Episode 275

Is Hustle Good or Bad?

November 16, 2021

What does hustle mean to you as a business owner? In this episode, Emily and Corey of Being Boss discuss hustle culture. They define what hustle is and share their experiences with good hustle and bad hustle. They talk about anti-hustle culture and the dangers within. They also share tips on how to make the most of your business practices in responsible, sustainable ways.

Learn More about the Topics Discussed in this Episode
This Episode Brought to You By:
"Hustle looks different for everyone which is why the first step to knowing yours is constant self-awareness."
- Emily

Discussed in this Episode

  • The definition of hustle
  • Is hustle good or bad? What does healthy hustle look like?
  • How to find your middle ground and maintain it
  • Knowing the difference and finding a balance between work hustle and life hustle
  • When hustle becomes bad or harmful
  • Responsible habits you can create during hustle phases
  • The dangers of hustle culture and anti-hustle culture
  • How to recognize when you’re over-hustling

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[00:00:00] Emily Thompson: Welcome to Being Boss podcast for creatives, business owners and entrepreneurs who wanted to take control of their work and live life on their own terms. I'm your host, Emily Thompson. And today I'm joined again by my podcast companion, Corey winter, to discuss hustle. You can find all the tools, books, and links

[00:00:18] we referenced on the show notes at www.beingboss.club. And if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe to this show and share us with your friends.

[00:00:30] Sometimes seeing someone else's path to success helps us clearly map out our own. It's why we all like a business podcast. Right? Well, I'm here to share a show for you to check out the Female Startup Club podcast, an amazing resource that shares insights and learnings from the world's most successful female founders, entrepreneurs, and women in business.

[00:00:52] And a recent episode. I loved hearing about how Michelle Grant, the founder of Lively, the lingere and swimwear brand built and sold her company for $105 million in just three years, total boss move. So if you're looking for a new pod to inspire your next steps, listen to the female startup club podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.

[00:01:21] Welcome back to being boss Corey. As if I need to welcome you back, you're always here. 

[00:01:26] Corey Winter: I'm still waiting for my companion named tag. 

[00:01:28] Emily Thompson: I know Christmas is coming. You're going to be so tickled you better. So wait, do you want like a name tag that you wear or something you put on your desk or your door? 

[00:01:42] Corey Winter: Yes.

[00:01:46] Cause like, I feel like, are we talking like the name tags? Like it depends on what we're talking about. Just a sticky note because I'm going to sticky note. 

[00:01:53] Emily Thompson: No, I, I would not get you a sticker. It would definitely be a pin or a lanyard. Do you have a preference? Yeah. 

[00:01:59] Corey Winter: Yeah. 

[00:02:01] Corey Winter: Surprise me. 

[00:02:02] Emily Thompson: Surprise you. Okay. Perfect. This is a great opportunity for surprise.

[00:02:05] I love that. Well, welcome back, Corey. We're here to talk about hustle. I'm interested to actually hear your thoughts in a couple of these things too, but are you ready for this? 

[00:02:14] Corey Winter: Yes, but before we actually dive in to that. What is hustle? Because like, when I, well, I mean, nowadays, I don't think this, but like when I used to think of hustle, I picture like that episode of fresh prince of Bel air Bel air when they're like hustling the billiards game.

[00:02:30] So that's what I think of hustling. You're, you're cheating at billiards and like pretending to be sucky, but you're actually awesome. And like, you get people's money cause you're, you're punking hustle in this context means? 

[00:02:41] Emily Thompson: So I actually hold on, I'm actually pulling up dictionary because I do kind of want to know like what this word, cause you're right.

[00:02:48] There is this like definition of hustle, similar to how there's like this sort of other definition of boss too, which is something we talked about in the being boss book of like, like a gang box, I guess, or, or otherwise. Right. There's like actually, like I think most cultures have their version of like shady boss of like some

[00:03:15] unlawful organization. 

[00:03:17] Corey Winter: So basically, the entrepreneurship culture has adopted all these slang terms to apply for. 

[00:03:24] Emily Thompson: We are like operating outside the law, except like outside the law of corporations. There's a parallel there perhaps, or maybe we're just literally appropriating all words, which is probably a little more correct, but hustling.

[00:03:42] So in this case, hustle is not, cheating or stealing. I'm looking here at the definition, dictionary.com. We have to proceed or work rapidly or energetically to push or force a one's way to Jostle or shove, we're not shoving. That's not what we're doing here, people right. Also to urge, prod or speed up, to convey or cause to move, especially to leave roughly or hurriedly.

[00:04:16] Corey Winter: So basically it's working hard. 

[00:04:19] Emily Thompson: Maybe, but what's really funny about this is I feel like these definitions are not even as, like, I get sort of a negative connotation whenever I think about hustle. And we'll talk about this in a minute, a little bit, the word, I think it's like, working too hard.

[00:04:35] Whereas the definitions are just like energetically working, right? Like if you look at what, like here it is a noun energetic activity as in work. But then there is also that like slightly negative connotation of shoving or pushing or, roughly or hurriedly or whatever it may be. So it really is one of those words that kind of straddles the fence of good or bad.

[00:05:01] And that's what I want to talk about today because there is like a whole spectrum but these days people are either sitting on one or the other end of that spectrum. 

[00:05:13] Corey Winter: So, how did this come up? Like, why, why are you want to talk about this today? 

[00:05:16] Emily Thompson: I always want to talk about literally always we had an opening and I was like, what I want to talk about today.

[00:05:22] I always want to talk hustle and mostly because I have some unpopular opinions on hustle that I'm like, fine, guys, I'll come out and talk about this. But also I think, because I have felt myself ready, it's coming up a lot more for me. So in the being boss community, I've had several conversations over the past couple of weeks and months about hustle.

[00:05:43] One in particular was a Monday meetup meeting, where a boss came in and had a really great question. She had been hustling and was trying to, trying to come to terms with the fact that she'd been working hard and I thought. This is a weird conversation we're having here, but let's dive in. And so we did, and it sparked an amazing, sort of group conversation about how we all relate to hustle the definitions that we have, how it is that we, how it is that we tackle it in our own work in life and how it is that we sort of air quotes come to terms with it because we do live in a culture.

