No Hustle Allowed

It’s time for your periodic reminder that the current success fad of “hustle” is – in my opinion – complete nonsense.

It’s become fashionable for entrepreneurs to believe that:

– sleep is for losers
– recreation is for losers
– hobbies are for people who aren’t chasing their dream
– taking time off means you’re not serious.
– and that 18-hour workdays are too short. 20-hour workdays are where it’s at.

Some of us have seen this schtick before. Back in the 80s (when I was still a kid), there was a period where being overworked was viewed as a good thing. 

People were judged by how many projects they took on and completed. Those who couldn’t hack it (or wouldn’t play the game) were seen as “less than” everyone else. Faulty.

And then we figured out that was a lousy recipe for a life of fulfillment, achievement and satisfaction.

But, cycles go ‘round and ‘round.
The pendulum swings back and forth.

And here we are again.

Today, there’s a new wave of authors, trainers and gurus who peddle the same, old “workaholic” mentality under the new brand name of “Hustle”.

And this time – thanks to an ever-present camera-man and social media – we get to see the “hustle lifestyle” demonstrated with video after video of:

– 18-20 hour days
– no downtime
– no hobbies, no recreation, no breaks
– important meeting after important meeting
– and not a single family member, friend or relationship in sight

Just “the hustle”.

I can’t tell if these gurus actually believe what they’re saying about these 18-20 hour days and their importance in the recipe for success.

Or if they’re just trying to counter-balance what they perceive to be an enormous amount of weight on the other side of the scales. 

I believe “hustle” – at least, as the gurus portray it – is an unhealthy message.

For instance, look at recreation. The very word itself reveals its importance. It’s not just about having fun. It’s about “re-creating”. It’s a reset of your mental abilities. Ignore it and your work will suffer.

My new friend Dustin Lee (founder of Retro Supply Co.) takes a 90 minute nap every day. Why? Because he says mornings are the most productive time of his day….so by taking a 90-minute nap every day, he gets two mornings in the same day. He says his post-nap routine is very much like his morning routine. 

My friend Keith (CEO of a successful company for 25+ years) is the same way. He has a nice leather couch in his office for a reason. It’s for naps.

I’m not much of a napper. But I recharge my batteries by getting away from my usual “work” and engaging in other types of creativity. 

I might go help out in the non-profit organization my wife and I founded.  (Check us out at Spark Theater Company.  We appreciate your support!)

It might be a musical project. (Check out for an example).

Or, it might be learning more about graphic arts and design (like that snazzy retro graphic on this post).

Those aren’t my main “gig”. But, for me, they serve the same function as a nap.  They recharge my batteries and let me come back to my main “gig” with new ideas and creativity.


Hustle? No thanks.

You do not have to sacrifice your health, your family time, your relationships, or your hobbies and recreation in order to be successful in life.

In fact, I would argue that the kind of success that most of us wants makes recreation and downtime a priority.

What do you think?  Comment below!

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