Written by: Dan Ganancial, Co-Founder/Consultant at Ivanhoe & McToterson
Last month we posted an article titled Courage – An Entrepreneur’s Most Valuable Asset. An entrepreneur needs to have courage in order to pursue the entrepreneur’s trek. Yet, courage alone will not get this person very far. Along with courage, the entrepreneur needs to have another most valuable trait – Hustle.
Dictionary.com defines hustle as: To proceed or work rapidly or energetically; to be aggressive, especially in business or other financial dealings; to convey or cause to move; energetic activity, as in work. Now, there are those out there that would say hustle connotes a negative image as to deceive and exploit. In the context of entrepreneurship, hustle is no where near those connotations. In fact, hustle to an entrepreneur means to be driven and motivated. Like Isaac Newton’s first law, an entrepreneur who is hustling will tend to keep hustling, thus moving forward and inching closer to the end goal.
Like the Energizer Bunny, hustle keeps an entrepreneur going and going and going. It is this drive that keeps one constantly and consistently searching out opportunities, finding new clients, seeking to build a stronger network, and working tirelessly to pursue a dream and a passion. If courage is the spark that gets the entrepreneurial fire going, then hustle is the accelerant that feeds the fire to grow and burn brighter and faster.
It would be great if all of us entrepreneurs were blessed with hustle; however, not all of us are fortunate enough to have this gift. In addition, not all of us can easily learn how to hustle or execute it very well. Not all of us are motivated enough to hustle harder than the next guy. There is nothing wrong with this, and the lack of hustle does not discount you from being an entrepreneur. Yet, the basic truth is that the more you hustle, the more you will accomplish and the faster you will reach your goal(s). You should make it a priority to become a better hustler. If you know you are weak or lack this skill, then partner with a person who has the gift of hustle or hire individuals who have a knack for hustling. Let these people hustle for you, but make sure you can do it too.
In conclusion, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha had this to say about hustle in their book The Start-Up of You.
No matter where you are in your career, there will be moments when you feel like your back is against the wall. When you feel like you’re going nowhere. When you may be short on funds or allies or both. When no one is knocking at your door inviting you to stuff. These situations call for the most entrepreneurial opportunity-generating strategy: hustle.