[00:06:24] I think where we kind of have to in air quotes, come to terms with it, which is unfortunate and what I want to address today. So some of the questions that have been coming up, are, should I be working so hard? So someone is hustling and they're feeling guilty about their hustle. They're like, I feel like I'm doing it wrong.

[00:06:42] I'm hearing that I shouldn't be hustling, whatever it may be, or it's literally the other end of it, where bosses are going. Am I working hard enough? Am I hustling appropriately? Or is my choice to not hustle? Not serving me [00:07:00] or whatever it may be. So there's just two sides of this conversation.

[00:07:04] And what I really want to do today is bring it to the middle, bring this everyone's idea of hustle away from it being good or bad or helpful or detrimental or whatever. It may be into this sort of middle area where it's neither of those things. I think hustle can actually be pretty neutral. 

[00:07:25] Corey Winter: So hustle's become a pretty big buzzword for entrepreneurship things.

[00:07:31] So what are some of the culture coming around, hustle in today's society. 

[00:07:38] Emily Thompson: Yeah. I think so many things cause it's the spectrum right? And the spectrum but everyone or everyone is either they're choosing sides and people who are on one side is very hard on that side. People are on the other side are very odd or hard on their side.

[00:07:54] And it's creating this sort of whiplash of information around culture, around hustle and whether or not we should be doing it or not. On that on one side is that hustle is the only way to succeed. And if you're not hustling, you're not working. If you're not hustling, you're not being an entrepreneur.

[00:08:14] If you aren't like that, rise and grind up at 5:00 AM, work all night, do whatever you need to do to reach the biggest goals you could ever imagine. Right? There is like very much, so this like, toxic hustle culture. It's funny. I think they're both talks. It we'll get there in a second. This very toxic hustle culture where if you're not showing up and giving it your 5000000% or whatever, then like why bother then go back and get a day job, right.

[00:08:46] Or whatever it may be. And I think that is detrimental to our health, to our, Our perception of the reality of being an entrepreneur of growing businesses, of hiring, of like managing teams, right. It trickles down from like, if you have a toxic idea around what hustle is, you're gonna have those expectations of your clients and your employees and your contractors.

[00:09:12] And like, and then we're all just busting our ass and you can't sleep at night and having problems eating. And then there we are all with heart attacks at the age of 40, which I don't think is where any of us really want to be. Right. So there's like, that's very dramatic. What am I saying? Portrayal of what that side of it looks like, but that is one side of.

[00:09:36] The other side of it is this like anti hustle culture, where if you're hustling, you're doing it wrong. If you're working hard, then you're not aligned. If, or that you're not like, aligned with sort of your purpose and your vision. And you're not woo enough. Or you're not like, you're not calling it in correctly or whatever it may be like, there's this other side of it, which I did just give like a very Wu perspective of it, but also just a very practical if you're hustling, you're doing it wrong.

[00:10:07] That the idea or the ideal is that four hour work week. And if you're working more than four hours a week, you're doing it wrong, right. Or if you are working 40 hours a week, that sucks for you. Whatever it may be, there is this harsh judgment on either side of this hustle spectrum that I think is making those of us who are just trying to show up and do the work confused and inherently guilty, whether you're hustling or not.

[00:10:36] Corey Winter: Well, I was going to say, I mean, there has to be a middle ground because both sides can't be right. And you kind of just explain that you don't disagree with either side. So what is the middle ground? Like? How do you, how do you, how do you work hard without working too hard and not feeling guilty either way?

[00:10:51] Emily Thompson: I mean, one is like, self-awareness right? Like what does hustle look like for you? What does rest look like for you? What do you need to provide rest for yourself so that you can show up and do the work? So like lots of, lots of self-awareness because everyone's hustle is different and, flow between the two.

[00:11:12] And I want everyone to know that I did not just say balance, right? I did not like, because I think in the anti hustle culture, there's this idea that you achieve balance and you maintain it. And that is impossible. Legit impossible as a business owner, you're going to have fires that are going to pop up, that you have to put out and that's going to throw your balance off, or like, that also means that on vacation shouldn't you probably be working a little, right?

[00:11:39] No, you should not be. Or you can if you want to, but that's your choice. It's not like a mandatory thing. So in the middle is this place where, when and how to hustle and you pair that responsibly and appropriately with the rest that you need to hustle and then plenty of middle place where you're not really doing either.

[00:11:59] You're just being right. You're just showing up and doing the work or having dinner with your friends or, gardening. I don't know what it looks like for you. That is neither hustle, more rest just being. And so the middle place is a place where you can flow between all of those things. And I think that's ideal. 

[00:12:20] Corey Winter: So, okay.

[00:12:22] Do you ever consider yourself hustling. So what does it look like?

[00:12:30] What does hustling look like for you? 

[00:12:32] Emily Thompson: Hussle is working really hard. I'm coming out of a season of hustle and it's one where I recognize for the past four months for me, I can like quantify it. I can look at my time sheet and see that I had been working my ass off. Look, I'm clocking in a lot of hours in a way that I know is more than my like middle ground.

[00:12:54] Right. I'm literally here working more than I normally would. But, and we'll get into this in a bit too, but there are lots of th there are boundaries that I put around that hustle that keep me focused and keep me from habitualizing hustle. Right. So keep me from, like, if I'm working 50 hours a week, I'm doing it for the small period of time where I'm hustling and I'm 

[00:13:23] Corey Winter: going wherever you are not a constant hustler.

[00:13:26] You were like a 

[00:13:27] periodic hustler. Okay. 

[00:13:31] Which sounds healthy, but so you kind of disagree with both of those extreme sides. So what's the problem with disagreeing with those views in today's culture? 

