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The Hustle Hurts
It caught up with me last year. “The Hustle.”
I pushed hard to launch a new product, after pushing hard to improve my blog, after pushing hard through cancer treatment and having a newborn baby.
It all came crashing down on me. The pressure, the stress, the never-ending to-do list, “The Hustle.”
I’ve struggled with depression before. I had post-partum depression after my second child. I know the warning signs of my own declining mental health.
But I ignored them all to hustle. To push myself and my business further along.
Because that is what you are supposed to do. What online business leaders tell us to do. And I paid the price.
I stopped working for three months. I didn’t do much except feel angry and sad at everything and everyone. I lost hope and was ready to give up on my business completely.
Coffee, Sleep, Hustle, Repeat
A simple search on Etsy shows how pervasive “the hustle” has become, and how much of it is aimed at Moms!
Want success in the online world? Ya gotta hustle!
“Coffee, hustle, sleep, repeat” is written on tee shirts everywhere.
Except it’s all wrong. It’s a societal pressure that we need to kick in the teeth. And fast, before more Moms burn themselves out trying to do it all, all at once.
Cause that’s the thing isn’t it? We have a lot of our plates, with kids, households, and partners already demanding so much from us. Adding an online business is a wonderful creative outlet that allows us to build a personal dream. But at what cost if we buy into this idea of hustling?
“According to Alexis Ohanian, a co-founder of Reddit and Initialized Capital, the obsession with hustling is a waste of time, and a dangerous one at that.
“Hustle porn,” as Ohanian so deliciously calls it, is distracting young entrepreneurs from doing good work, and reinforcing sexist stereotypes that to win in tech, you have to ditch everything outside of work and devote your life to your company, a tradeoff many people (and women especially) simply cannot make.” Quartz at Work
“Hustle Porn” is my new favorite term. Such a great analogy of how unrealistic the idea is, completely removed from real life.
Now, before you tell me you have to push hard to get things done… there is nothing wrong with a sprint now and then. A short hard push to get a project done can be good for your business.
It’s the long drawn out, never-ending hustle that’s going to burn you out.
Balance is bullshit
It all comes back to the myth of balance. If you just work a little harder, you can take time off. If you just push yourself to get up earlier, stay up later, work during naptime, you can really have it all.
But we can’t. We can only make choices as to what we will focus our limited energy and time on today.
Because as Ruth Bader Ginsburg says:
“You can’t have it all, all at once. Over my lifespan I think I have had it all. But in different periods of time things were rough.”
And that’s the truth. You can have it all, over a lifetime. But let go of having it all at once. Let go of the pressure to get it all done. To have a clean house, the perfect hair, perfect children and a business that makes millions.
Embrace the chaos that is raising kids and let them make a mess of your house. Let your business ebb and flow with your time and energy. Take care of yourself! Don’t feel guilty when you take a nap with your baby. And don’t push yourself to work every minute possible.
Because you are precious to your family and they don’t want you to burn out. They want you to be happy and engaged. They don’t care if you make millions, they just want you.
You are enough.