Why are so many good, hardworking people going nowhere so fast
INTRODUCTION NOT YOUR DADDY’S HUSTLE
We define hustle as: Decisive movement toward a goal, however indirect, by which the motion itself manufactures luck, surfaces hidden opportunities, and charges our lives with more money, meaning, and momentum
To fully own your dreams, you’ll need three fundamental forces: money, meaning, and momentum.
Meaning, the “why” of our toil and struggle—the reason we get up in the morning and face the day—needs money as much as money needs meaning. The two together, in the right proportions, give rise to momentum
OVERVIEW The Broad Strokes
we’ve divided Hustle into three parts: Heart, Head, and Habits
Part One: Heart
society’s landlords thwart us and trap us into a falsely limited menu of options for the way we live, work, and play. In short, they rent us our dreams
There’s a nagging, intangible “more” that we seek in our lives, yet it remains desperately elusive. We’ve named this the Mediocrity of Meh
why we feel this “meh” and how we’ve arrived at a place of learned helplessness. When we choose to avoid failure over pursuing success
moving—at times even frantically—but getting nowhere? If so, you are probably stuck in a dangerous and habitual Cycle of Suck
The first step is to find the heart of your true talents by taking the time and effort to allow them to come to the surface
The best thing we can do to remedy this tragic waste of potential is to expose ourselves to challenging projects and environments in our work and life and to focus on the unexpected strengths that will rise to the surface when we do so
endeavor to be flexible generalists who intelligently avoid the Perils of Perfection
Part Two: Head
hormesis,” the observation that repeated exposure to small doses of stressors strengthens us
manufacture four distinct types of luck: Random Luck, Hustle Luck, Hidden Luck, and Quirky Luck
Choosing to own our dreams doesn’t teach us how to be lucky but rather how to run out of “unluck.”
“obliquity”: the indirect nature of hustle that makes each individual journey of money, meaning, and momentum unique and significant
Three Unseen Laws of Hustle: (1) Do Something That Moves You; (2) Keep Your Head Up and Your Eyes Open; and (3) Seal the Deal and Make It Real.
Part Three: Habits, we will reveal the exciting upside potential that smart hustlers share with nimble companies who set themselves up for explosive growth through successful initial public offerings. We see that people, like companies, can pop—by breaking out and rapidly increasing their value in the market*
Personal Opportunity Portfolio (POP
10-Minute Rule, which just might change your approach to work and life entirely
you’ve been assembling parts of your POP throughout your life. Now, with our help, it’s time for you to determine how those parts fit into the four key categories: Potential (how we develop greater capabilities), People (how we cultivate community), Projects (how we express creativity), and Proof (how we capture credibility
specific set of predictable movements, which we call the Fourfold Path. From Outside/Inside Hustle (the foot in the door), Inside/Upside Hustle (promotion should you choose to ascend the corporate ladder), Inside/Outside Hustle (movement from one organization to another or toward entrepreneurial pastures), to Outside/Upside Hustle (the explosive or sustained entrepreneurial growth model), you’ll be able to choose the adventure that best suits your situation.
PART ONE HEART
1 ￼ DON’T RENT YOUR DREAMS, OWN THEM
Not Simply a Means to an End
So What Happened to Our Dreams?
Say Hello to My Little Friend: Freedom
In present-day Cuba
Gliding along the Malecón en route to Old Havana, their driver, let’s call him Ernesto, recounted his story. “I trained as an electrical engineer
risk of a 10-year prison sentence
He would offer his underappreciated, undervalued, and unlicensed engineering skills and work by building, renovating, and wiring electrical systems, designing spaces, translating, and being an on-the-ground fixer as needed.
Although he had struck gold, a newfound stress weighed on Ernesto. He started to wonder if anyone around him could be an informant.
They stashed away enough money—literally placed it in a hole in their garden—so that they could afford to buy milk, meat, and other staples. Eventually they had enough to invest in an old Chevy convertible, for which they paid the unfathomable sum of $11,000—in cash! Keep in mind, most Cubans make around $300 per year. And now, that 1954 Bel Air serves as a taxi
Owning Your Dreams Gives You Unlimited Upside
Choose for Yourself or Others Will Choose for You
When it comes to the big choices in life, the really BIG ones—a career we find stifling or one that’s fulfilling, a relationship we find suffocating or one that allows us to grow—too many of us choose not to choose. We delay or we opt for the path of least resistance; we go for whatever is easiest or select the choice that appears safe and certain. In return, we end up “renting” our dreams
Renting our dreams means taking our current set of choices as givens, playing within the system, and never stopping to think about what might be genuinely best for ourselves
Renting our dreams manifests in being told that we should be grateful for the pittance of a salary we earn because we wouldn’t get hired anywhere else “given the state of today’s economy.”
