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You’ve probably heard about hustling, side hustles, side-gigs, etc., but do you know what it entails, or more importantly, how it can improve your life?

Probably not. I’m going to break it down for you in this post and show you why you should get a side hustle as soon as possible.

If you go to dictionary.com, you’ll find the definition of a hustler. I know some of your minds are in the gutter and heading towards a magazine of ill-repute.  Stop and reconsider now please ignore #2-4 because they don’t pertain to the modern term as we’re defining it.

Basically, the term side-hustler, or even simply hustler, has nothing to do with swindling or taking advantage of people.  It’s all about making things happen by constantly going after opportunities to SOLVE PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS with integrity.  Zig Ziglar once said, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”.  If you are actively looking for solutions to common problems, and constantly try to fix them for the benefit of those faced with those problems, then you, my dear, are a hustler.

Ok, so you’ve realized that you’re a hustler, have come to terms with it, and are probably wondering, “Why should I continue with my side hustles”?

1. Meeting up with other like-minded individuals is crucial.

This just about sums it up – “You will never be successful hiding in the corner and keeping to yourself. You need to constantly be out there networking, with other entrepreneurs and industry contacts. This is where a lot of new opportunities, partnerships, and success originates from. You have to constantly have your feelers out for new opportunities. Your competition will catch and pass you the minute you become idle.” – Mike Robbins, CEO of Luxe Water Walls

Or, as John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire points out – You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.  Chose wisely and find other hustlers who are open, vulnerable, transparent, and ready to help you succeed. Then pay it forward.

Secrets of Successful Side Hustlers

2. Non-Stop Focus Is The Hustler Specialty

Here’s the deal – “What really sets hustlers apart is their level of focus. You have to eat, sleep and breathe whatever it is that you are focused on accomplishing. Whether that’s building the next successful mobile app or increasing your sales revenue from the previous month. Everyone has responsibilities outside of work, but those that remain laser-focused around the clock will always find a way to accomplish what they set out to get done.” – Ryan Hulland, CEO of Netfloor USA

Can you have a life? Well, yes, but when you’re in working mode, you should be waking up and tackling the most important tasks that will move your business forward right away.  Do not procrastinate. Do not allow for distracting.  In fact, plan for your social media browsing and other pursuits only after your daily tasks relating to your business are done.

3. Hustlers must follow the golden rule.

“Many people have the misconception that those who describe themselves as hustlers are swindlers and they can’t be trusted. This is far from true, as some of the entrepreneurs in my circle that I consider hustlers are some of the most thoughtful and caring individuals I have ever met. When you help others, it often comes back to you tenfold in the form of business relationships and opportunities.” – Kevin Wendelburg, Owner of Relax on the Beach, Inc.

Again, I bring up Zig Ziglar’s comment, “You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”  This is not some manipulative method to getting what you want out of life, it’s another way of saying, “You reap what you sow, or do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

4. Hustlers have confidence and go for the big dreams.

Set your goals and sights ridiculously high.  Chances are, you may achieve half of what you set out to, so 10X your goals and see how easy it becomes to surpass the original plan.

“A successful hustler is always dreaming bigger than anyone else. They understand that there is no limit on what you can envision or dream, as long as you are willing to work harder than anyone else in order to bring the dream to reality. Look how big Facebook has grown since it was first introduced. Mark Zuckerberg is a true hustler.” – Victor Tam, CMO of Rove Concepts

5. Hustlers risk without fear.

So what if you “fail”?  Big deal.  You really need to work on your mindset.  Life is full of so-called failures.  Look at a one-year-old.  They try to walk and fall, and fall, and fall again.  Do you tell them to just quit? To stop trying to walk? Of course not! That would be cruel and just weird. We keep encouraging them to take the next step, go a little further, keep trying.  Why not offer the same graciousness to yourself?  Don’t give up so easily or berate yourself because your so-called plans don’t work out. Perhaps the Lord has something much bigger and better in mind for you. Just keep swimming, don’t stop, and you’ll hit your sweet spot.

“If you tell someone that there is only a one percent chance of their startup being successful, most would stop dead in their tracks and quit. The small percentage of entrepreneurs that wouldn’t even consider quitting are the true hustlers. They aren’t afraid to take a risk, no matter how high the odds are stacked against them.” – Loren Taylor, CEO of Outdoor Fountain Pros

6. Hustlers fail all the time, and they do it HARD.

Seriously, what is people’s hangups with failing?  Failing is sitting on your butt because you’re too scared to try something and “fail”.  No one is sitting around eating popcorn and laughing at what you perceive to be failures.  Get over your excuses and just start trying stuff.  Do you scoff at someone who completes a marathon because they came in at last place? NO! At least I hope not – they were out there doing it. Making an effort. Trying to better themselves or running for a cause.

“Most people don’t want to admit when they don’t succeed, but a hustler has no problem discussing his or her failures. They understand it’s impossible to hit a home run every time at bat and that it can take multiple attempts to finally make it. Hustlers are big risk takers, so when they do fail it’s often a high-impact crash. It doesn’t stop them, though, because they get back up and try again.”

7. Hustlers remove distractions.

Ignore naysayers, social media, other people’s successes, and competitors.  If you’re so worried about what other people think, you’ll never live the life you want.  Of course, be kind, if people question you, but never take their comments to heart and don’t overthink people’s motives either, That’s instant death to a hustler’s dreams.

