It’s a quiet Sunday morning and I’m up before the world starts to stir, invigorated by the anticipation of the work that awaits me. I am a natural morning person and my mind races ahead of me as I take a quick shower, make an espresso in my Delonghi, grab my Samsung Galaxy Book3 and sit down in my favorite snug spot on the balcony… ready to roll!
I am a hustler. I like to get things done. Time is of essence and not to be wasted. My work is my passion and what keeps me alive and kicking. I love planning, preparing, executing. Love the buzz that comes with each successful project completion and the recognition associated with it.
Of course, there are moments when things don’t go according to plan. But unlike in the past, when I would dwell on setbacks for days, I now rise above them. I pick myself up, dust off any self-doubt, and forge ahead, ready to tackle whatever comes my way.
The shift from being a hustler, relentlessly charging ahead and battling through every storm, to adopting a more composed and strategic perspective as an entrepreneur, was a transformation brought on by the COVID pandemic, thanks to the compulsory stop to the constant need to race ahead.
The compulsory halt to the constant need to race ahead and the world coming to a standstill allowed me to reflect on my frenzied lifestyle. It was through the guidance of coaching and introspection, asking powerful questions that I had a moment of clarity. I realized that I needed to shift my focus back to myself and my long-term goals.
That was the true beginning of my transformation. The shift from being solely a hustler to becoming an entrepreneur, with a more strategic and forward-thinking approach. This shift was not just a change in mindset but a change in my entire philosophy and way of life.
So what are the key differences between being a Hustler and an Entrepreneur?
A hustler lives for today. For doing what they can do to make quick money, feel good and then make it again. If one thing doesn’t work they move on to the other, taking risks along the way. They go for the ‘feel-good’ factor, the immediate highs, not caring as much about the long-term effect of their work.
I go back to my early days of participating in markets with my clothing brand SUMMER. With barely any brand visibility or signage, I was more interested in covering the rent of my table, making a bit of profit on top and going back home with a little less luggage to carry. And it worked out well, till it lasted.
An entrepreneur has a long-term vision. They are not just focused on making a quick buck but are invested in building a business that will thrive for years to come. They have a business plan, a vision, and a strategy to achieve their goals.
In the quest of doing quick business, customer satisfaction might take a backseat for hustlers. Focusing all their attention to the deal in hand, a hustler may ignore or not understand the latent needs of the market, losing out in the long run.
An entrepreneur on the other hand knows that the goodwill of their brand is with more than making quick cash. This in turn makes them more focused towards listening to their customers’ desires, their needs, their pain points, taking their valuable feedback.
Art of Delegation
Delegation is probably one of the most difficult things for a hustler to do!
Being a natural problem-solver, this is something that I am still learning. From designing a logo to building a website to creating a flyer to promoting an event – I have done it all by myself, and yes, that does make me feel good! But who really cares about that? Who is struggling at the end? Either myself or my brand.
It is a small shift, but once you make it you will see that is makes a HUGE difference. Suddenly you will feel more in control of your time, you can focus on new areas of growth for your business, get new ideas from specialists and experts in the field, their success is your success.
My brand is my baby, I used to say. And why not, after all I did ‘give-birth’ to it, nurtured it just like an infant, hustled to its every need, gave up every spare minute of my time to ensure its growth. Making it my identity. I know of other mom-founders who are more known by their brand names than their own and they take pride in being called a ‘Sunshine’ or a ‘Flamingo.’ And all that is probably ok in the first two years of business. But then one day your child grows into a teenager and suddenly noone wants them. And when your business flounders, your identity that you had associated to your brand, is now at risk. So the failure is not limited to your business, you start seeing it as a personal failure.
Being an entrepreneur means moving beyond being a Founder. They understand that their brand is not their identity, and they separate themselves from their business. They know that their sense of worth comes from within themselves, not their performance or outward achievements.
So who are you? A Hustler or an Entrepreneur?
While there is some overlap between being a hustler and an entrepreneur, there are also significant differences between the two. If you are considering starting your own business, it is important to think carefully about your goals and what you hope to achieve. Are you looking to make a quick buck focusing on the hustle and the grind, or are you passionate about creating something new and innovative in the long run? Your answer to this question will help guide you in deciding whether you are better suited to being a hustler or an entrepreneur.