Every moment you don’t make a stand against the landlords of society, you’re losing ground. Every day you buy into the system, the hole you’re in gets that much deeper
When you own your dream, you build it custom to your personality and needs. Now, your home—your dream—can grow and evolve just as you do
Hustle for Your Dreams
you must create an exit strategy that involves more opportunities
*Rhimes argued that it’s the doing, not the dreaming, that gets you to a place of fulfillment. “Ditch the dream and be a doer, not a dreamer. *
here’s a simple rule to remember: Dream as a noun, great. Dream as a verb, not so great
2 ￼ REPAIR THE MEH IN YOUR HEART
*in the throes of our extreme risk aversion, we’ve locked on the wrong goal: avoiding failure. Our trying to not get fat is like avoiding failure, and it isn’t the same thing as making strides toward the better option: getting fit. *
the goal is to achieve success by taking bite-size risks.
Dealing with hidden risks is like buying that hunk of bacon and then ending up in the emergency room the next day, finding out that it had harbored a dangerous strain of salmonella. Salmonella won’t register on the scale, but its presence will make you extremely ill. In our lives, we often end up eating hidden risks because we don’t account for them on our internal risk scales
we find our fulfillment and freedom distinctly tied to our risk appetite
we need to make ourselves feel hungry enough to step into the ring and break our routine of meh
We start by asking ourselves, Are we moving, at times even frantically, but getting nowhere? Are we stuck in a Cycle of Suck?
*What is terrifying about these Cycles of Suck is that through constant repetition they rewrite our expectations about our own fates and become habits. Bad habits. *
the dogs in the yoked group didn’t try to avoid the electric shocks, even though a possible escape route (the low barrier) was clear and present. They had learned to be helpless.
The ultimate terrible, horrible, no good, very bad outcome of repeated trips through a Cycle of Suck isn’t the suckiness. Nor is it the repetition. It’s the numbing “learned helplessness,” the horrific phenomenon that you might learn to be incapable of helping yourself in the face of life’s many frictions even if a solution to your woes presents itself directly
When this happens, we have moved from a temporary sense of suck to a permanent suckiness. We call this phenomenon the Mediocrity of Meh. It is a feeling of compounding, bored despair.
3 ￼ FIND THE HEART OF YOUR TALENTS
The Risk of Learned Blindness will define your entire life and your capacity for productivity and happiness: When we look for ourselves in the wrong mirrors, we learn to be blind to our talents.
Malcolm Gladwell popularized the work of psychologist K. Anders Ericsson, who demonstrated that world-class achievement in virtually any field could be had by anyone who dedicated 10,000 hours of “deliberate practice.”
But when we return to reality, most of us realize that we don’t have 10,000 hours to invest toward becoming world-class writers
The only difference between me and Malcom Gladwell or me and J.K. Rowling is that they both have 10,000 hours in their respective fields. Otherwise, we’re totally the same!
Thinking along those lines ignores a fundamental truth, namely that innate talent does matter. Even worse, it willfully ignores the inescapably necessary self-discovery of our talents.
Aim for the trophy and you’re practically guaranteed to miss. We call this the Madness of Mastery
hard work is necessary but not alone sufficient for achieving your goals
Success = hustle × luck × your unique talents
we are equally inclined to overestimate our own talents in some areas while simultaneously undervaluing our abilities in other areas. It’s like looking in a fun house mirror
In order to start finding and seeing your true talents, you need to understand the two distorted mirrors that are preventing you from seeing your true self: the “Lake Wobegon effect” and the “kangaroo court of talent.”
when it comes to accurately judging your own hidden talents, Lake Wobegon’s overzealous, nonstop protective effect of hiding the truth—maybe an ugly truth—from your ego becomes your worst enemy
Just as we often overestimate our abilities in a field in which we want to succeed, human nature also inclines us to let ourselves be judged harshly by people who have no business weighing in on our dreams. We call these people the kangaroo court of talent
All too frequently, when we self-judge, we unfairly interrogate our talents in front of a kangaroo court whose goal is not justice or understanding but humiliation, fear, and punishment. That jury is not peopled by sage philosopher-kings who have our long-term interests in mind but by flawed everyday folks, just like us, who have their own interests at hand, whether consciously or unconsciously.
