“Without hustle, your talent will only get you so far” or “Hustle so you don’t have to struggle.”
This kind of thinking is common in today’s workforce, with similar soundbites often shared by entrepreneurial gurus and proponents of hustle culture like Gary Vaynerchuk or Grant Gardone.
Defining Hustle Culture
Hustle culture can be simply summarized as a lifestyle that teaches people that overworking is the only way to be successful and earn the respect of others. It requires you to squeeze every little drop of productivity out of the day to work, often at the expense of sleep, friendships, or hobbies.
If you were to look at the routines of some of the most successful people in America and current leaders of the industry, such as Jeff Bezos or Mary Barra, you would find that they share a comment habit – they don’t sleep much. That is because they are trying to get as much done during their day as possible. For example, Elon Musk once told Joe Rogan that he gets only six hours of sleep at night. If he sleeps any more, his work suffers.
A Growing Trend
The popularity of hustle culture is on the rise, fueled primarily by today’s remote work acceptance and capabilities. Without the need to commute to and from the office, people are clocking on sooner and staying online later. In fact, according to a recent study, “nearly 70 percent of professionals who transitioned to remote work because of the pandemic say they now work on the weekends, and 45 percent say they regularly work more hours during the week than they did before.”
In addition to working long hours on their primary employment, the exponential growth of remote tools and applications is helping more and more people build and develop side-businesses. So now, people are not only working all day, but they are also working well into the night as well.
While there is certainly something to be gained from outworking those around you and putting forth a maximum effort, what are you sacrificing in exchange for adopting a hustle culture lifestyle?
The Pros of Hustle Culture
No doubt about it, one significant upside of hustle culture is the boost to your productivity. You’ll find that you are able to accomplish much more in a day if you fully immerse yourself in this lifestyle. And as previously mentioned, the plethora of remote tools enable you to get even more out of your day, saving yourself time wasted commuting or going out for lunch.
Another pro, which stems from your increased productivity and dedication, is career success. In many ways, hustle culture is an application of the ten-thousand-hour rule. It has been said that to master a skill, you must spend ten thousand hours practicing it. Similarly, the harder you work, and the more hours you devote to your career or growing your business, the greater your chances of reaching your goals – whatever they may be.
Finally, hustle culture helps grow your discipline, mental toughness, and overall confidence.
The Cons of Hustle Culture
But just as there are upsides to a hustle culture lifestyle, there are also some downsides.
One readily perceptible downside of hustle culture is burnout. Burnout is caused when you overwork and build up stress without having any downtime to relax and manage that stress. This leads to both physical and mental exhaustion. Hustle culture can really hurt your mental health.
April Wilson, MD, chair of the preventative medicine department at Loma Linda University Health in California, has said “Hustle culture is about being a human doing rather than a human being.”
Hustle culture seeks to narrowly define success as career success and adjudicate your self-worth according to your net worth. But not everyone views success the same way. For some, success is perfecting a hobby or building a family – both of which are often sacrificed when living a hustle lifestyle. A quick google search of major industry leaders will reveal stories concerning their divorces or even substance abuse struggles.
Hustle culture is a major stumbling block for those attempting to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It tips the scales in favor of work, and as a result, the other aspects of your life suffer.
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