4 strategies to stop hustling in your small business (and feel good)

Every so often a podcast or article on ‘the hustle’ crosses my radar. The host or author talks about how, as a business owner, you need to hustle in order to make it work. Especially as a beginning business owner. But: what if we don’t want to hustle? How do we build and run a business without the hustle? In this post I share four strategies to help you stop hustling in your business.

The hustle: working all the time. Squeezing in work whenever we can find the time. Writing Instagram posts while waiting for the kettle to boil. Working evenings and weekends next to a job or family demands. Working all.the.time. Pinning to Pinterest in the line at the supermarket. Forcing yourself to be on all the marketing channels. Pushing through. 

These are always well-intended podcasts and articles. We tell the stories that we know, and I don’t doubt that the hustle has worked for these people. But what about the rest of us? What about those of us who don’t have the energy or desire to hustle?

The hustle and scarcity

The ‘hustle’ is born out of scarcity. Out of that deep-seated fear that we have especially as beginning business owners (but also as more experienced ones). Sometimes we’d so desperately want someone to just tell us how to do it. Which steps to take, which hoops to run through to make this business a success. 

For how long we need to hustle is rarely made clear. Because, as much as we’d want it, there is no true roadmap or guide to building or running a business. You can only be your own guide. You and your values. Without you, there’s no business. 

I refuse to hustle. But that’s not always been the case. 

My experiences with the hustle

By the time I started my business in early 2019 I’d had years of hustling in various forms behind me. I worked in academia, where the hustle is glorified. 

I’m not complaining. I chose to hustle, even though for the longest time no one told me that the odd were very much against me. It took several mental health challenges and a new relationship to help me figure out that I was no longer prepared to do everything and give everything. When I met my partner I suddenly enjoyed weekends. I enjoyed time off work. 

And when I was forced, and learned, to live more in tune with my own energy levels, I realised that my life outside of work was the most important thing.

The hustle can be invigorating. Working on your business during your lunchbreak can save your sanity if you’re working a 9-to-5 that is soul destroying. It can be great so do a deep dive into your (new) business, doing all the learning and brainstorming. 
But this is intense pace is rarely sustainable. 

This is my assurance to you that there are other ways of building and running a business. That the ‘hustle’ isn’t the only option. And it’s your permission slip to allow you to lean into what feels good for you, for your life, your body and your business. 

This is your permission slip to step away from the hustle. To lean into what feels good for you, for your life, your body and your business.

4 strategies to stop hustling in your small business (and feel good!): 

  1. Whether you’re building a new business or running an established one, settle on a pace that you can keep up in the long run. We all have more intense or busy periods in our businesses, but most of us can’t sustain these for months on end.
  2. Take an honest look at your business and your plans with the long view in mind. What gives you energy? Where are your strengths? What would you do if you weren’t trying to follow the ‘rules’ around building your business?
  3. Decide on your non-negotiables, whether it’s having one or more days off every week, being done with work in time for school pick-up or not being on social media all the time. 
  4. Create a plan that works for you. My boundaries guide can be a real help with that. Another is thinking about your marketing plan. Getting clear on that earlier this year has made me feel 100% more confident about my marketing–and I’m doing less. And not hustling at all 🙂

You can build, grow and run a business without the hustle. I hope this post helps you take steps to stop hustling in your business. Remember: your business needs to sustain you and your life–not someone else’s template or ideas about it. I’d love to help you run business without the hustle: find out more about my 1:1 mentoring offers, or send me a message.

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