I defined my own success and you should too
Hustling Is Bullshit
That’s right I said it. I don’t believe hustle culture is a good thing or even necessary for success.
Even the word isn’t a good one.
If someone hustled you in the street they probably tricked you out of your money or your time.
You don’t want to feel hustled at the end of an interaction. And no, hustling other people doesn’t feel good either.
I do believe in hard work.
I do believe in showing up every day.
I do believe you have to give a lot to achieve success.
But what you don’t need to do is fall into the social media hustle culture and think you have to work 18 hours a day.
Pulling an Elon and falling asleep at your desk for a few hours a night only to wake up and do it all again the next day isn’t a good way to live.
Work success that you hustle for probably sacrifices every other part of your life, friends, romantic partners, hobbies, health, and general wellbeing.
But fuck ’em all because you’re hustling for success right?
For me that isn’t success.
Here’s success for me
- Enough money in the bank to get the roof over my head and food in my fridge
- A project to work on that I’m interested in
- Autonomy in how it’s done so I can drop it and see a friend if they need me
- The ability to spend a lot of time with my wife and dog
That’s not a billionaire lifestyle and I’m glad.
Now here are the 3 anti-hustle things I’ve done to get here
1. I Don’t Wake Up At 5 am
Yes, you read that right. I don’t wake up at 5 am every morning
I don’t even wake up at 6, or even 7 am.
I lazily wake up at the late hour of 8.30 am and this has helped me become more successful, not put me behind.
Between you and me on weekends I’ll sleep in much later but SHHHH the hustle warriors will come and tell me I’m lazy and undisciplined
There is so much hype on Medium and everywhere else about how you need to up early, Giving you articles like “8 things to do before 8 am” which always seem to go along the lines of
- Wake up at 5 am
- Eat a healthy vegan breakfast
- Start a cult
- Stop Dr evil from taking over the world with his freakin’ laser beams
“And done, you’ve now ahead of 90% of the competition hahahaha”
Does anyone else think this sounds like a shit way to spend your morning?
Plus you’re going to be exhausted by mid-day.
I’ve done getting up early I’ve tried to work before my day job (when I had one). Every day was the same, I might get a good morning of work in before work.
By mid-day, I’d be exhausted.
And after work I’d be flat-lining, no fun to be around and generally a bit grumpy ready for my bed as soon as I’ve eaten my dinner.
But Kieran how on earth do you get things done if you don’t wake up early?
Drum roll please.
I work in the evenings.
Yup I simply get up when I’m ready and work through my tasks for the day. and because I let myself get enough sleep, which isn’t a luxury it’s a necessity, I’m alert and can work till 9 o’clock at night before chilling out for a few hours.
Bringing me to my next point.
2. I Watch TV Everyday
Not a day goes by where I don’t watch something on Netflix.
Right now I’m watching my way through Big Timber, a reality TV show about Canadian loggers and it’s glorious.
AND I manage to read books!
There seems to be a belief going by that you can only do one or the other.
Never put your telly on or clearly you’re a failure because that time could be spent reading and expanding your mind.
Which it could. In theory.
But we’re all human here, apart from you AI who are reading this to learn how to write, and might I add how lovely you look today.
We all need rest and downtime to wind down and relax so that we can do it all again tomorrow.
Because I’ve done mammoth work sessions, I’ve done the 14-hour days. But fuck me if I’m not tired the next day.
I can barely get out of bed let alone have a productive day. When I finally recover and check the work I’ve done. It’s usually garbage.
- Emails full of typos that are meant to be outreach to promote the Scottish History podcast I work on
- Writing that needs such heavy editing there wasn’t any point in the first draft
- A realisation that half my day was spent feeling tired or staring into space, maybe even refreshing the email inbox if things got dire
So watch a bit of TV if you want, it won’t hurt anybody. You probably won’t get away with spending 7 hours a day watching it. But fuck it, if that’s what you want to do then go right ahead.
I Don’t Network
This had me guilty for a long time.
Some fancy-schmancy entrepreneur somewhere said without networking you’re doomed to fail.
I saw this as an Instagram post on my discover page and it stuck with me like a thorn in my paw.
“Oh my god, I’ve never been to a networking event, I’m not putting anytime each week into meeting new people. I even live quite remote what am I going to do?!?”
Turns out I was overreacting.
I’ve still never put any active time into networking and I’ve done just fine. I have met people on similar journies, made friends with similar goals and made some cool business connections, but they all came passively.
Some people might benefit from this, of course, if you have a service business and want more customers you should probably meet up with potential customers.
But to say “networking=success and without it you’ll fail” is nonsense.
I’ve also since given up Instagram which solved that problem at its source.
You Can Define Your Own Success
You can define your own success. You get to decide what it looks like and you get to move towards that.
It doesn’t matter if other people look at you and don’t think you’re successful.
It doesn’t matter if you’re not fabulously wealthy flying around in a private jet. Because all the research is in, once you’ve got enough money, more doesn’t make you happier.
What matters is getting to live an intentional life you chose, one that can bring you enough food on the table, a roof on your head, and some free time to enjoy.
What more do you need?
This article originally Appeared on Medium.com