You yourself must determine what your talents and abilities are, and you need to do it by understanding that reflections in the fun house mirrors are inevitably distorted and won’t reveal your true talents
We need to know our talents to know which rings to enter.
Job descriptions are insidious creatures designed to capture and fool us. They bait us with a description of the roles of a job in the most superficial way, and in doing so they hide from us the real truths of the job
Job descriptions are akin to icebergs: Most of the substance sits below the surface
you must always decode and go beyond the job description
Patrick was never promoted at the same rates as his colleagues
Patrick’s strengths lay in synthesizing seemingly unrelated ideas and organizing them into technology to do useful things
When he was given autonomy to make decisions—and mistakes—Patrick performed extremely well. But there was always some unspoken friction between Patrick and his bosses. They accused Patrick of being like a stubborn mule (Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose)
Hustle isn’t about toughing it out at all costs. It’s about making the best set of choices for the long game
Toughness is like the old saying about credit: You can’t get any when you need it most
Diversification in your personal and professional life is not just about getting the right mix of risk, but about stealing the wonderful side effects of success—like confidence, toughness, and vision—from one part of your life to help drive other parts of your life that could use a jolt of confidence
Multiple, healthy identities make us more resilient because we can top up our success tanks as needed
These untapped reservoirs of success you’ve experienced, what we call Proof, could be your family, your network, your hobbies, your honeypots or side-hustle projects
But we have to start somewhere. Where do we find these initial successes?
Instead of the fun house mirror, looking at ourselves through a “mirror of experience” lets us see what is legible and what is illegible
the only way to begin to understand and start to leverage our illegible talents is with frequent, varied interactions with a dynamic environment. So do something. Do something that moves you. Do something that excites or energizes you
The only way to get an accurate read on what you were born to do is to follow an exceedingly simple and ancient practice popularized by management theorist Peter F. Drucker (whom we quoted at the beginning of this chapter). Before you start a new project or venture, write down your expectations about what you think that project will entail from you, what you will be asked to give and do. After the project ends, record the results. Was it a success or a failure? What did you do well? What did you do poorly? What did you find yourself doing or feeling that you didn’t know you were capable of? What were some quirky things you did or said that helped bring about a successful end? By recording and revisiting your reality, you can look into the mirror of experience and see yourself as you truly are, thus avoiding the distorting reflections of the Lake Wobegon effect and the kangaroo court of talent.
After that, you must do everything in your power to improve upon and better your strengths.
The filthiest four-letter word you can think of is R-I-S-K.
think of risk like oxygen. It’s neither good nor bad. It’s essential and inescapable
We must take on the right type of risk to develop options
You don’t hustle to be perfect. Your quirks and your imperfections are what make your hustle more powerful and unique
the right risk in the right amount is healthy. It motivates us to discover success and in doing so extinguishes the Mediocrity of Meh.
Hustle is about the small everyday wins, not the galactic shifts. The gift of imperfection is that you can learn to rewire and retool along the way
PART TWO HEAD
4 ￼ SMALL DOSES OF PAIN
Here’s why hormesis and hustle go so well together: Hormesis shows that repeated exposures to small doses of stressors and risk don’t weaken but, surprisingly, strengthen our biological systems
Exercise is a good example of small doses of pain
Brain cells continue growing throughout our lives. The catch here, of course, is that our brain cells don’t grow without effort. That ability for growth is known as neuroplasticity
*We actually need small amounts of pain to make gains to prevent our existing skills from atrophying, to grow our future skills and knowledge, and to anticipate and solve complex challenges. And, paramount, we need to take small, manageable risks that, in aggregate, de-risk your downside risk profile and create upside potential wherever you may take your hustle. *
Look in the mirror and think to yourself, What is the smallest thing I could do today to reap a long-term hormetic benefit? All it has to be is (a) small, (b) slightly annoying or odd, and (c) gainful or promising in some way
5 ￼ MANUFACTURING LUCK
At the intersection of hustle and luck, a universal truth emerges: Choosing to own our dreams teaches us how to run out of unluck
The work of neuroscientist Dr. James Austin suggests that there are four distinct types of luck
Type 1: Random Luck
Type 2: Hustle Luck
created by your momentum and motion
Type 3: Hidden Luck
“Chance favors only the prepared mind.” It’s the luck that is generated by creative synthesis of past experiences.
