October 30, 2015
In 1876, Thomas Jefferson died after a long struggle with the hustle – the polymathic third President of our country literally died from hustling his ass trying to do the science and the architecture and the politics and everything else in between. But you wouldn’t know that because he never really discussed his hustle – never threw it at anyone’s face like it was a Nobel Peace Prize, deserving of the highest praise (though silently questioned by all). Sure, he may have extolled the virtues of hard work and of the incessant pursuit of knowledge, but he wasn’t one to boast about his constantly being busy and “living the hustle.”
And that’s because Jefferson was a smart guy, and he knew something that many people nowadays just don’t seem to get: no one gives a shit about your hustle.
Google “startup hustle” and you’ll find a myriad articles on the necessity of hustling in a startup, hustling as the core to success, and hustling as a strategic way into a new career. That’s great! I fully support one’s ability to work hard and to reap the benefits that result from that hard work. What I don’t appreciate nor support, however, is this false belief that one person’s hustle is an exemplary sample in the entire schema of human existence. Attend any tech, marketing, or *~*innovation*~* conference, and you’ll find on the agenda at least one speaker or panel or breakaway talk that will center on “hustling your way to X”. But why do we even need that? GTFO of here with that nonsense.
Here’s the thing: everyone hustles. We’re all just trying to survive and to succeed in this life – whether that’s professionally or personally – and giving another person a lecture on the extent of your hustle is intentionally self-aggrandizing and wholly deluded. How about just shut up and work hard in silence like the rest of us? Is there a point to your hustle drivel outside of self-promotion? Can you not interrupt me with that shit when I’m trying to eat my pasta? How many times do I have to roll my eyes before you get the hint? Why did you say your girlfriend left you, again?
Having covered the tech scene generally and startups specifically in these past three years, “hustle” is probably one of the most trite terms of our modern vernacular that I’ve encountered and quickly learned to hate. Stop talking about your hustle, and just work hard without having to brag about it; it’s not that hard, really. If you’re talking more about your hustle than you are actually doing said hustle, then you’re not doing it right.
If you caught the wrongly attributed year of Jefferson’s date of death in my first paragraph, judged my wrongful use of the word “literally”, disagreed partially/completely with my opinions, criticized my specious presumptions about persons I don’t personally know, or argued that this piece inevitably turned into just another thought piece about living the hustle, then I’d love to hear from you! In the upcoming months, I’m looking to expand Tech.Co’s already large community of writers and to bring in better reporting, stronger voices, and smarter opinions. Come join me.
Have a glorious Halloween weekend, you sexy Charizards.
Tech.Co Managing Editor
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