[00:13:40] Emily Thompson: I mean, I mean, the problem is there's like two factions that are mad. I mean, not really, but like who are going to disagree, but what I really want to do, what I'm my purpose for having this conversation is to, is to encourage everyone, to find their middle ground and define hustle for themselves and to not feel guilty one way or the other.

[00:14:04] Right. And because the disagreeing views are either telling you that, unless that if you're not hustling, you're not showing up and doing the. Which is like, not necessarily true. There are plenty of weeks that I'm just working 30, 30 by 25, 30, 35 hours. And I'm not hustling. I'm just here working and I'm getting good stuff done.

[00:14:29] Real good stuff done. Probably better stuff done than if I were hustling, honestly. Right. And then the other side of that is that you're feeling guilty for not showing up and doing the work. And like, I'd rather show up for my 20, 25, 30, 35 hour weeks or five hour weeks. I can't wait to get back to some of those one day maybe.

[00:14:51] But right. Like I want to know that I have X number of hours to give to my business this week and they are going to be amazing. And then that's going to be all. So there's this, there's this place, there's this middle ground that you have to find. And I think what it finding that will allow anyone to do is to just feel good about the work that.

[00:15:12] So you're not worried about hustling too much because you've set boundaries, you know what it looks like, you know why you're doing it and you're showing up and getting it done. I also y'all. I love, and this is me. This is my self-awareness. I'm not putting this on anyone, but I love the end of a hustle. I love having like put in several weeks of just like busting it out and doing some really great stuff and looking, sit, standing back and looked at, look at what I did.

[00:15:38] Like I wouldn't have done that as quickly. Maybe not as well, probably not have like pulled in the resources that I needed to get it done. Right. I find great joy in a well-executed hustle. I really, really do. Likewise. I love being able to look at my calendar and know that I don't have to hustle for the foreseeable future.

[00:15:59] I [00:16:00] can just show up and do my work, or I can like. Really dial it down and focus on myself to either refuel after a hustle or to like fuel myself up before a hustle. And otherwise just go at my year with the considerably more ease and less of like, I have to achieve balance every single day or every single week, and simply know that I'm showing up and doing the work for what it is that I want.

[00:16:25] Sometimes it means hustling. Sometimes it just means showing up and being here. And sometimes it means just taking a nap. I like the nap part the best. 

[00:16:37] Corey Winter: So you're illustrating that hustling, it looks different for everybody. Like you, you are the periodic hustler that works really hard for a short period of time.

[00:16:47] Then kind of backs off a little bit. Then it comes back to it. Some people they thrive on just always working hard. It may not, that does not apply to everybody. Like some people, if they work hard, like they have a mental breakdown. [00:17:00] 

[00:17:01] Emily Thompson: And I think really just like a hustle does look different to everyone, which is why like step number one is self-aware.

[00:17:06] Right. I recognize that I have a higher than normal stamina for hustle. I have a lot of fire in my birth chart. Y'all like, I have energy and I'm relatively young. I also recently had someone asked me, they were like, how do you do everything that you do? Like one great time management practices, two. I'm really great at focusing on doing the thing that I'm doing three I'm young.

[00:17:27] I can just, I can, 

[00:17:29] Corey Winter: well, I'm glad she said that because I was thinking my hustle is actually changed over time. Like back when I was in college, like I would like, I would work hard just like 70 hours a week doing classwork and band and, and working for you. But nowadays I'm like, man, if I get close to that 40 hours of work, I can't, I'm done.

[00:17:50] And I can't work hard 

[00:17:53] Emily Thompson: indeed. Right. And I definitely feel myself getting that place too. Especially, we've been doing Almanac for, four years now, I think, are we going on five? We started in 2018, all of 18, all of 19, all of 20, all of four ending our fourth year. That's wild. Right. Thanks

[00:18:13] Corey Winter: We're a toddler..

[00:18:14] Emily Thompson: Yeah. I feel like it all been at being Bossier for six and a half going on seven years. And I definitely feel myself where I like I'm at capacity. And I think my capacity is about to actually start getting smaller. If that makes like I'm not gonna get more capacity for what I'm able to do, what I can do, as I age.

[00:18:40] I don't think so. I also, I recognize that for myself too, what I can't do, what I did five years ago. I can't like show up in that way anymore. And like, I capitalized on that. Absolutely. I used it. I love what I created. I love what I've built, but he also recognized that I'm not really the same person that I was.

[00:18:58] And there has to be some adjustments on that. So it's not just self-awareness. Right. It's constant self-awareness as to what it is that it looks like for you. And I also completely recognize that some people, some people cannot hustle like me, or like you, everyone has their own definition of hustle.

[00:19:16] Maybe there's physical or mental limitations. Maybe you simply have too many other responsibilities though. All those responsibilities are hustles too. Right. And it, funnily, I also even use a hustle to just like, if I'm taking a vacation, that's a hustle, right. Preparing for a vacation, planning for a vacation, sometimes getting there and getting myself in a situation where I can just lay on the beach for three days.

[00:19:42] Like that's a little mini hustle right there. So I do kind of like throw that word around a lot, but, well, that's actually, that was a sidebar. Going back to this idea that hustle looks different for everyone and you have to decide. Your hustle is what your capacity is, and then what you need to meet that capacity on the other end and play within those boundaries that are your boundaries for rest and hustle, and then middle being your being.

[00:20:12] You're just being.

[00:20:16] Corey Winter: Okay. So self-awareness with your capacity in the physical and mental sense with work, but this also applies to life like this. Like it plays very hand-in-hand with work and life boundaries and work and life, separation and balance. So how does hustle apply to your personal life? 

[00:20:37] Emily Thompson: It's really funny at the beginning of the year, whenever I do CEO day kit, we have a kit of worksheets and exercises for bosses who want to put their CEO day or CEO hat on.

[00:20:49] It's amazing. Tons of people use it. I use it myself every single year for both businesses being boss.club/ceo. But every time I do my CEO day kit, I there's one worksheet that is the revenue and marketing worksheet, I think, where you're sort of calendaring out your year. And I always, the first thing I label on those is whether it's going to be a work hustle or a life hustled month.

