When you’re out in the start-up world, looking to create your own business or to get your name out as the go-to consultant in your industry, you probably devour mounds and mounds of tips on how to start. If you do your research you’ll discover 2 important things:
- Everyone is repeating each other: The message is generally the same – variations in flavor aside (we’ll get to that) most people are just rehashing old ideas in new language. It’s important that people are doing this. Everyone responds to different calls, different drums. So what if someone will only respond to your message on time-management if it’s put in the context of a sci-fi metaphor, at least they respond.
- There are two opinions: In the world of consulting, entrepreneurial-ism, or contract work we essentially respond to two different messages. One, Hustle, says we should go-go-go and grab every contract we can. If we take something we aren’t experienced in put that pot of coffee on and stay up until the wee hours of the morning learning it. The other mentality, flow, says we should responsibly take the options which play to our strengths. This way we’re always building a reputation for what we’re good at.
Hustle: All day, Every Day
Hustle is the take-no-prisoners approach to development. When someone offers you a contract, you say yes. If it falls out of your skill set, you dip, dodge, duck, and dive until not only is the project done, but you are an expert in whatever field was on your plate. The hustle mentality keeps you on your toes and ready to pounce on any opportunity. Aggressive growth and the implacable will to succeed makes the hustle mentality appealing. It’s the made-for-movie entrepreneur who has got to make it big. The upside? Assuming all is going well, you are going to rake in cash and develop an incredible skill set. There is a problem, however, you’re pulling long hours, you will definitely burn out a bit. You also cannot become an expert at everything so you risk under performing on things you aren’t as skilled with.
Flow: Wisdom and Patience
Flow is Hustle’s counterpoint. Where hustle is an ADD child bouncing and pouncing and chugging coffee, Flow is sitting back sipping tea quietly confident that their plans will come to fruition with due diligence and patient anticipation. Flow selects the projects that will further their career with the strategic mindset of a chess player. Their contracts build their niche, their clients build their vision. Everything they do is measured. People who build their career with flow have it all planned out from the onset. The plus side? They will probably sleep a bit more and suffer a few less ulcers, certainly. They also can clearly explain where they are and where they are headed. The down side is that even their best laid plans might get thrown to the wind and suddenly the inflexibility is a pitfall.
Hustle and Flow
As mentioned before – as with most things – the middle road is the path to choose. The hustle mentality can be great in the nascent days of your business, however it has to taper off. Hustle cannot sustain itself, it is a whirlwind and a fire that must at some point die. Flow, too, may be too slow in the very first days of your business, but will inevitably help you toward your goals later on. The key is to know when to shift gears from one to the next. Always maintain a balance between your hustle and flow.