- It’s surprisingly easy to train yourself to keep your eyes open for opportunity*
Type 4: Quirky Luck
seeks you out because of your inherent weirdness
Every time we hustle a project, be it a new company, a new product, or a new artistic vision, we go up to bat and take our best swing
Given that our lives are finite, how do we optimize our probability of success?
The work of psychologist Dean Keith Simonton is incredibly helpful when thinking about our personal batting problem and the longevity of our hustle. His constant-probability-of-success model suggests that once we achieve competence in our fields, our professional batting averages are firmly fixed
Simonton’s work is so exciting for hustlers because it emphasizes that we shouldn’t agonize about whether we hit a single or strike out during the next at bat—we should just concentrate on getting up to bat
And the best news is that life isn’t like baseball—you don’t have to wait your turn, you can take as many at bats as you like
6 ￼ THE THREE UNSEEN LAWS OF HUSTLE
Suspend your doubts and skepticism and look to your heart to do something that moves you
The secret to getting moving is that, unless your motivation is explicitly rooted in hurting others, it doesn’t really matter what motivates your first steps
Our “why” is a moving target, one that constantly evolves. Finding it isn’t central to taking a first step. What is central to taking a first step … is taking a first step
Right now, you need to get moving, pay some bills, and sustain your physical frame. In the process, keep doing small acts that help support others in their quest to move forward
it doesn’t make much sense to let something as fleeting as a passion dictate something as important as your career
What doesn’t appear to change all that much are your innate talents. The catch is, you need to do stuff—stuff that moves you—to really discover those talents
In fact, if you’re in the late stages of your career, it is just as critical that you find meaning by doing important work and being appreciated
When undertaking a hustle and exploiting an opportunity, it is critical to think about your strategy and tactics the same way the captain of an oceangoing ship thinks about navigation
familiarize yourself with all of the obvious hazards and easily observed phenomena above the surface
make sure to understand what’s below the surface, too: reefs, wrecks, and buried treasure
The Second Unseen Law of Hustle: Keep Your Head Up and Your Eyes Open
Ask yourself, Is what you’re trying to do easy or simple? Here’s a clue: They’re not the same
When something is simple, the situation has relatively few moving parts and can be easily understood by a newcomer. But something simple can still be hard
To identify the hustler’s sweet spot, we’ve broken down the world of projects into four categories
Simple to Understand, Easy to Do
we have a problem. Everyone can do these
Complicated to Understand, Easy to Do
Complicated to Understand, Hard to Do
Simple to Understand, Hard to Do
Write a book, launch a successful start-up, close new business, get a job promotion. This is the Hustle Sweet Spot because you win by blocking the naysayers and charging ahead while absorbing small doses of pain
Put yourself on a deadline. Focus on volume and completion
The Third, Last, and Possibly Scariest Law of All: Seal the Deal
This law demands a transaction
Sealing the deal doesn’t have to be in the form of a massive seven-figure check. But it does have to be a concrete commitment
Sell something to a brand-new customer
7 ￼ YOUR INDIRECT PATH: UNIQUE AND OBLIQUE
Obliquity: The Point B to Point A Play
- In his enchanting little book Obliquity, economist John Kay says that the best way to achieve complex goals is through “oblique,” that is, indirect, means.*
If you think about it, your hustle needs to lead; it pulls you—not pushes you—off the beaten path and down an original path that is wholly yours and designed by you
As a hustler, it is critical that you always design your own way from point B to point A—creating a path optimized for yourself. Everyone has different talents, skills, and experiences, and that means everyone has their own best path
Step 1: Are You Framing the Right Problem?
Step 2: Are You Seeing Unconventional Solutions?
8 ￼ CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE
The way to get ahead boils down to four kinds of hustle
1.Outside/Inside Hustle is getting a foot in the door. 2.Inside/Upside Hustle is proving your value and earning a promotion. 3.Inside/Outside Hustle is diving into entrepreneurial waters. 4.Outside/Upside Hustle is accelerating epic entrepreneurial and creative achievements.