[00:21:16] Corey Winter: Okay. 

[00:21:17] Emily Thompson: Right. So if it's, okay. Holiday season, Period. Okay. 

[00:21:23] Corey Winter: Well explain that because for a lot of people, 

[00:21:25] Emily Thompson: because I have a retail store because they have a product retail store and right. Isn't that I do feel like December is like the place where you kind of have to find a good balance between work and life.

[00:21:37] And I'm going to use that there, where you're doing a lot of work hustle because retail store, but you're also doing a lot of life hustle because holiday parties and visiting family and spending time with your people, like all that, like that is also a hustle. So 

[00:21:51] Corey Winter: some people more than others.

[00:21:55] Emily Thompson: Indeed.

[00:21:57] Right? But like October and November are going to be work hustles. If we have a being boss vacation that month is a work hustle. If I'm personally going on vacation, that's a life lesson. Right. Or if there's a month, there's a month where, I have several birthday, like family birthdays.

[00:22:13] That's what usually life hustle. I'm traveling around a lot, seeing people. And so I'm starting the planning of my year with this recognition as to whether a month is going to be more work or more life. Because for me, that idea of hustle really is kind of just it's. I think there is this definition of like, I think there is this common cultural definition that hustle is working harder than necessary, but I use that word probably more as just working right synonymous with working just in life takes work, parties, take work, vacations, take work, like all of it.

[00:22:57] Like those are little hustles that I have to, that I have to do. And then work also takes work. And then it's hustles that I will show up and do as well. So. When it comes to a work-life balance, I start my year planning with this idea of what is a work Kusile month and what is a life hustle month. And I play inappropriately, because I really do like this idea of sort of annual quote unquote balance, right, or more like a flow, but even that changes from year to year.

[00:23:27] And I really actually prefer looking at a very holistic sort of calendar of my life. I wanted to get in to the end of my life and feel like I achieved a really great balance, and, or managed a responsible flow between hustle and rest.

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[00:25:53] Corey Winter: Alright, so we've talked about what hustle is and how it's different for everybody, but when is hustle bad? [00:26:00] 

[00:26:00] Emily Thompson: All right. That really is the meat of this. Right? Good or bad. Is it good or is it bad? And yes, there is both. There's a lot of in-between, but also it can be really bad. Hustle can be detrimental to your health and your relationships to your business.

[00:26:18] You can definitely hustle your business into a hole. Right? Hustling can be bad if you do it incorrectly. So here's a couple of like little red flags for you. If your hustle is bad, one is, and y'all are not going to like hearing this one. Let me feel free to like, I don't know, send us a Instagram DM or something.

[00:26:42] Corey Winter: The list that you're about to read out. And I go, oh my gosh, like reassess my life. 

[00:26:51] Emily Thompson: You do you okay, let me, let me do it. One, if you are hiding in your work instead of dealing with problems or facing some. Yeah. Yeah. That one is usually like that. Would everyone just sit with that one for a second? And like, and also I say this is like guilty party number one, right.

[00:27:11] Definitely 2020-2021, I was spent a lot of time working because I just don't even want to face the reality of the world. And I think a lot of us are probably in a habit of doing that, which we'll talk about in a second. That is not good. Whenever you using your work or just like hustling out a little more, like, let me just answer a couple more of these emails, right?

[00:27:31] Let me just like, get a little further on this marketing plan or like, let me crochet another thing, whatever it may be. If you are hiding in your work, instead of dealing with your problems or otherwise facing something that is happening in your world or the world at large. Bad hustle. 

[00:27:44] Corey Winter: So, I don't know why. I mean, I know why, but I would just in a personal example, I've been working later into the night to avoid dealing with the crying nephews that are in my house.

[00:27:56] Emily Thompson: Yeah. Maybe find a hobby, maybe tell them that you're working and really just come in here and crochet something. 

[00:28:04] Corey Winter: The listeners, I love playing with my nephews, but sometimes they are cranky and they are hard to deal with. And so I just go work and let my brother deal with it.

[00:28:11] Emily Thompson: I love that.

[00:28:11] I mean, I think that's completely appropriate, separation of responsibilities for sure.

[00:28:18] However, maybe don't work. Okay. Next on the list is, oh, when you're feeling guilty about it. I think even if you're doing it for a good reason, I think if all the other good things are good, but you're still feeling guilty about it. Bad. And honestly, I don't even, I, in that case, I don't need, the answer is not hustling or not working.

[00:28:40] I think it's adjusting your mindset or it's just, just make it a good hustle or a neutral just work. Doesn't have to be good or bad. You can totally be neutral, but I'm feeling guilty about it. I think is a, is a sign that you're not hustling well, unless it's not like a societaly induced guilt, but like legitimately you're doing something that you should be guilty about.

[00:29:01] Right? Like, let's say, let's say you're working instead of, I don't know, with your nephew completing other responsibilities. Right. But yes. Maybe not. I mean, you said it, not me. Right? So the guilt is a sign that something is bad. Either your mindset or legitimately you're hiding and need to figure it out.

[00:29:28] I also think that hustle is really bad if it's constant because you are procrastinating or otherwise poor at time management. So Corey looking at you.

[00:29:46] I didn't write this one for you, but it just in general, I know a lot of people who are hustling late at night because they didn't prep for the deadline that's tomorrow, right. Or are, hustling through vacation because you have poor time management when you're at work. I think that when you're hustling and when you were like forcibly working, because you have procrastinated or otherwise are bad at managing your time, that's a bad hustle.

[00:30:17] That's not doing it to achieve anything greater than what you should just be achieving while you're being. I ain't mad should be those sort of the purpose of hustle. Stick a pin in that. I like it. I also think that hustle is bad if, if you're glorifying it. So if you're just showing up, right, if you're like, I'm, I'm an entrepreneur because I'm hustling.

[00:30:40] Right. You're just working that if you're working, if you're like bragging about your 80 hour work weeks, you bad hustle. Because I also know that you didn't get anything quality done after about 35 of those hours. And let's see what else. So other ways that, oh, I think hustle is bad. If you are not responsibly fueling your hustle to find that.