“You could want it more than anyone else, but if you let outside distractions interfere and take your focus off accomplishing your goals you will never fulfill them. It’s not easy, but you need to learn to eliminate all distractions, whether they are work-related or personal, such as a toxic relationship. Hustlers constantly look ahead and don’t take their eyes off the end goal, and to do that, you need to push all distractions to the side.” – Avanda Alvin, Founder of Car Release Price Specs

8. Hustlers persevere.

Listen, there are hardly any overnight success stories.  People who finally achieve their goals, often work 10,000 hours at something before they become really good at it. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a book called Outliers: The Story of Success and discovered that most experts spend that much time until they’re really great.  Don’t let that stop you from starting, though. I can tell you that momentum builds upon experience, but it doesn’t take 10,000 hours to still get pretty decent.  The longer I stick with my Etsy store, my blog, and my virtual assistant business, the more I make, the more knowledge I gain, and the better I get. The key is to START NOW. STOP WAITING FOR THE PERFECT TIME TO LIVE YOUR LIFE.  Come on, we all know, there is no perfect time for anything.

“There is no timetable for success, and hustlers understand this. They are willing to work hard, from morning to night, until they reach their goal. If you set out to accomplish something with a pre-determined time frame in which you believe you should finish, it can set you up for epic disappointment and ultimately failure.” – Jerry Wilfred, Founder of Toss the Key

9. Think Outside The Box – Hustler 101.

Don’t accept conventional wisdom.  Find a better way to solve a problem, or make someone else’s life easier. Then go for it. Whatever you do, seek out opportunities continuously and don’t stop just because it appears that someone else has the answer. Can you do it better? Is there a more affordable or efficient way to do something? Then go for it.

“One of the biggest business clichés is ‘thinking outside the box,’ and it’s a characteristic all successful hustlers possess. They approach opportunities, situations, and problems in innovative and different ways — completely opposite of how most people would. Their unique way of identifying opportunities and solving problems allow them to succeed when most would fail. Hustlers are always thinking — their mind never pauses for a break.” – Jim Epton, Founder of Domain Hunter Gatherer


10. Hustlers are always improving themselves.

Just because your focus should be on how to make other people’s lives easier, doesn’t mean you should neglect your own self-improvement. On the contrary – the more time you spend on reading, listening to podcasts, and learning, the more you’ll be able to pour out of yourself for others. Take time to rest.  Don’t work 24/7 just because you’re a hustler.  You still need time for rest and rejuvenating to get those creative juices flowing and actually focus on solutions.

“The only way you are going to be a better, more successful entrepreneur is by constantly improving yourself. From reading books every day to learning more about your particular industry, there is always going to be information to absorb. Hustlers will find the time to read and focus on self-improvement, even if that means waking up early in the morning or skipping happy hour with friends. They rank improving themselves very high on their priority list.” – Onyabo Monagoe of Transcendence Luxury Condos

11. Hustlers are vulnerable and authentic.

Brene Brown is one of my favorite authors.  She singlehandedly proves that vulnerability and being authentic is invaluable for not just everyday life, but in business as well.  Don’t try to be someone your not.  If people don’t like it, then they aren’t your people.  There will be plenty of people to fill their shoes, so remove the burden of putting on a show and put your real self out there.

“Have you ever met a hustler who was shy, reserved and tried to pretend who he or she was? I sure haven’t. They are very confident in who they are and they aren’t afraid to show the world. There is no need to put up a smokescreen — let your true personality shine. Authenticity is also a byproduct of being so laser-focused on the end goal because there is no time to be anything other than authentic when you are 100 percent focused.” – Keith Bridges, CEO of Stafford Trading Company

12. Love your “job”? You’re a hustler

Some people aspire to live the 4-hour workweek lifestyle. That’s admirable and all, and I’m a big fan of Tim Ferriss, but truth be told, it often takes a lot of time to build the eventual freedom that leads to 4 hour work weeks and early retirement. If you’re not absolutely loving what you’re doing, your mission is going to get old, fast. When possible, try to pair your talents with your passion and then find a way to monetize that. People want to know what you know, so narrow down your niche and keep on plugging away at something you’re passionate about.

“If you don’t truly love what you do it becomes very difficult to excel and experience success. It is much easier to dedicate the majority of your time to something when you are passionate about it. Many people label entrepreneurs that work nonstop as hustlers — they simply love what they do. Hustlers become consumed with their goals, refusing to stop until they are reached.” – Imran Asghar, Founder of 24/7 Spares

13. Hustlers don’t wait for opportunities – they create them.

If you’re a true hustler, you’re not sitting around looking for jobs and feeling sorry for yourself. You’re not creating excuses for why you can’t make a good living doing what you love.  You are proactively finding ways to profit from your passions and talents. You’re seeking out ways to make other people’s lives better with your unique skill set and you won’t stop just because you get rejected along the way.  A hustler is incorporating all of these tactics to create a lifestyle around their passion.

“Hustlers possess the ability to create their own path, which is why so many people labeled as being hustlers are such successful entrepreneurs. Imagine being faced with a challenge and there are two options, A or B. Many times neither option is exactly what you need, and this is where the hustler mentality comes into play. Rather than pick a sub-par option, a hustler creates a third option, C. Successful hustlers know what the best option is, and they make it available.” – David Marantz, Founder of Direct Life Settlements

What have I left out? Are you a hustler?  Leave a comment below or contact me for a chance to share your story on how you’ve overcome the stereotypical success stories!