1. The Outside/Inside Hustle
Ryan had applied—and gotten turned down—for a position at Foursquare in the past
Ryan saw an opportunity to work for the company, even though he didn’t “work” “for” “the company.”
put in overtime during his “off-time,” working for Foursquare even though he didn’t technically have a job there
He signed up a bunch of businesses and—get this—he e-mailed the list of these new customers to people and investors affiliated with Foursquare
Today, Ryan continues to make waves at a little company called Uber. Oh, and he’s a billionaire
After discovering a mysterious job listing—“Join a NY Times bestselling writing team—work with the chairman of the board”—Jonas, instead of first preparing his résumé and going through the normal application process, picked up the phone and called the company directly. He didn’t stop at the receptionist or the nondecision makers. He went straight to the top, got on the phone with the executive’s assistant, asked specific questions about the job opportunity, and developed a rapport with the executive’s team before he submitted his credentials for review
- The Inside/Upside Hustle*
one characterized by growth and new challenges within an organization
3. The Inside/Outside Hustle
Scraping together what little money she had—$850—she started hustling. She called on contacts and pitched any and all local graphic recording opportunities
firmly on her feet, she pitched the idea of graphically recording the keynotes at SXSW Interactive
A wonderfully quirky woman giving a wonderfully quirky talk can only bring about Quirky Luck. Her TED success brought her acclaim and the attention of a major New York publisher. She went on to publish her second book, based on her TED talk, called The Doodle Revolution
The downside is that this pathway comes without any guarantees, and it places a greater responsibility on you to develop the business, operate it, and sustain it.
you’ll quickly need to find your place in a sea of competition
*There’s nothing left for you to say, do, or accomplish, and even if there was, the risk of staying put far exceeds the rewards of moving on. So what do you do? You move from company A (inside) to company B (outside) or you start your own company (an outside play all the way). *
4. The Outside/Upside Hustle
To succeed here, one needs a firm commitment to action and manufacturing all four varieties of luck
heroic, crazy, and even epic—one that, if traversed successfully, always leads to discovery, reinvention, and massive breakthroughs along the way
More often than not, it’s a rocky road on which most entrepreneurs and artists fail. Even those with the grandest of vision can get devoured on this pathway due to poor execution, bad luck, and other factors. So persistence is key
PART THREE HABITS
9 ￼ MAKE YOUR FUTURE POP
You need to have a clear plan for how to bake-in, create, and take advantage of your best personal opportunities. Lucky for you, we have a plan right here: It’s called POP, or the Personal Opportunity Portfolio. This is what will help people and companies find you and invest in your success.
putting into practice the Three Unseen Laws of Hustle
Those are the principles, and POP, your Personal Opportunity Portfolio, makes up the practices
The One Habit That Rules Them All: The 10-Minute Rule
The 10-Minute Rule states that instead of contemplating and delaying, simply do something that moves you—sans judgment—for 10 minutes and then evaluate
there are three main benefits
be present with one task at a time
The Four Pieces of POP
Your Personal Opportunity Portfolio is built on Potential, People, Projects, and Proof
1. The Potential Piece:
Understanding your potential helps you solve the problem of moving from what you are to what you can become
*2. The People Piece: *
People are the “net” result of the “work” you do to build community
3. The Projects Piece:
4. The Proof Piece:
definitive statement of your credibility, and it speaks to your reputation
POP is a way of helping your hustle take visual shape, of seeing and gauging what you’re doing over time and being aware of possible strategic moves that could help you achieve your goals
Exercise: Simple POP Chart Analysis
What is one significant example you can apply to each of the four pieces?
The following questions will help you generate ideas for filling the pieces
10 ￼ POTENTIAL MAKES YOU POWERFUL*
you also have your go-to superpower, your talent and strength. That is your signature dish.
You need to be sure to keep building on your superpower. But you also need to shore up that strength with complementary skills that are not your current strengths nor your weaknesses
The weirdest part of shoring up your strengths with other skills is that you don’t even have to be good at these new skills
The Secret Equation: Mediocre + Mediocre = Amazing
*“The secret to my success with Dilbert involves my unique combination of skills,” wrote Adams. *
Adding skills to your Potential Piece isn’t about being the best—although that’s great, too—it’s about being smart enough to be good enough
by knowing your strengths and talents and knowing where to invest resources, you are ahead of 98 percent of all of humanity. To get to 99 percent—where only 1 percent of all of humanity is more fulfilled than you—is frighteningly easy when you remember that you aren’t racing against a grizzly bear (perfection) but against other humans. Mediocre humans.