[00:31:09] So for me, whenever I'm hustling, I'm sleeping a lot. Like I sleep even more when I'm, cause I have to, I have to fuel myself to show up and do the things that I need to do. Or, and we'll talk a little bit more in a minute, I think about, about like what the fueling looks like. But if you are not pairing a hustle with some hardcore self-care so that you are not burning yourself out, as you're doing it, then it's a bad hustle.

[00:31:43] If you get to the end of a hustle and you were just done you're toast, that was a bad hustle because there are ways to hustle that end in that moment of like, oh my God, look what I did. And all you have to do is celebrate and then go like just generally taking that, but not like it I'm half dead now.[00:32:00] 

[00:32:00] Corey Winter: Yeah. I was struggling hardcore with that one over the last few months to the point where like I was working all day and then like falling asleep on the couch at 6:00 PM because I was just working too hard. So I started tracking my sleep debt and it's actually helping. Cause now it's like a little, I'm like down to like half an hour of sleep that, which is awesome anyway, recommend that, but 

[00:32:25] Emily Thompson: I love it.

[00:32:25] And right. That's like an, a responsible response to a hustle. Right. So, and, and I also love that instead of being. There's a mindset shift there as well, where you're not like mad at yourself for sleeping. Like, I feel so guilty. Cause I'm just going to bed at 6:00 PM and fine do that. If like the one was your sleep, then sleep.

[00:32:47] Right. But if you're like showing up to do something and it requires you to sleep more than just sleep more with no, no, like no guilt around it. So I think it is about hustle. If you are not pairing it with adequate fuel, you need rest food. Sort of shifting of some other boundaries potentially in order to allow you to show up without burning yourself out in the process.

[00:33:19] Corey Winter: Yeah. And you actually mentioned not feeling like don't skip meals. Like that's, that's, that's, that's a bad hustle. Like don't like eat food. 

[00:33:30] Emily Thompson: Right? Usually guilty of that one, but yes, but we'll talk about how I fix that in a minute. We'll talk about how I've extended it. Cause that is, that is a thing. Because, and especially artists, man, right?

[00:33:43] Get you in that studio, creating your art and you're gonna forget to eat, right? I mean, forget to go to sleep all those like, and that's part of it, but there are moments in the hustle that you have to stop and take care of yourself and you're in, if you're not stopping and taking care of yourself, bad hustle.

[00:33:58] Corey Winter: I actually have an artist friend who actually went back to school to get their master's degree in arts, fine arts, something, one of those art degrees. And she realized she was hustling too hard to where she was actually missing meals. And so she actually likes started setting reminders on her phone to like remind her to eat like their, their solution.

[00:34:20] Emily Thompson: For sure. David literally feeds me. I mean, not actually that's in gray, doesn't literally feed me. He's like actually putting the feed, the food in my mouth, but during seasons of hustle, He will legit bring me lunch every day because I won't, I'll forget. I will look up and it's 4:00 PM and I haven't eaten since dinner the day before or whatever it may be like, it's, it's a problem.

[00:34:44] So one of the things for, for helping you feel your, your hustle is to ask for help. I'll tell you like David, I have a crazy week. I've all, whatever, actually, nothing just like, Hey David, I need you, right? No, no reasons needed just, I need you. Can you just bring me lunch every day? I don't, I don't care what it is.

[00:35:03] Just let me help me put food in my mouth. So that I can continue forward. I think one of the things that really rubs me the wrong way about this anti Halsall culture is that I feel like it's breeding a whole bunch of people who just don't like to work hard. And maybe I sound like a boomer. I'm not hardcore millennial here, which I know is very unlike me.

[00:35:26] If you want to set some blanket statements. But I, I think that people should be excited perhaps to occasionally work hard and do achieve something greater than what they have. And so I do think that there are these moments where hustle I do think, I do think hustle can be good. And I'm thinking too.

[00:35:53] Corey Winter: I just, I see that you're hesitating to call it good.

[00:35:56] Emily Thompson: Right. Because it also just is right. And, and honestly, I think part of it too, is I'm thinking of like, I, I'm not trying to glorify it. Like hustle is not this great thing. Everyone should just go out and do it should just be part of what you do as an entrepreneur and or business owner and or creative that gets struck by inspiration.

[00:36:18] You just want to do the thing that you just had this great idea about. So I don't want to even categorize it as good because it just is right. It should just be part of the process. And so for it to be part of the process, it can assist you in achieving good things. I think any good hustle helps you achieve something good?

[00:36:39] Yeah. Maybe that's like a, another definition of bad. It's bad if you're like cheating or stealing,

[00:36:48] right. Or like, or, or we hit on that or using it to do something that you could otherwise just get by doing your regular work. So, anyway, I think really, for me, the idea of I'm hesitant to call it good because I don't want to glorify it. I would rather make it relatively standard and not standard in the way that you should always be hustling.

[00:37:08] That is not what I'm saying by any means, but I think you should just accept that sometimes you have to work hard for what you want and that's called a hustle. And if that grinds your gears, check in with yourself, seeing see what it is that you struggle with around this idea of hustling and, or working hard.

[00:37:27] Anyway, I don't know. I feel like there's a tangent I could go on, but I feel good about that. I forgot. So some examples or characteristics of a good slash neutral hub. When you are working hard for something that is in alignment with your vision and goals, good hustle, right? You should be putting the extra energy.

[00:37:47] Non-indigenous like this half-baked idea that isn't actually aligned with anything. It just is a shiny sequin distraction over there. I don't think that's a good hustle. You may have just wasted a lot of your energy on something that isn't going to help you get to where you want to go. I think there is an asterisk there where like, sometimes you just do what you're interested in and screw it.

[00:38:11] Right? So like this a little asterisk. Okay. I think you've got to hustle is when you're doing your job and that's, this is a neutral hustle, right? This is not a good hustle. This is just a neutral hustle. And in the case that you are here as a business owner or an entrepreneur, and something comes up that you have to do it.

