Hustle is Wrong

By Edward Plant

Hustle is what is wrong with our society…

In today’s society it is promoted and encouraged to hustle.

To work harder.  To work Longer.

Hustle here. Hustle there.  Hustle more. Hustle harder.

I reckon its all wrong.


Here’s why.

Let’s first look at the definition of hustle:

It is ‘to push roughly or a state of great activity’.

Who wants that?

Fundamentally though, I think it’s easier to work harder and get better results.  Its easier to hustle then not.

We are taught to do this from a young age with messages like:  “You need to work hard to get good results”, “Good things don’t come to those who do nothing”, “Money doesn’t grow on trees”,  “No one ever dies from working hard”, “If it was worth having it wouldn’t be easy”

The world we live in advocates this message and progress us to work harder.

The Army lived by the mantra “Work Harder” and I believe the mantra was actually “Work Harder not Smarter”.

I remember when I was a new Lieutenant, 22-years old, in command of 30-blokes with an average age of 32.  I walked into headquarters and one of my mates, a Captain was there, it was about 430pm (well after knock-off) and I said to him.

“Come on Let’s go”.

I still remember his response and it still flaws me and I think it gets to the heart of our culture at the moment.

He said: “No I’m waiting for the boss to leave”.

I said: “Have you got work to do?”

He responded:  “No, I’m just waiting for the boss to leave so he sees me here, then I can go home.”

This wasn’t working smarter, or recognition of achieving good results, ti was recognition of long hours.

It’s this perception that is all messed up.

The next instance that changed the course of my life was when I was doing my promotion course for Lieutenant Colonel. I was talking to one of my Mentors, who was a Brigadier at the time. I asked him:

“Sir, what’s life been like since you did this course?”

Now before you hear his answer, I’d like you to understand that I’d just gone through separation, death of my old man, working 15-hour days for years and I had personally ballooned out to 115-kilos.

So I knew hard work.

My mentor said, “Ed, I’ve worked harder every year since I did the course you are on, and this year I worked harder than last year.”

This conversation was one of the tipping points for me leaving the Army. I knew the sacrifices I would have to make.  I knew that there would always be someone who was willing to work longer hours, to sacrifice more for their career than I was.  I wanted to have kids and have a family life. So I knew the “Work Harder” world was no longer for me.  I’d seen my Dad do it and I’d continued down that path.

My mentor and the Army epitomised the need to work harder and work longer.

The challenge is, especially for business owners, is that there is always, and I mean ALWAYS something else to do.

I believe that there is a skill and an art to not working harder.

Everyone tells us to work harder – I think this is the easy option.

It’s the beast you know.

It’s easy to advise someone to work harder, hustle more and get better results.

It’s hard to change your habits, do things smarter and create sustainable growth and lifestyle.

It’s easy to work yourself to the grave.

It’s much harder to let go, to build a team, to trust, to change and to grow a business with your partner in a standard 40-hour week (or a 20-hour week).

Hustling won’t get this.

So do you want to HUSTLE for the rest of your life?

Or do you want to work out a new way?

So that is my rant for the day done with.  I’m passionate about helping people find that way to create freedom and lifestyle in their business.

So have let me know below – do you want HUSTLE or ANOTHER WAY?


About the Author

Edward is the Co-Founder and Lead Strategist at the Institute for Couples in Business. When he’s not nutting out smart strategies you’ll find him hanging out with wife and business partner Rebecca and his sons Samuel, 4, and Charles, 2. For the past seven years Ed has been working with business owners to double profits, halve hours and build self-sustaining business that thrives with or without you. Ed is also author of #1 best-seller Lead-The-Ship and a sought-after guest speaker who often gets mistaken for Prince Harry.