There are whole classes of skills that any hustler can add to their Potential Piece that don’t demand any sort of mastery whatsoever; they just require that you do them. By virtue of doing them—even in the most mediocre fashion—you will instantly be transported to an almost elite level of performance
Potential is developing the powerful triad of experimenting, storytelling, and pitching: ESP.
experimentation is the way we can predict how something works
If it works, then it strongly suggests we have a useful understanding of that thing
If we don’t have a good grasp of a situation, then there’s a good chance that we’re about to eat hidden risk.
There are a number of methods to learn to tell stories. These are easily found via a Google search. However, our advice is that you focus on the right level of complexity
Nick posits that there are only five archetypal stories that are combined and remixed into an infinite number of stories. They are:
Rags to Riches:
Stranger in a Strange Land
Whether you call it sales or rhetoric, it doesn’t matter. Persuasion is about how you pitch something: An idea. A project
For now, you just have to pitch. Pitch poorly, pitch well, it doesn’t matter
It’s all about getting a feeling for what the other party wants, coming up with the right ways to hook them, and then making the ask
11 ￼ PEOPLE MAKE YOUR HUSTLE WHOLE
Tertius gaudens is Latin for “the third who enjoys.” In the case of social networking, tertius gaudens (TG) enjoys exploiting structural holes in networks, typically by playing two parties against one another. If you’ve ever met a middleman who has offered to introduce you to someone else as long as you kick back a piece of the deal (he’s made the same deal to the person he’s going to introduce you to), you’ve met a TG
But today’s hustlers are tasked with taking an indirect path that implicitly involves personal innovation, manufacturing luck, and surfacing unseen opportunities. This is a radically different orientation
“People are opportunities. People are jobs. People are companies.”
simple mind-set switch: the switch to tertius iungens (TI), “the third who joins.” Tertius iungens is a concept coined and explored by Dr. David Obstfeld, whose research suggests that while TGs function as brokers who enjoy the fruits of connecting two parties only when profits are imminent, TIs play a longer game,
After introducing two unconnected parties, the TI gains access to other parts of each party’s network and can help connect further down the networks, increasing the size of the TI’s own network. With the relinquishing of control (unlike a TG) comes potential for longer-term coordination, creation, and exploitation of previously unseen opportunities
learn the TI way of connecting with people
First, when you begin an interaction with a stranger, focus on their interests, their fears, and their challenges
Obstfeld created an orientation scale that captures one’s predisposition for a TI mind-set and helps us help others.
1.I introduce people to each other who might have a common strategic work interest
6.I forge connections between different people dealing with a particular issue
Honeypots, Not Boring Platforms
Instead of remaining the networking bee, flitting from flower to flower, take the time to create your own honeypot
If you’re lucky, your lil’ honeypot will transform into a full-fledged and full-blown community
What you want is to find a broad range of talented, open, supportive, and flexible people with whom you share a common set of beliefs and values.
Always Be Collaborating/Connecting
You help by responding, giving advice, providing expertise, and making others feel good through your quirks, ideas, wit, and personality
12 ￼ PROJECTS MAKE YOU STRONGER
experience of the successful deal behind her, what we call Proof
your stacked deck of projects
Projects, Not Careers, Are the Foundation of Your Hustle
The Project Economy: Observing the Way of Work for Hustlers
Stroll on down to your local coffee shop, aka coworking space, aka remote office, aka “the cloud.” Once there, pick up a tasty beverage of your choosing and take a look around you. What do you see?
All of them not choosing careers, per se, but instead doing projects that move them. Each one of these folks feels certain of one thing: What they’re doing at this moment, while creative and fulfilling, may not be the same exact gig they’ll be doing at this time next year or the year after. They work intensely and apply the best of their talents and focus to any project—and they work to define their lives in the space between working to live and living to work.
it’s helpful to break your life’s work—your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly output—into project buckets
Three Types of Projects
1. Day Job (Ongoing, the “Nine-to-Five”)
2. Experiments and Side Projects (Part-Time, the “Five-to-Nine”)
You can experiment, too, and it helps to be clear about your objectives and open to possible outcomes
FIVE SIMPLE EXPERIMENTS
1.Experiment with your e-mail length
2.Experiment with your vocabulary. Make it purely positive and optimistic. Test neurolinguistic programming (NLP) terms every day for 2 weeks straight
3.Experiment with your sleep hours
4.Experiment with your work hours.