[00:38:38] Do your job. That's a good hustle. Me the deadline, uphold your responsibilities, deal with a, employee that just called out sick deal with a client who just, didn't meet their deadline. Now you have to hustle a little harder, whatever it may be, pretty neutral hassle is just doing your job.[00:39:00] 

[00:39:00] Sometimes it's going to be a little harder than others. I do think there is a goal. There is this goal of creating ease, right? Of creating this ease in your work. But I think it is simply also the nature of being a business owner, that there are too many variables in what you build that you're ever going to not be surprised at something that pops up that you have to deal with.

[00:39:27] That is the nature of what we do. So that's, I think that's a good hustle. Just uphold your responsibilities. Simple as that. I also think a good hustle is one where you are creating from a place of inspiration and passion and, or doing fulfilling work. So especially like the creative types who get that idea who like have just been waiting for that little stroke of inspiration and it finally hit.

[00:39:51] Now you just want to do this thing, love that for you, take care of yourself while you do it, but stay up all night, writing that book or finishing that painting or creating that program or whatever it may be and bust your ass on it for weeks until you get it done. So you can stand back and go, oh, M G look what

[00:40:13] I just did. Right. And then put it out into the world. I think this is another one of those sort of issues with that culture is it doesn't make room for the, like that fiery passion that is ignited when you get a great idea, because then you're going, oh, I should really do this responsibly. I should probably only work like three hours a day on this idea.

[00:40:34] But then the muse is sitting there screaming at you, telling you that if you don't get this out, now it's going to go find somebody else or whatever it may be. So I do think it's totally okay. And amazing. And imagine looking back, even in 20 years at that time that you got this great idea and you just, and you did it, I think about this very particularly whenever I think about indie booms, remember those back in the day, right?

[00:41:04] So 10 ish years ago now probably I got this crazy idea at indie Shopography my old web design studio to redesign the way we worked with our clients that would solve all of our problems. Right. It was this amazing sort of package of our services that served our ideal clients. And it came to me in the middle of the night.

[00:41:31] And I remember not being able to sleep for like five days of, I was so excited and I just, I needed to like, get it on paper I needed to, and he'd just get it out of me and I would go to bed and like, couldn't turn it off. I was so excited, so excited about the thing. And I look back at that and I'm not mad that I lost sleep.

[00:41:55] Right. I am. I think of it. So fondly as a moment when inspiration struck and it was so monumental for where I was in my life and business at that point, that. It was like, it was that fiery passion that I was not going to be able to rest until it was out of me. And I love that. It's not something that I want to happen to me every month.

[00:42:19] I'm very attached to my sleep for sure. But when you were creating from a place of inspiration and passion, I think a hustle is a totally fine thing. 

[00:42:30] Corey Winter: I remember that, cause I was actually on vacation for two weeks and then I came back and like you had reinvented the entire business and that's how I could tell, like, you were like super passionate about it because like just in two weeks time you can completely rebuild the business from the ground up.

[00:42:45] Like I was like, wow. Okay. I wasn't expecting that. 

[00:42:50] Emily Thompson: You should learn to expect the unexpected for sure. Right. I will never forget that time in my life. Like I think back on it, so incredibly fondly and would have changed it for anything. And I think that's sort of a key of a good hustle too, is that you actually do feel good about it.

[00:43:08] Right? You don't look back at it with resentment. That sucks. That's a bad hustle for sure. But you look back at it fondly or even while you're in it, you know that you're showing up and you're doing something extra, right. Something a little more. I think about this very much so too, with how we just launched the home or opened the Almanac store.

[00:43:27] I remember for a couple of weeks before hand, we kind of knew it was going to happen. Then we definitely knew it was going to happen, but we didn't have keys until we had keys. And so I remember sort of being at the pool and some friends being like, aren't you straight? Like what, what are you doing here?

[00:43:43] And I was like, I'm just chilling because I'm about to start a season of hustle that I don't even, I like, I'm just rested. Just, I'm just going to be here for a couple more days. If that's, if you need me, I'll be right here, hanging out by this pool. And I knew it was coming and this whole [00:44:00] process, I have felt amazing about showing up.

[00:44:05] I say asterisk that I have felt amazing about showing up and working this hard to do something that has been on my vision board, basically my entire life. I don't think I'll ever look back at this three-month period and go, oh shit, I like work too hard. What I don't want to do. And because I've done it responsibly, but what I don't want to do is look back and think, wow, I could have done more.

[00:44:32] I will never think that I know that I've shown up and given this a hundred percent and I feel great about it. So anyway, I think that a good hustle is one that you feel good about both in it and Astros that I'll get to that in a second. But also after it, I will say I've had some burnout flashbacks over the past three months of like, this is how I did it.

[00:44:58] Like, am I okay? Am I like, am I going there? Am I close? Is this the cusper? Do I just need to nap? I don't really let, so, like, there have been many moments of like, sort of unsure it shrewdness, but I've also very much so taking care of myself along the way. And now that I'm at the end of it, I did not burn myself out.

[00:45:17] Corey Winter: Yeah, I was going to say you've actually experienced like the extremes of both good hustle and bad hustle, like bad hustle to the point where like you were burned out and like you like took a hiatus for months at a time. Yeah. 

[00:45:31] Emily Thompson: It wasn't really that long, 

[00:45:34] Corey Winter: but yeah. So the bike also had the good hustle, like opening your store and like feeling good about it.

[00:45:39] So how do you actually realize if you've been hustling for too long? Like whether the signs of that, how do you recognize that you're, that you're over hustling? 

[00:45:50] Emily Thompson: So I definitely think that is, this is a self-awareness piece. I think everyone has their own sort of markers and red flags and things. Here's what mine looks like.

[00:45:59] [00:46:00] Mine looks like losing sleep for a long period of time. So if I'm struggling with sleeping for several nights, or like, especially if it's a week, plus there are some things that need to be dealt with. Like, I have too many things in my mind and I need to. Delegate a good bit of things. Or just like anxiety or stress around my to-do list being too long, or my calendar being too full, I need to delegate.

