A New Kind of Hustler: Resourceful, Smart and Business Survivors

I’m a hustler.

Not the kind that Urban Dictionary describes as “selling drugs, rolling dice, or pimpin”. I’m closer to the hustler that “has ambition and a more serious approach to life than that of a gangsta”. Since I have ambitions and try to avoid both pimpin and gangs whenever possible, I prefer this definition of a hustler:

A hustler is “forced to use their brains to make it in this world”

Hustler is a great title for me because I’ve used my “brains” to create a unique professional portfolio. I’m a karate instructor, business instructor, writer, website manager, and a community organizer. I get paid to do a lot of different things and that’s just the way I like it. I used to think my hodgepodge of jobs were uncommon. However, more and more folks are creating new and unique businesses to fit their lifestyles. Today, it’s all about doing what you love and building a self-sustaining business.

We’re Hustling 24/7

We don’t work 24/7. But we’re always on the lookout for new opportunities, whether it’s chatting with PTO moms, relaxing on a beach, or skimming the weekly newspaper.

The point is that a hustler is always seeking opportunities regardless of size or profitability. One place to start is Facebook, which has thousands of groups and lists local events

A friend found an amazing deal on foot massagers at Walmart and sold them on eBay for a $600 profit. A family member started refurbishing antiques and flipping yard sale finds and averages $1500 a month. I make $1000 a year managing a website for a nonprofit that asked for a volunteer. The point is that a hustler is always seeking opportunities regardless of size or profitability. One place to start is Facebook, which has thousands of groups and lists local events. Although you can find events on your personal page, you can also download Facebook Local which helps refine local events. This is a great opportunity to see if there are any opportunities that may fit your skills.

With your eyes open to new ideas, something interesting will eventually cross your path.

We Use Resources Wisely

Hustlers are smart – we don’t need to start our business ventures from scratch. In fact, we prefer to use what’s already available. And we have a lot of options with today’s technology. There are millions of hustlers using platforms like Etsy, eBay, WordPress, and Wix. But we are not limited to online opportunities as on-demand apps are fantastic options for hustlers. From delivery apps like Postmates and service apps like TaskRabbit, we can find new options depending on our location and skill set. And in true hustler fashion, we don’t want to spend a lot of money to start. Ridester explains how the inspection process should start with an owner inspection and not a mechanic inspection:

“There’s a good chance you might be tempted to spend too much money on repairs your mechanic suggests at inspection. This can inflate your costs on repairs that you could have solved yourself.”

Not only do hustlers prefer cheap, but we also prefer to do it ourselves whenever we can.

We Know Failure is Just Another Day

Hustlers are survivors and we’re not scared of failure. We know failure is just another opportunity to learn what doesn’t work. One of my favorite self-proclaimed hustlers is Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban who gets the role failure plays in a hustlers life:

“It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once.”

I’ve failed so many times that I couldn’t count them all. But failing is never the point for a hustler. Failure is part of the learning curve, not a death sentence. I’ve talked to many aspiring entrepreneurs who put their blood, sweat, and tears into a new startup that ultimately failed. They walk away with their heads down and vow to never do that again. But why stop after learning what doesn’t work? Why not use what failure taught you to make something better? That’s the biggest difference between hustlers and everyone else with a business dream. We would never let a little thing like failure stop us from moving forward.

It’s just not in our DNA.

There’s Always Tomorrow

Hustlers get stressed. We get angry, frustrated and tired. But we don’t run scared. In Lose Yourself, rapper Eminem wrote these now-famous lyrics:

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

While I love the concept behind this song – a modern Carpe diem anthem – it’s never going ring true for hustlers. We know we’ll always have more shots. That’s an amazingly freeing concept and something that all hustlers understand at a fundamental level. We’re going to be okay because the sun will come out tomorrow.

Who knew Annie was a hustler at heart?

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Liesha Petrovich
LIESHA is a freelancer by day and Kyokushin Black Belt by night. A late-blooming academic, she's happiest teaching business at UoPeople. Liesha is the author of Killing Rapunzel: Learning How to Save Yourself Through Determination, Grit, and Self-Employment (her mother hates the title - but it's a metaphor mom!). She talks business at Microbusiness Essentials and everything else at Liesha Petrovich.com
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