Why I Am Allergic To The Word Hustle & A Business Hustle Antidote

TFCo Blog Allergic to Business Hustle | business coaching for women perth australia | Shannon Dunn | The Thrive Factor archetypes for business

“Are you so busy hustling you’ve lost focus of what is really important and struggling to get clear in the sea of blur you find yourself in?”


This is the kind of questioning I find I raise in frequent coaching sessions with my business clients.


When they tell me they are overwhelmed, can’t focus, aren’t being productive, easily distracted, second guessing every  decision made, I know it’s likely that hustle has arisen and is impacting in ways it doesn’t deserve to.


Business Hustle Allergy | Shannon Bush Business Coach Perth Australia | lost in the hustle






Yeah… nah!


Honestly I think I read or heard this word shared a bazillion times last year and for every one of those time I felt a physical reaction.


Shivers. Skin crawling. Tightness in my chest like I couldn’t breathe. Frustration. Annoyance. Physical and emotional responses you’d expect in an allergic reaction.


It is not a word that works for me. In fact I avoid it as much as possible and I am going to tell you why.


In a nutshell it is the opposite to every single thing I stand for. It creates an image of working waaaaaaaay to hard. It makes me feel like I have to spend every waking moment taking big, bold action if I am going to get anywhere. It makes me feel like I’m not doing enough…


“Get with the hustle…”
“Hustle your way to success…”
“It is all in the hustle…”


Says who? I’d honestly like to know because I do not subscribe to the word and all it stands for.

In fact I think it is discouraging and even patronising as a word to use to motivate any business owner to take action when it is used to imply overworking, or what I call unhealthy hustle. I am not voting for more business hustle, or life hustle.


With a huge focus on making things easier in business I am a lover of building confidence and resilience, taking action after considered planning, working with the best mentors you can find who will support you, not berate you when they decide what you are doing isn’t enough.


That is not ok.


It happens out there in the business world all the time.


Doesn’t mean it is ever going to be ok.


In all the years I’ve coached (14+ at the time of publishing this in 2019), taught and mentored business owners and worked with psychology (decades now) I know from personal experience that setting someone up to work hard can get results. Doing that in a way that implies they are not enough does not get results.


I do not exactly know why, but the use of the word hustle conjures up thoughts and feelings of not enough. Like it is somehow a label dictating you must do more, push more, be more, and keep flogging yourself until you get somewhere awesome. Then do it all again with more effort and more, dare I say, hustle!


Business Hustle Allergy | Shannon Bush Business Coach Perth Australia


“To hustle: to push or force ones way!
To hustle: to try to persuade someone, especially to buy something, often illegally”


I am true to my #MentorTeacher archetype and love to research to understand. When I googled the word hustle to explore its definition these are the words I found staring back at me;

“push roughly, jostle”

“swindle, fraud”

“obtain by forceful action”


Ok so I clearly see why my response is so allergic in nature each time I hear this word. Everything about those various definitions goes against the grain of who I am as a Liberator Engineer and Inspirer Believer.


Those two archetypes are about freedom and lifting others up. They are about doing things easier and celebrating action and success and knowing it is deserved in all its forms. They are also about doing less to achieve more, riding on the waves of excitement and actively using your strengths to create more effortlessness.


I looked for pictures related to the word hustle because I love a visual understanding of things too. All I saw were pics of people racing around, jostling to get ahead, struggling to crack the success ceiling, frustrated faces blurring through rush hour crowds, lost souls seeking connection and recognition.


Yeah more evidence for me to repel from all hustle. Don’t get me wrong.


I work my butt off to achieve what I achieve. I put in the hours. I get results. I learn from the challenges I face or the mistakes I make.


I value every single day I get to lead a business.


I value my choices and my actions and know they lead to the results I experience. I get frustrated. I feel overwhelmed just like the rest of you. Yet I refuse to align myself with the business hustle or life hustle.


The daily grind hustle.

The side hustle.

The everyday hustle.

The focused hustle.

The get sh!t done hustle.


Business hustle like all the hustles just scream “too busy”, “too much”, “I don’t have time for me, or you, or anyone”, “I have to push, push, push” and so many more things that are overwhelming my head as I write this article.


I feel tired. Is it time for a nap to escape the business hustle for a moment?


If you listen to the hustle subscribers no naps are allowed. You are too busy taking aligned, consistent action ALL the time!


Hustle has it’s place if you’re using it to refer to being considered and conscious about the action you are taking in business. If it talks to your consistency and alignment and leads you to results. In a healthy, rested, nourished way.

Business Hustle Allergy | Shannon Bush Business Coach Perth Australia | lost in the hustle | simplicity


“If you’re not hustling, then what are you doing?
The business hustle antidote exists!”


So I’ve gone on a lot about why the whole business hustle, or in fact just hustle doesn’t work for me.


True. But all that had a point.


I hope it got you thinking about what you’re really saying when you’re talking life hustle, family hustle, side hustle, business hustle, any hustle.


In place of this way of referencing your amazing commitment and how hard you might work I’d like to suggest you try using a different language.


Language that focuses on the pure simplicity of support, mostly focused on your support of YOU!


Talk about your accomplishments. Start with the little things. Be your own cheerleader. Give credit where credit is due.


Celebrate all the wins.

Do so loudly.


Fiercely even.


Look at welcoming a state of simplicity by welcoming in a state of ease. Of effortlessness. Of flow and momentum. Do this by remembering you have choices to make, choices about your response, your actions, your beliefs.


Choose YOU.

Don’t choose hustle.

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