The Vital Few Versus the Useful Many - Building a Successful Creative Business without Hustling

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to hide in my bed with a bowl of KD, a tub of dill pickle dip and a root beer float and just run away from the stress of "hustling" my business.

Many many times, my friend.

There is a reason so many creative entrepreneurs like you and me feel overwhelmed.

Why so many burn out before they ever get to reach their big goals.

"Hustling" has become the new rallying call for Creative Entrepreneurs complete with themed mugs, t-shirts and IG quotes ready to remind us that we aren't doing it fast enough or hard enough.

Heck, you have probably even recited the "Everyday I'm Hustling" mantra like a badge of honour (*raises guilty hand);  but in today's business culture "Hustle" has become the equivalent of saying:

"I'm working CRAZY HARD here people!  

I'm running on 6 cups of coffee, I'm answering emails in the bathroom, spending my yoga time searching for new website templates and generally multi-tasking the crap out of my days.  I'm chasing down ALL.OF.THE.THINGS. I gotta do to make this business of mine successful, because this is how you MAKE.THINGS.HAPPEN.

I'm juggling my schedule and people and to-do lists like the ultimate #bossbabe with a smile on my face because - Baby, I am living the DREAM here....L I V I N G  T H E  D R E E E E A M "

Or, like NOT, actually...

 

When Mega Superstar, Adele, announced she was taking 3 years off to focus on her family, entrepreneurs and artists everywhere shouted, "Go Girl!"

None of us are immune to the pressure created by pursuing our passions.

We think if we get famous enough or successful enough, we'll be able to slow down.  But that doesn't happen.  Instead the more we grow, the more pressure there is to maintain that level of success.

My breakthrough moment came after years of trying to juggle my family life with my entrepreneurial calling and failing hard.

It came after the 857th time my Husband asked me "Do you have to do that, right now?" and "Can we have dinner without our phones please?"

It came after he told me he felt lonely even with me here.

And it came after I finally tackled my depression and asked for help.

After all of these struggles, I was finally able to really GET IT:

I could not keep filling my days up with 1000 things that were useful but not VITAL to truly feeling ALIVE in my life.

 

My breakthrough came when I got clear on my Ultimate Core Values, the things that would guide my decision making every step of the way so that I could stop putting time and energy into things that were not aligned with my life and business goals.

 

Instead I used those Core Values to distill down to the foundation of what my business needed to be and where I needed to spend my time to create something powerful.

"But any artist should be able to tell you, musicians particularly, that the craft is in harmonizing movement and stillness, content and void, that a song is made of notes as much as it is made of hundreds of pauses between those notes.  Without emptiness, there is only noise."  - Anthem Salgaldo

Instead of hustling:  I prioritized alone time to give myself the quiet space I needed to tap into my best ideas.

Instead of hustling:  I stopped trying to do everything myself and embraced community.

Instead of hustling:  I aligned my to-do list with my core values and stopped feeling guilty for where I spent my time.

Instead of hustling:  I did less work, far far better.

Instead of hustling:  I made openness a part of my schedule so that I could stay flexible to the changing needs of those around me and not be crazy stressed when things came up unexpectedly.

Oh Friends, hustling can often times look so much like glorified busyness.

Out of fear or guilt we fill up our lives because the absolute worst thing we can imagine is having a business that is:

Small or Slow

To entrepreneurs Small or Slow are the REAL S-words that you should never ever speak out loud.

Heaven forbid that you should ever say, "Things are slow" or that you are working on a small scale.  People might immediately assume that that business you are so passionate about is only a hobby or that you are failing at what you do.

But Friends, busy does not mean better.

Hustle does not equal success.

In fact, Hustle can actually be the reason you aren't succeeding.

I know, I just blew your mind.  (I've been told I do that often)

Here's the reality:  Focusing on the hustle won't leave you time to focus on what TRULY matters most.

Hustling will eat up all of your time, energy and drive without much to show for it.

You will be too busy, drained and overwhelmed by the many useful items on your to-do list to do the VITAL FEW things that are critical to the ultimate success of your business.

Oh how I yearn for you, friend, to break free from the pressures of the Hustle mentality.

I want to see you find those critical pauses between the notes of your life's song.

I want to see you rest in the knowledge that your days are spent in purposeful pursuit of what matters to you most, not a slave to trying to do it all.