I was listening to a youtube video as Steve Jobs presented the new Apple marketing campaign, Think Different. I was struck by his quest to build a brand and to provide an experience to customers. Sure, he understood the value of his product, but he also articulated the mind of the consumer. He spoke about honoring the consumer as a producer. He wanted the people who purchased Apple products to believe that they now had the tools to change the world. The video, arguably only a simple marketing presentation, moved me.
1. Organize Your Passion
Dismiss the need to make money, and think about that thing that you are already doing for fun. It is that thing that you do not have to be paid to do. It could be talking, writing, running, or cooking. The first step is to identify it, and confirm what it is you like about it.
Many inspirational talks on entrepreneurship end with some version of “Work Hard.” From there, they get mired in the uncertainty of your doubts and fears, your hang-ups, insecurities, and unsustainable habits. Most inspirational talks neglect to explain how working hard is different from what you are already doing. Indeed, your aching feet and back tell you that you are already working hard. I suggest that you begin working smarter.
Keep your day job, and expand your Hustle.
“Tha Hustle” is meant to communicate that, though your feet and back are in pain, the end of the day-job grind MUST be the beginning of your hustle and flow. The key is in the identification of your passion. When you clarify your passion—what you would do for free AND what you are already doing—you identify something that does not add to your stress and back pain. Your passion calms your stress and soothes your back ache. Your passion allows you to unwind. It feeds you rather than draining you.
2. Consider How Your Passion Can Change the World
Yes! You, doing what you love, can change the world. It begins with a change in you. It extends to your family. Your family influences other families. These families influence neighborhoods. Neighborhoods influence communities. Communities influence counties, and the experience of change is secured.
3. Learn the Lesson of World Change
The lesson of world change is to BUILD. From you to your family and eventually to community, is a model for building progressively. Your impatience reveals that you are still in survival mode. You are attempting to “make it big” and leave your day job behind. Sustainable progress is more than one-and-done achievement. Success builds over time and is continuous. Your joy must be in the hustle and flow, not in the absence or presence of one-time results.
To hustle has been defined as “to obtain something from by energetic activity especially underhanded activity” (Merriam-webster.com). Consider the benefit if you “energetically provided something to” your family, your community, your world. “Tha Hustle” is about producing something that brings people together, informs them, and challenges them to become producers themselves and co-owners in the destiny of our community.
This network is not just a collection of customers. You must honor them as producers. Your hustle must inspire them to join you in changing the world.
5. Flow: Create Content
Flow has been defined by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi as internal motivation. It is passion but also intentionality, purpose, and joy in production. Rather than focusing on whether people are buying your product or joining your cause, you MUST continue to produce.
Your passion sustains you, but it also represents your competence and stands as the undeniable case for the viability of your brand.
If you are doing it right, if you are in a flow, your monetization opportunities will extend beyond the immediate product. Your network will invite you to speak, to lead, and to publish your perspective and your story. Your message becomes greater than a single product, beyond a simple brand. Your passion to change the world becomes contagious. Your story, arguably beginning as a side hustle, can be emotionally moving.