Do you hustle hard every day in your business? Does it make you happy? Take a moment to really think about it—and be honest with yourself. Does it?
You’ve probably seen the quote “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” While this seemingly rings true for most entrepreneurs, it tends to feel more like “Do what you love and you’ll work 24/7/365.” Am I right?
The word “hustle” has become very trendy these days. But let’s take a look at its true definition. According to Merriam-Webster, to hustle means to crowd or push roughly, to obtain by energetic activity, to convey forcibly, to sell or promote energetically or aggressively, and to swindle or obtain money by fraud or deception.
Just reading this gives me anxiety!
What once meant something negative has become glorified and regularly boasted about on social media. As I write this, #hustle has 15,089,329 hits on Instagram.
I don’t know about you, but regardless of its popularity, “hustle” is not a word I want associated with my life or my business.
LET’S REDEFINE AND OVERCOME THE HUSTLE
Building a business takes a lot of time and energy. I am not here to argue that. I have put in my fair share of 14+ hour work days—many of them being on Saturdays and Sundays—along my business journey. It’s hard work! But you don’t have to sacrifice your life for your business. Which is exactly what you are doing if you stick to that kind of work schedule.
It took me years to figure this out, too long in fact. So I think it’s worth repeating:
You don’t have to sacrifice your life for your business.
Let that sink in for a moment.
Revolutionary, right? So how do we go about redefining and overcoming the #hustle while still building the business of our dreams?
By clearing the clutter, the busywork, and the endless list of tasks that we think will propel us forward, but are actually holding us back.
THE 80/20 RULE
There are two things I know to be true in regard to our workflow:
Not all of our tasks are worthwhile
Working more hours doesn’t equal more revenue
Yep. I just got real with you there. Not everything we do in our week is driving our businesses forward. And throwing more hours at it won’t help.
Let’s stop forcibly and aggressively working ourselves to death (#hustling), ok? Let’s take a more elegant approach to our workflow.
Enter the 80/20 Rule, or Pareto’s Principle.
Simply stated, the 80/20 Rule tells us that 80% of our growth is the result of only 20% of our activities. The ratio might be closer to 75/25 or 85/15, but either way it’s disproportionate, and that’s the point. Not all of our work activity is equal, or worthwhile. Some things truly have more impact than others.
By focusing on the 20%, we can gain control over our work schedules and live a healthier, more enjoyable life. That’s why we ventured into entrepreneurship in the first place, right?
IDENTIFYING YOUR 20%
So how do you pinpoint your 20%? You make a list.
Over the course of a week, write down all of the tasks you complete, compiling them into one master task list. For each task, ask yourself these three questions:
Does this task generate revenue?
Is performing this task the best use of my time?
Do I enjoy this task?
Anything you answered “yes” to for all three questions goes on your 20% list.
Pretty quickly you will realize what few things you need to be doing each week to drive your business forward and what things you need to stop all together.
Need help tracking all of your tasks? Here’s a pro tip: Set a reminder on your phone that pops up every couple of hours during the day and asks, “Is the task I’m currently working on going to move the needle in my business?” This is especially helpful if you find yourself getting lost on Instagram throughout the day or stuck in your email inbox. This reminder will quickly bring you back into focus.
ELIMINATE, AUTOMATE, OR DELEGATE THE 80%
Some of the items on your master task list are 100% necessary in operating your business. You may not enjoy customer service or bookkeeping, but those tasks need to happen in order to run your business effectively. You can’t just forget about those remaining tasks that didn’t get included in your 20%.
So what do you do with the leftover 80%? You have three options:
Delegate them to someone else
That’s it. And you want to treat them in that order.
Most tasks can simply be eliminated. There’s no point in paying someone else to do them if they don’t really contribute to business revenue.
If the task simply cannot be eliminated, consider automating it, like an email auto-responder with FAQs. Or better yet, add your FAQs to the contact page on your website like I do here. Catch those questions before they even enter your inbox!
Lastly, if it can’t be eliminated or automated, outsource it to someone else and move on.
This frees up time for you to to relax, enjoy your family, be creative, or double down on the few things that do work, and create more revenue for your business.
I encourage you to #stopthehustle and take control of your life and business. By committing to the 80/20 Rule, you’ll find yourself rich in both time and business revenue.