[00:46:22] And then you get things off my plate. So for me, prolonged loss of sleep. I think if I ever catch myself breaking other boundaries, like if I'm saying, if I'm so tired of I'm saying yes to things that I would otherwise like, have the, where with all to say no to. Right. Or if I'm letting someone talk to me in a way that I would not let someone talk to me, I'm probably too tired.

[00:46:44] Like I'm probably going in a bad direction. So those sorts of things, like for me, just like a breaking of boundaries and other areas of my life, because I'm simply too tired to keep them up, I think is a surefire sign that you're hustling too long, too hard. Have you stopped doing the things that are important to you?

[00:47:04] Right? Like if you are all about your morning pages, but you stopped doing your morning pages. There's probably something off with your hustle. You're either doing it too long or too hard, whatever it may be, get back to doing what's important to you. If, if you are not calling your mom every Friday, when you call your mom every Friday, right.

[00:47:23] If you're not doing those things are important to you, bad hustle, or you've been hustling too long. And then I think there's also those, this habitualizing of a hustle that for me, is a surefire sign that I'm hustling too long where, I get up and I'm. In my inbox too early in the morning, because for awhile I've needed to get up and get going earlier than usual.

[00:47:50] Like I'm up doing it when I shouldn't be, because I've habitualized it or same thing with like, I don't need to be working past 4:00 PM, but at six 30 and I'm still sitting here now because I need to be. But because for the past, like six weeks, I've been here till six every day or whatever it may be. So like, if you find yourself just going through the motions of your hustle, when you don't need to be, you've been hustling too long and you need to step back.

[00:48:15] Corey Winter: Okay. So those are ways that you've identified over hustling. So now that you've done that, how do you get back into hustling in a responsible way? 

[00:48:28] Emily Thompson: Well, I think that once you recognize that you're hustling too long, take a break. Yeah. Like I think a prolonged break is in order, because I don't think that you can very easily or responsibly move right back into a responsible hustle.

[00:48:41] Like you have some habits, for sure. So I do want to say there should always be a buffer between us. How about that? And that, that buffer is rest. That bustle, that, that buffer is like getting back to that place of equilibrium as much as possible. So that from there you can, elevate your energy or whatever again, but how to hustle responsibly.

[00:49:05] I think going back to the idea that a good hustle is aligned with your goals or vision, right? So if you see a season of hustle in front of you and I really do see it as a season, I see. Every couple of seasons, it's a hustle season. So when I'm going to have a rest season, sometimes I have a season when I'm just being right when I'm here doing a little bit of both all the time.

[00:49:25] But some seasons are hustle seasons and I'm always very clear as to what I'm going to accomplish. So I remember the first hustle after my 18 months of like burnout recovery, was launching the being boss community, right. Which is now free. Everyone, if you did not know, being boss at clubs slash community.

[00:49:47] So that for me was a hustle. And I remember like waking up from my 18 months recovery and being like, okay, let's do this thing. Let's launch the community. And it was a couple of months of getting it all done and it was perfectly aligned with my goals and vision. So sitting down and making sure that what you're about to embark on is like a specific thing that you need to do or a set of things.

[00:50:08] If that may be the case and. Make sure they're aligned also think for a responsible hustle, you have to focus and use your energy wisely. So don't use it as an opportunity to hustle in all areas of your being at the same time. Right? Put the energy towards the thing that you're wanting to accomplish and maximize your effectiveness in that place.

[00:50:34] By using your energy wisely in that place is not, this is not an excuse to go all Willy nilly. Y'all keep it focused for me. Oh, showing up unapologetically. And again, there will be people in your life. You're like you're working too hard. Haven't seen you in so long, went murmur, whatever it may be. I'm hustling, I'm busy.[00:51:00] 

[00:51:00] And like, I get, I'm not glorifying busy. That is not what I'm doing, but I think you have to own it when you. To do something. For me, no one questioned that I was going to be hustling out the shop. They were like, oh, shop that's amazing. See you in three months. Right? Like, yeah. I'm to be real busy, it's going to be great.

[00:51:18] Cannot wait. And then I'm not, and I can't wait to see the, which is sort of my next point. And this is set a date for when your hustle is over. I knew going into the season of opening Almanac that I would, I would hustle until probably October and the, the date stayed a little nebulous until I got a little more into it.

[00:51:40] And then about two months ago, a month and a half ago, I scheduled a vacation for mid-October and I was like, that's my date right there. I've like, put it on my calendar. I will hustle my ass off until this date. And then going on vacation. When I come back, I will just be for awhile. You about. Downshifted, that week y'all is next week.

[00:52:05] We're recording this one quite early and I'm so excited. Also know that this is me at the end of a three. Let's see July, August, September three and a half months hustle. I don't sound dead. I've done it really responsibly along the way, but I did solidify that date by booking a cabin in the woods where I can just go be quiet and rest and, and celebrate and enjoy what I just did and know that the shop is open and also great internally because I've told the team at Almanac, like we're putting you in place to man the shop, and then guess what?

[00:52:41] We're going to leave it. You're going to have it for like four days. Enjoy don't worry. 

[00:52:46] Corey Winter: Emily actually put on all of our team calendars, Emily out for two weeks straight. So she knows that she has gone.

[00:52:52] Emily Thompson: Yeah, I know. And everybody knows. And as soon as I booked it every week, I have told both teams, like, don't forget, mid-October, don't forget.

[00:52:59] Don't freak. Like everybody knows at one because I don't need anyone to forget, but to y'all all hold me accountable. If I'm in slack, y'all going to be like, no, I will not reply to this. So setting a date for when the hustle is over, I think is one of the most powerful things you can do because that also keeps you from habitualizing it right.

[00:53:20] When I come back, I know there's a totally new set of rules in place. And I'm going to have to learn some habits that I have put myself into. And then otherwise you just have to take care of yourself all along the way. Hustle has to be paired in the moment with intense self. In order for it to be sustainable for any extended period of time.

