Tia, like so many people, spent a portion of their younger years sucked up into diet culture. They tried so many diets with so many rules that it became impossible to follow them. Competing messages said the same food was amazing or evil, that you should or shouldn’t fast. Then if a diet didn’t work, hustle culture told Tia it was their fault. They didn’t follow the rules of a ridiculously complicated system closely enough. Does this sound familiar? Hustle culture puts entrepreneurs in the same hopeless position. Once you recognize it, you can move towards a more sustainable and fulfilling way of running your business.
Hustle Culture in Entrepreneur Spaces
In business spaces, people in hustle culture teach that there’s one right to succeed, and it’s their way. You know the refrain. Pay for this course. Outsource that aspect of your marketing. Write this sales page. When you follow their guidelines as best you can and still don’t see results, their first response is usually “Well did you watch the module? Are you following the plan to a T?”
Even more commonly, these folks will say, “You just need to hustle harder.” When you think about it, this gives business coaches and educators an out when their systems don’t work for you. Like diet culture, hustle culture sets people up for failure in the long run with unsustainable strategies that aren’t actually tailored to their needs. Business isn’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor. Business is human; you are a human.
Of course, there is some nuance. Checking out of hustle culture completely can rely on some level of privilege. If you need to make rent fast, you may turn to tactics that get a big payoff in the short-term even if it doesn’t feel right in the long run. There’s no shame in that.
Designing a Sustainable Business
The underlying message of hustle culture is that you need to “do it all.” If you’re ready and able to take a step back from that way of doing things, please do. You can have a thriving business and take two days (or twenty) away from it. While Tia was building their photography business, they figured out systems that allowed them to ghost active marketing and their inbox when they needed to. Here are some ideas to help you reorient your approach to business outside of hustle culture.
Spend your energy doing what feels best.
If you love popping on your Instagram stories, let yourself do that. If Pinterest induces anxious sweating, outsource it or let it go. Just because someone told you that you “have” to do something doesn’t mean you actually do. The things that feel fulfilling for you may just be what gets you in front of your ideal clients anyway.
Use marketing tools that work for your personality.
Different people’s brains work differently, and that’s going to affect which marketing platforms they prefer. Stephanie likes long-term planning, writing, and passive marketing. Blogging is ideal for her, and she loves it. Tia prefers to have a menu of options for making more spur of the moment, interactive content. TikTok makes sense for them. Feel out what actually makes sense for your personality as opposed to simply running through a marketing checklist.
Let go of shame around not doing it all.
No one can do everything everyday for any sustained period of time. Some things that don’t feel good for you, including marketing channels you find exhausting, could be perfect opportunities to outsource. If you have the capacity, handing those tasks to someone else can free up so much mental and emotional energy for the things you love about your business.
Maybe these strategies make you feel like a C student. Embrace that! It’s amazing what you can do when you start to think of this as a good thing.
Are you ready to transform your business with coaching that honors your energy and centers your humanity? Tia helps entrepreneurs design trauma-informed, sustainable business strategies based on their individual personalities and goals. Learn more about Tia’s one-on-one coaching and group program, Disruptor.