EJ #11: From Grinder to Hustler
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There was a time, not that long ago, when I believed that anything can be achieved through hard work. I used to be focused specifically on the “hard” part, having the belief that only if I work hard, I will achieve my goals. In my mind, work had to be hard. Success was something hard to achieve. Sacrifices had to be made.
For most of my 20s, I have been a grinder
A grinder is someone who works tirelessly but seems to see no return. In my 20s, that work and lifestyle was very much linked to my growth experiences up to that point. I knew of no other alternative, had no mentor, no coach, so I tried to do my best in chaos, moving at a fast pace between multiple tasks, and ventures.
I have worked for many years as a marketing manager for awesome brands. I used to be a one-woman show who ran multiple campaigns, channels or events simultaneously. Don’t get me wrong - I loved every little bit of it, every campaign, every learning opportunity, but when you have to do it all by yourself, things are difficult. And the more hours you put every day into achieving your objective, the more you start losing sight of the important things. I for one, got so caught up in the insane multichannel multitasking paradigm, that I felt like I couldn’t think long term anymore.
At the same time, my body was telling me I had to stop. I was in constant pain. Shoulder, neck, low back, migraines. I would work until 2 to 4 am and then sleep so poorly that in the morning I would wake up exhausted, and in pain. I couldn’t think clearly. I would work during my holidays. I would work during weekends. I would answer to emails at 11 pm in the evening.
It was awesome. It was insane but I don’t ever want to do that to myself again. If as an employee, that grinder mindset might have worked, as entrepreneur, things had to change.
Picturing the future through the filter of a grinder
I started on my entrepreneurship journey believing success, financial growth, and a sustainable business, had to be insanely difficult to achieve. If it would have been easy, anyone would be doing it right? What I was missing back then is that the hard part isn’t necessarily connected to the business, selling or production aspects. It has a lot more to do with the entrepreneur’s mindset.
I expected everything to be hard, difficult to achieve, and exhausting. Going into entrepreneurship full time I was envisioning countless sleepless nights, counting every single penny, despairing over where the next client is going to come from, and running into serious debt, before I would finally break even, some time in the future.
The more I worked on my mindset, the clearer I became on how and what I want for my life, and business. And through visualization and journaling,
I came to realize that grinding isn’t going to cut it anymore
I want a life that gives me freedom, both financially and creatively, gives me the opportunity to help and inspire others, gives me space to grow, learn and travel. I want success, I am willing to do the work, I am open to learn, but for the first time in my life I realized I didn’t want to do things the hard way anymore. And for the first time I told myself it doesn’t have to be hard if I don’t want it to be. In fact, what if, I can actually make this process easier?
As a grinder, I had sabotaged my business model, life, relationships, money mindset, and growth journey. I have set myself out for failure, without even realizing. The first revenue and visibility goals I had set for myself in the first months of being in business were ridiculously small. My prices were so low, that I would have had to work more than 60 hrs per week to make a living, and that was the barely there, not consistent, not solid income.
The moment I realized it is entirely in my power to make something appear easy, or difficult, everything changed.
I turned into a hustler, someone who uses every single bit of a resource or opportunity to reap a valuable return on investment. And with this new mindset and view on things, I boosted my confidence, self-worth, visibility, and business.
Hustle mentality got me to the next level of business growth
and personal evolution. It helped me take a major leap towards that dream, towards achieving my objective. It has allowed me to learn so much about who I am, who I can be, and what I can achieve. And it has opened the doors towards understanding and embracing flow. But that’s a story for another time.
I know it’s seems like a tedious process. It sounds scary, uncomfortable, maybe not for you. I am not advocating that you should make that switch and become a hustler. What I want you to get from this is that it is a personal experience of a woman who made the switch from employee to entrepreneur. It’s that scary leap, omg, what am I going to do. And if you’re going through this, know that you’re not alone. You’re not the only one. It can be done.
It takes patience to discover layer upon layer of cultural presets, of external programming, of negative thoughts that keep us all from becoming who we really long to be. My advice for you, above anything else, is to trust your gut, love yourself, and give yourself time to go through the mindset journey. It makes a world of difference, and it is going to help you find the rhythm that suits you.
What changed from me with the shift from grinder to hustler:
I gained confidence and certainty that I can achieve whatever I want with ease, rather than difficulty
I am a lot less fearful about the future, because I know I have more than one solution to a problem
I am able to better prioritize my tasks, envision a brighter future and plan bigger financial growth without imagining it’s going to be hard to achieve those goals, or to integrate that change in my life
I no longer believe I have to do it all by myself. In fact, I am creating pillars, procedures, and actively searching for people to bring in my team
I feel so much more excited about the future, now that I am no longer expecting hardships
I feel more calm, relaxed, and happy because I no longer feel like I’m in a chase, or having to turn chaos into order
I am seeing results in the quality of my life thanks to acting in the hustler paradigm, rather than the grinder one
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