[00:53:41] I think three and a half months is like, I never want to hustle this long again, if I can, this is like, I think this is where I feel my age, a little bit of like the I'm at the end of it, for sure. The end of all my ropes. But like I also feel good because I've taken care of myself all along the way. I have limited other engagements and responsibilities.

[00:54:02] I definitely haven't seen some of my friends in awhile unapologetically for sure. I told them they all know, but I have limited other engagements and responsibility. I've asked for help both at work and at home along the way. I have delegated more in the past three and a half months than I probably ever have before.

[00:54:21] And I literally asked David to feed me, just bring me food, right? Find me someone who will mop my floors for me. Help me, help me, help support me in all of the ways, so that I can show up and do this work. Also resting a lot. When I'm in a season of hustle, I spend more time in bed and like there have been Saturdays here in this like three and a half months where I literally have not really gotten out of bed.

[00:54:51] I've had a lot of mandatory lazy days. We talk about those. There's a podcast around somewhere go to beingboss.club search mandatory lazy day. If you're in the being boss community, we're actually having a community wide mandatory lazy day on December 28. So you can join that if you want to being boss.club/community.

[00:55:09] But, we'll also put links to all these things in the show notes, but I arrest a lot whenever I'm hustling, I'm not hanging out with anybody I'm sleeping when I'm not working so that I can get continue showing up and doing it. But then also very mindfully staying engaged with the chill things that also just keep me fueled.

[00:55:29] So I'm still gardening. I'm still reading. I've probably read more fiction this summer than I usually do. Like I've read, I'm laying in bed and reading a book because it's something that I can do that keeps me feeling like myself. But I'm physically resting while I'm doing it. And then otherwise just eating and sleeping well, I definitely take care of my body probably a little bit more when I'm hustling than when I'm just being.

[00:55:53] Cause that's when I go out with friends and have cheese, did 

[00:55:57] Corey Winter: I like cheese dip is how you consider yourself. 

[00:55:59] Emily Thompson: There's a place here that has really great cheese there, but I can't wait to go get nachos

[00:56:06] very excited about nachos. 

[00:56:08] Corey Winter: So, I did want to say, so we've made reference to your like 18 months, long burnout, several times in this episode. So I want to just quickly shout out if you want to listen to more about how that came about and just how Emily and Kathleen came out of that burnout. We have a podcast episode, episode 219 called burnout and buyout, where they were super vulnerable with how the burnout happened and how they came out of it.

[00:56:33] And we also talked a little bit about it in the two-part Kathleen Emily interview, in episodes 238 and 239. 

[00:56:42] Emily Thompson: Perfect. Thank you for those. And again, all links in the show notes. So basically what I want to sum this up with is hustle is both not good or bad. I think it can be very neutral. Just it's part of how it is that we show up.

[00:56:59] And I want everyone to feel guiltless about that as long as it's aligned and you're feeling yourself and you're doing things you're proud of. Right. But it can be good and it can be really bad, but I, what I want everyone to take from this is you do you, you do you, and if you have some adjustments to make around working hard, make them and see what it is that you are capable of doing.

[00:57:27] Or if you are on the other end of that spectrum and you find yourself hustling too much. Take a chill pill, take a break for yourself and otherwise learn to hustle responsibly because I know I do. I love a hustle. I love it. I love showing up and giving something all of my energy and then stopping and seeing what I created and resting and gearing up for the next one.

[00:57:54] So anyway, find where it works for you. And then one of the things that we came up with in the community as we were [00:58:00] having, some of these conversations is really settling on this idea of creating holistic balance for yourself of creating this sort of flow that does not look the same day to day or week to week or month to month.

[00:58:13] But at some point you can look back at the past year or two or five or 10 years and see how these seasons all complimented these each other, not how they like word against each other. How like that for me, That long season of hustle that sent me into 18 months of burnout and recovery was. Like, I don't want to ever do that again, for sure.

[00:58:39] That was awful. That was a period. I'll look back on that and know, okay, I did that wrong, but I also know that I can look at the years after, like since then and see that this is what it looks like to do it in a way that feels really good. And it's more of this really large view of quote unquote balance or flow or this moving between when you need to rest and when you need to work.

[00:59:02] And I didn't even get to seasonality legit here. Y'all, that's a whole nother conversation. But don't, don't think about creating balance on these, like really my new levels. Think about creating it in your life, because I also know that I am hustling right now so that I can hustle less when I'm older, when I don't have the energy to do it.

[00:59:25] And that's sort of a multi decade sort of holistic view that I'm taking and I'm hoping I'll be well-served when I get there. 

[00:59:36] Corey Winter: And bosses this, it can be hard to find that balance of good hustle and bad hustle. Like it, if you're in that bad hustle, it can be really hard to come out of it if you're not experienced in coming out of it.

[00:59:48] So if you need help, do not be afraid to ask for help. And if you don't know where to go for help, our community is free. Like there are tons of bosses in there that are willing to offer their advice because they've been through it too. So don't be afraid to ask for help. It can be easy to hustle. So don't, don't work yourself too hard. 

[01:00:06] Emily Thompson: Easy and fun.

[01:00:07] I think it's how you do it. You're doing it. Well, I will also say those two of those episodes that you mentioned are really great. And whenever I was like in the depths of burnout, not sure how has it come out? There because a long way guys therapy. Perfect. Corey is fine. How are you feeling about it?

[01:00:22] You're going to go change your hustle. 

[01:00:24] Corey Winter: I mean, yes, I've already started. I've already started, so like, yes, but I do have more work to do. 

[01:00:32] Emily Thompson: Perfect. Well, it's my pleasure to have this conversation with you. And I hope everyone listening to this, walked away with a little bit of something coming in terms of how it is that you show up in your work in life.

[01:00:43] Whether it's chilling out a little bit or being okay with cranking it up as needed. 

[01:00:50] Corey Winter: Good. Take a nap. Go eat. 

[01:00:51] Emily Thompson: Go take a nap. Cheese dip on me.

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