work needs to be tedious, dull and repetitive. I don’t believe that you need to work 17 hours a day, slogging away at a project like a prisoner desperate to escape his cell by digging with a spoon.
A fork yes, but a spoon? Madness.
There are several reasons why I eschew such methodological monkey-business, but the main one is that such assertions are largely about show business.
A relatively recent and frankly disturbing trend in the entrepreneurial world is this peer pressure to constantly be working. There are many who look down their collective nasal appendages at those who they feel are not REAL entrepreneurs because they don’t work an absurd amount of hours per day on “the grind.”
These pernicious paragons of the professional class vilify and denigrate those who they feel do not “hustle” enough in their chosen fields. (If you’ll forgive the use of such dreadful vulgarities as “professional.”)
It’s worth noting here that the word “hustle,” aside from being a popular dance style in the 1970’s, traditionally meant “to swindle or con someone.” An interesting word to use in the world of business, n’est-ce pas?
Take from that what you will.
My dear reader, the simple truth is that many of the entrepreneur-humans judging others for their supposed lack of hustle do not actually work anywhere near the hours they claim. The ones who actually do are often engaged in a fool’s errand, an unsustainable level of activity that will eventually lead to burnout or worse.
I’m developing a different path for my business and life. Possibly a better one, possibly not, certainly one more suited to me.
I call it: The Practice.
The Practice is a way of living and working that, by its very nature, is difficult, if not impossible, to describe. The reason for this is that it’s aligned so closely to the specific human-shaped human who employs it.
One of the primary tenets of The Practice is that any and all work done within MUST be human-centric. The work must MATTER on some level.
As the name suggests, The Practice involves a never-ending process of learning. Learning from mistakes, learning from successes, learning from the successes born out of the mistakes and so on.
The Practice is built on a foundation of alignment – alignment with one’s specific voice, style, beliefs, hopes, fears and preferences.
The Practice is about following (and trusting) one’s heart and intuition, even when it goes against accepted wisdom and established “rules.”
Success within The Practice is not based on some quantifiable, numerical scoring system. It’s not based on followers, likes, or dollars in the bank. It’s based on the metric of lives touched, of souls set alight.
The Practice cannot be contained in a spreadsheet, nor can it be found in a vague, lofty-sounding and sleep-inducing vision statement.
As you can see, The Practice is difficult to define in concrete terms. That’s one of its strengths.
Now at this point, some bright spark may sputter indignantly into his or her frappuccino and raise an objection. “Now just a gosh darned minute!” He or she will exclaim, having apparently escaped from a 1950’s TV show. “There are about eleventeen bazillion business brainboxes out there who have all the answers and the processes for raking in cash faster than they can spend it on 24 karat gold-encrusted chandeliers for their dog’s Spanish retirement villa. Surely they can’t all be wrong can they?”
I can answer that question easily: Yes… and no.
Yes, those eleventeen bazillion experts CAN be wrong about their process/plan/method being the ONLY path to success, or that it is the PERFECT one for everyone.
No, they CANNOT be wrong about it being A path to success. The perfect one… for them.
It’s quite possible that many of them have stumbled on their version of The Practice. Only their heart knows for sure.
Dear reader, I feel as if I’ve begun rambling a bit, so I’ll conclude with a suggestion if I may:
Explore your own heart and spirit and see how that fits into your business. How does your work feel? Does it matter? Does it really, truly matter? Not just to your clients, but to YOU?
Who knows? You may discover your own version of The Practice, or perhaps… something else entirely.
That’s all for now. Until our electrons once again interact within the digital aether…
Remember to experience to extremes and expect me… when you see me.