5.Experiment with your exercise regimen
Side projects differ from experiments
side projects involve the things you do aside from your day job, and they’re not typically full-time endeavors. They allow you to earn extra income, surface your talents, and explore your curiosity or creativity in ways your day job doesn’t. Usually, side projects require a bit more of a sustained commitment than experiments, and they can include both online and offline work.
FIVE SIMPLE SIDE PROJECTS
1.Write an e-book
2.Open an e-commerce store
3.Become an online coach
4.Develop an online course
5.Host an Airbnb
3. Value-Add Projects (Extra Time/Weekends/Leisure)
Value adding means pursuing areas of interest that do not necessarily fill your financial coffers but instead fill your creative, educational, spiritual, and experiential meaning coffers
Often, these take the form of volunteer work or apprenticeships
FIVE SIMPLE VALUE-ADD PROJECTS
1.Apprentice with an expert in an area of interest
2.Volunteer at a nonprofit for a cause
3.Give your time to a group in your community who can benefit from your existing expertise
4.Ask for a non-job-related assignment
5.Create a local club for social good
Projects Lead to Proof
the more varied the work, the more complex the requirement, the stronger the project will make you
Projects Are Productions
From 10,000 feet up, the process looks like a few moving pieces arranged in an order
And you measure results against expectations
*Actually, the one thing that matters most as a producer is step 8—that you execute. *
So in truth, it looks more like this step alone
From Hustler to Creative Producer
- “creative producer” is a title you want to strive toward. Here’s why: Jobs (the way we work) and companies (the context in which we work) are really just large-scale creative projects requiring a person who can shift roles quickly, display talents across those roles, and execute to produce a desired outcome*
13 ￼ PROOF MAKES YOU BULLETPROOF
we work through the fourth piece of POP and recognize that creating proof means going beyond the normal representations of all you’ve done professionally, creatively, and “otherwisely.” Proof is allowing others to experience your abilities of creation directly
Kelly O’Mara is a former recruiting executive who worked in the Enterprise and Cloud Services Division of Google. Today she runs Shynebyte, her own recruiting boutique in New York
average résumé gets reviewed for a total of, get this, 6 seconds
It’s a broken system for a variety of reasons
So what does this mean for you, the seeker? It means wide-open opportunity to do something unexpected and remarkable through your proof and your hustle
If proof is the ultimate evidence of tangible and intangible value creation, your Proofberg speaks to your willingness to do the impossible, to build projects, products, or intellectual property most will never do
Proof Is Show Don’t Tell
not only should you be easily discoverable with a quick online search, but what people are finding out about you should be positive in tone and make you look good
14 ￼ MONEY: THE MEANS OF MOMENTUM
You should always look to profit from your work
We all know the dangers of focusing on the pursuit of money
But perhaps we’ve gone too far in that direction at times, too, overdosing in our search for meaning at the expense of other important factors
money and meaning have to be in a proportionate relationship with one another
money and meaning work together to create the most wonderful life force: momentum. And it is this essential force, a force for good and a force for alignment in heart, head, and habits, that leads us from subtle changes to seismic progress as we build toward an infinite hustle that has no beginning nor end.
15 ￼ DEFINITE MEANING
It’s this path of trial and error that leads us to reveal our own truths, in much the same way that we surface our talents. And it’s also a path that not only endures but is incredibly significant to our lives, identities, and well-being. Just as we add pieces to our POP, so too must we add layers of meaning
Exercise: A Few Tips for Extracting More Meaning from Your Everyday
Meaning through Reciprocity
Meaning through Reflection
Meaning through Gratitude
- Meaning through Relationships: *
Meaning through Community
CONCLUSION INFINITE HUSTLE
The real why—the one that is often hidden from you by your own heart and by your own head—your purpose, your meaning, is only ever revealed by hustling. And by failing. And by losing. And by succeeding. And by winning. And by hustling again. What we’re saying is that your real meaning becomes clear when you simply start swinging your spiritual, energetic, and enthusiastic bat at life.
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