I bet you have seen the word hustle used all over the interwebs. I’m willing to bet many of you even use the word hustle to describe your activities. But what does hustle mean? Seriously, with the greats, such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Jon Acuff and Stu McLaren, you are going to see a variety of definitions of hustle.

  • If we aren’t sacrificing the status quo, we aren’t hustling
  • When we are “busy” and we aren’t closing transactions, we aren’t really “busy."
  • We justify our actions because we are scared to be honest with ourselves

I bet you have seen the word hustle used all over the interwebs. I’m willing to bet many of you even use the word hustle to describe your activities. But what does hustle mean?

Seriously, with the greats — such as Gary Vaynerchuk, Jon Acuff and Stu McLaren — you are going to see a variety of definitions of hustle.

In reality, we use hustle as slang, and it’s changed over the past few years.

Technically, hustle is defined as both a verb and a noun. It’s about getting things by forceful action or persuasion, and it’s about busy movement and activity. Because the definition is morphing, you are going to see people use it in both positive and negative ways.

What is hustle?

In a positive light, it’s focusing on the goal and sacrificing the status quo to attain that goal.

As an example, I do not watch TV. It is never on in our house — ever. Instead, I use that time with my family, reading, doing stress-detox relaxing, going on dates with my hubby, having pre-planned movie nights with my family, etc.

We hadn’t had live TV in our home in well over a decade (this shocked me when I calculated it).

I am seriously out of step with the culture when it comes to discussions about the latest episode of “The Walking Dead.” I am very OK with that.

In other words, I don’t subscribe to the idiot box because I want to hustle in my business, and I refuse to sacrifice time from my relationships to hustle.

I sacrifice mind-numbing nothingness instead. I have found much better ways to de-stress that actually reduce my stress.

There is a negative side to hustle. It’s this idea that you need to be living on less sleep, working 10-12 hours a day or staying busy always.

All of these are considered badges of honor when it comes to “the hustle.” The problem is each one of these are a lie — a huge one that is being perpetuated right now.

No, you shouldn’t be sleeping less than seven to eight hours each night. Sure, if you want to be 30 percent dumber, you can try to function on less than that amount.

I prefer to have 100 percent of my cognitive ability available to me each and every day. And yes, research shows that we lose 30 percent of our cognitive ability when we get less than seven to eight hours of sleep each night.

No, you shouldn’t be working 10 to 12 hours a day indefinitely. You cannot sustain this. Neither can your relationships. Witness the plethora of divorces and poor relationships with families and children, let alone the lack of real friendships we have.

No, you shouldn’t be walking around bragging about how busy you are. We wear busy-ness like a badge of honor in our society. Like it’s something we should all be aspiring to achieve.

We run around “being busy,” but in reality, we are just moving through life, not actually living life. Our busy-ness stems from our inability to create a priority and focus on that priority. We are on sensory overload, and we don’t even know it.

Hustle means sacrifice

Hustling is about sacrificing comfort — sacrificing the status quo — to create a better tomorrow. But, it’s not about sacrificing what is most important to focus on what is less important.

What I do see are a lot of people saying they are hustling, but they aren’t implementing anything. That’s not hustling. That’s paper-pushing. That’s time-wasting. That’s insanity!

I see real estate agents lamenting that they don’t have time to implement (insert whatever here) because they are too busy, but they are closing fewer than 12 transactions a year.

I hate to break it to you, but you are not busy.

I see real estate agents sitting in open houses for several hours each week and playing Candy Crush on their phones or reading magazines (when there is no traffic), instead of working on other aspects of their business.

I see too many agents sitting floor duty and not working on other ways to funnel business to them while they are on floor duty.

If you are not sacrificing your TV time, your bowling league or your attendance at every local event that exists — you are not hustling. What you are doing is showing with your actions that you don’t want to build a real estate business.

Don’t fool yourself

Let’s put it this way: If you can have extensive conversations about the latest “Game of Thrones,” but you don’t have closings lined up, then you aren’t hustling.

Heck, you aren’t even working. You’re fooling yourself.

I’ve been there. I’ve done that. I am deeply aware of when I’ve said my priority is one thing, and my actions simply did not follow the words coming out of my mouth.

If you aren’t getting stuff done and bringing in income from that stuff, you aren’t working on your business.

Perhaps some of the stuff you are doing seems important, but it’s not resulting in income. Don’t kid yourself.

Too many people hit roadblocks and sit around and wait for an answer — instead of diving in and finding the answer. So many questions I see in various Facebook groups make me think: a little Google action and research, and you’ll be more informed about your question than most people answering your question.

People say they are hustling, but it’s clear they aren’t. They clearly aren’t hungry enough. Their passion isn’t strong enough. Their pain isn’t great enough. They aren’t willing to sacrifice the status quo to create something different.

Something isn’t enough for them to want to change the status quo — for them to want to sacrifice some comfort today for a better tomorrow.

And now that I have you all up in arms, be very careful about your reactions. Be introspective. Be honest with yourself without justification. My high-performance coach brought me to this reality when I was willing to be completely honest with myself, my words and my actions and how out of alignment they were with my passion.

When we sit around thinking we are the exception; we are refusing to acknowledge that out of 7 billion people on this earth, there are others who have very similar life situations.

There are no exceptions. We grasp at justifications so we have an excuse why we aren’t doing what we know we should be doing.

We can not believe the negative lies of hustle, and if we want to succeed, we can not pretend we are hustling when we’re not.

Here’s an episode of The #RIBBIT Show, my daily Facebook live stream, about time management, hustle, leverage — enjoy.

Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert, and close Facebook leads.

Email Christina Ethridge.

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