Why I love Hustle, and why you should, too.

If I told you that there are a handful, or maybe more, of women who legit don’t follow me, or send me hurtful social media messages, because I embrace the word “hustle”, would you think less of me?

I wish I was kidding.

Just writing that gave me so much anxiety that I had a coughing attack over the kitchen sink.

Here are some things that have been said, negatively, about hustle:

  • “Hustle means being a workaholic, which leads to mental illness.”

  • “Hustling is just a word to glorify the fact that you’re neglecting your family.”

  • “Why would you hustle when you could just manifest your dreams?”

The list goes on and on, and you can easily do the scroll on Instagram and find lots of women who hate the hustle.

I am not one of those women.

First of all, and not to start a gender argument here, but who the hell gets mad at men for hustling? NOBODY. Let me repeat that: No one gives men the finger for hustling for their desires.

And if they do, well, men generally can get away with giving that person the finger, and basically saying, “Watch me leave you in the dust”... and then they do.

Generally, and notice I’m not saying “always,” when women give the middle finger of hustle, other women pipe back with putting her down, discouraging her for doing so, and my favorite line of all, “We should be encouraging each other, lifting each other up, not selfishly pursuing our own dreams.” All the while, putting her down for pursuing her dreams.

It’s a vicious cycle, and I’m not here to have a rant over the “women empower women” movement. Because we do, and we are a force to be reckoned with, and that’s another topic for another day.

I’m here to talk about why it’s more than ok to hustle for our dreams. And why we can actually embrace the word “hustle” and stop letting it get us down about ourselves, when really, it should do nothing but encourage us.

I’m fairly certain that lots of women skipped over, or stopped reading altogether, the chapter in Rachel Hollis’s new book, “Excuse: Good Girls Don’t Hustle.” Mostly because I’m certain that many women don’t want to hear about Rachel’s hustle, and how she believes that hustle reaps benefits. Many of us would like to believe that the benefits of hard work can be reaped, even when we don’t sow.

I’m serious. We would all like to believe that we can somehow meditate ourselves into our biggest and wildest successes. And maybe some women have done so. None that I know, but maybe someone out there has been able to manifest themselves into a million dollars.

I am not one of those people. And nobody I know, or have read about, or have heard of, has ever done so.

The content and success of people I know have worked their asses off for their dreams. And usually, continue to do so even AFTER their initial dreams have come true.

Life is not a fairy tale, friend. And not all of us are wearing a dime store dress and meeting a prince to live happily ever after.

And frankly, I don’t want that life. I don’t want a prince to save me. I want to do this myself, with power and purpose, for lots and lots of reasons.

So for now, let’s put the idea that hustle is bad aside. Let’s, just for a minute or two, imagine that “hustle” is just a word we use to describe a season of life. And let’s talk about why it’s a privilege to hustle.

False Belief One:

Hustle is heartless.

First of all, let me tell you about people’s hearts.

It’s our hearts that dream. It’s our hearts that set these wild, crazy, over the top ideas into our minds that eventually turn into goals, which turn into milestones, which turn into these fantastic achievements we get to say we accomplished.

I want to tell you about a friend of mine that hustles.

Her name is Carey, and if you’ve been a part of my tribe for longer than Joey years, you know that Carey is a huge, massive, crazy part of my life that I will forever cherish for the rest of my days.

Carey owns The Idea Emporium, a badass event design company that curates the coolest, most elaborate and over the top, never would have thought of that events you will ever attend.

I was lucky enough to not only have Carey do this for my wedding, but also be right by my side as we did it together.

Carey is unlike any other person I know, and if you talk to her, her hippie soul will empower you to go on a cruz and play champagne pong on custom farm tables and have a circus themed wedding. I’m not kidding.

Carey listens to classical music. She meditates, smokes weed, drinks PBR and sleeps a lot. She drinks tea and reads weird, soul searching books and believes in manifesting like nobody’s business.

Carey also works her ass off. She works until the wee hours of the night, always searching, working, for the next best way to do something she dreamed about. Carey has huge dreams. Goals that nobody else would even be able to daydream about. And she plans to accomplish, and has accomplished, things I wouldn’t even be able to imagine.

Carey hustles. Carey manifests. And Carey has a heart of freaking gold.

If and when you ask her if she wants to go do something that distracts her from her dream, she will say no. If she becomes overwhelmed, exhausted and burned out, she will rest. But then she goes back. Stronger.

Hustling with heart is all Carey knows. And we should all take a page from her book and look at our dreams as if they were ticks on a lifetime to-do list. Non-negotiable, and so important on our lifetime timeline that we will CHANGE our hearts to accomplish them.

Hustling with heart is all real hustlers know.

We are not hustling to accomplish something menial. We are hustling to accomplish something that is so deeply rooted in our heart, that we don’t know any other way.

Heartless hustling doesn’t really exist, actually. If you’re hustling without heart, then you’re not really hustling. You’re just working towards a task that won’t make or break you. Heartless hustling would be better described as “dispassionated work.”

Hustle is not work. Hustle is way of life. Hustle is part of our makeup, our DNA. And like anything else – our hair color, our conversational skills, our love language or our obsession with FRIENDS – hustle is a part of our everyday life, and we embrace it.

False Belief Two:

Hustle equals self and family neglect, workaholism, and mental health issues.

Let me tell you one thing – workaholic is one of my favorite words. Similar to mompreneur. Which also tends to get a bad connotation. I obviously love words with meaning outside of their social sphere.

