Getting my hustle on

Getting my hustle on

So you’re now either picturing Paul Newman or Tom Cruise in a dimly lit pool hall or maybe even hearing the brilliant Van McCoy telling us all to ‘Do the hustle’.

For a word most often associated with manipulation and deceit, it really caught my attention at a recent event I attended, listening to some of my favourite inspirational entrepreneurs, how often the varied speakers referred to hustling.

Of course, they were not proposing we all adopt a more criminal approach to our business endeavours.  Rather that we seize opportunities with both hands and full commitment – head and heart aligned to create significant intent and action.

This flip of hustle from shady to shiny really stands out for me.  A philosophy that’s about rolling up your sleeves and throwing yourself into the mix is both energising and motivating.  I will admit to a tendency to wait for ‘perfection’ before acting (yes, it’s one hell of a long wait!).  I find the nudge that ‘hustling’ delivers to be confidence boosting and legitimising of risk taking.

As an industry we’ve never been under more demand to innovate and move boldly, at the same time as increasingly needing to demonstrate ROI for our clients, which creates a particular kind of tension.  Risk taking and innovation by their essence being ‘untried and untested’ require a leap of faith on the part of all stakeholders.  But these leaps are how we get to game changing ideas and services.   We can take inspiration from the brilliant James Dyson who, despite continual  doors shutting in his face (‘nobody will ever want a bagless vacuum’) persevered (to the point of mortgaging his own home), to bring his innovative designs to the marketplace.   I think he’s had decent ROI on his risk!

So taking bold steps feels rather important, not just for brands and businesses but for our own brands – personal and professional.  So bring the hustle on!