Let’s break this belief in two parts:

  1. Only you can choose to neglect your family, yourself or the other parts of your life.

  2. Hustle isn’t always just about your career.

Ok, ok. I touched a nerve here, I know.

Story time, again.

When you get out of bed in the morning, the only way to actually “neglect” things is to choose to neglect them. Let’s say you want, need – whatever – to work this morning. You have a big launch or deadline or project and work is taking over your headspace, your soul and your time. Been there, and I’m there a lot still. If I get up to work, and I have not told my husband that I need his help this morning, or I leave and don’t come back until midnight, or I ignore the therapy appointment on my calendar and pay the “no-cancellation fee,”, or I keep writing instead of helping my two year old out of his crib and get his yogurt, then yes, I’ve neglected. But each and every one of those things is a choice I made. I could have alternatively said to Adam, “Hey, I feel the urge to write this morning, can you help Joey with his morning and I’ll be back in from the office in an hour?” Done. No neglect. Actually, this turns “neglect” into “self health.” I did something good – for me, my family, and my career. And no one was output, or neglected, or sacrificed, for it.

Neglect is a choice, and yes, sometimes when we are in hustle season, we choose to neglect things. Yes, I’ve chosen to neglect the gym during hustle season. Yes, I’ve chosen to neglect washing my hair, or seeing my therapist, or going fishing with the boys. Yes, I have neglected to go to the Halloween party, or my mastermind meetup, or even my OBGYN appointment. You guys, neglect is a choice. And I am choosing to neglect things during this season that I don’t have to neglect later. In this season now, I would never miss a party. Any party. And you’d be hard pressed to find me working instead of at the gym. But that’s all because I sacrificed those things while in hustle season.

I am totally a workaholic. I’m also totally a mom, and a weightlifter, and a mental health nerd. I am not neglecting any of these areas of my life, because I am CHOOSING not to. I am, however, neglecting to cook every night, or post to Instagram every day, or do the laundry. But that’s what take-out and Apphi and shopping is for ;)

Ok, second. Hustle isn’t all about your career.

I HUSTLE for my deadlift PR. Hustle hard. There is no monetary reward. No extra point system. No major recognition. Just me, and my three girlfriends, lifting weights almost every single day. But I am hustling for that personal record. I want to hit the 250 mark like nobody’s business. And to do that, I have to hustle. I have to be disciplined, and try things I’m scared of trying, and work for it.

I HUSTLE for my Instagram followers. It may come as a surprise, but Instagram does not have a great return for me. My business comes from elsewhere, and Instagram is just something I really enjoy, minus the rewards. But it makes me so happy, and getting emails from followers or brands or opportunities to collaborate make me want to freaking sing. So I hustle for that. I hustle for partnerships and my follower count. I hustle for the photographs and the captions.

I HUSTLE for my kids. I want Joey to have a life like no other. I want so badly for him to be raised a certain way, with a certain life, that I work my ass off to provide that for him. Very little screen time is not easy, it’s work. Healthy meals and daily activities OUTSIDE are not just things that manifest themselves. I have to hustle, every single day, to provide these things for him. I hustle because I want him home with me as much as possible. I hustle for things like days at the ranch and out on the water, because they are important. That means I work all night, or don’t work at all. Because THIS is more important.

Hustle really, has nothing to do with career. Hustle has everything to do with dreams. And I dream of a lot a things outside of my “work.” Which means, because I want them that bad, I hustle for them.

False Belief Three:

Hustle doesn’t reap dreams.

I was literally told the other day:

“The moment you stop trying so hard, the Universe gives you what you want. Ask quietly, and be patient, not pushy.”

Um what?

I’m sorry, but no.

When, ever, in heaven’s name, has that actually happened for anybody?

I’m actually asking. If you have an example, I really would love to hear it.

Patience is great. I’m patient as hell when it comes to my dreams. I know they won’t happen overnight. I know that God has perfect timing. I know that He needs my surrender in order to do His work.

But here’s what wrong with this (and first and foremost, this person obviously doesn’t put God in front of Universe, and I do, so there’s that): God doesn’t tell us to ask quietly. He tells us that pray SUN STAND STILL PRAYERS. He tells us to ask with all our might, to shout it, to tell the world. Our Lord begs us to be loud, pushy and relentless. He ALSO asks us to be patient. This, my friends, is the test. To be patient, and trust in His timing, WHILST fighting for our lives and our dreams and our pursuits.

In my experience, the moment I stop trying so hard is the moment all goes to hell. Literal hell. The moment I stop trying is the moment the enemy has won. The moment Satan finally and victoriously took over my soul instead of God. I WILL NOT LET THIS BE MY LIFE. And I won’t, God forsake me, let this be your life, either.

Hustle DOES reap dreams, it just might take a lifetime. Hustle is not a way of life, it’s a season. And it comes and goes just like any other season He gave us – our menstrual cycle, peach season and squash season, seasons of day drinking and seasons of sick kids – and each and every one comes and goes, and comes back again, with His timing.

We would never tell a woman battling cancer to stop trying so hard and the Universe will give her what she wants. For gosh sakes, she wants to live! And to live, to truly live, we have to fight. To hustle. To pray sun stand still prayers over and over and over again. And then we rest, and then we fight again.

If you take nothing else away from this false belief, believe this: this life of yours, it is not to waste waiting. If you want something – life, money, kids, a husband or a job or a piece of expensive artwork – hustle for it. Don’t silently ask the universe to gift it to you. Gift it to your damn self, and watch what unfolds.