As the co-founder of a travel tech startup, I meet many aspiring entrepreneurs. One of the most common questions I’m asked is: “what skills do you need to successfully build a company?” Over time, I’ve come to realize the answer is pretty simple: you need to know the art of hustle.
Hustle has become a beloved byword of high-profile entrepreneurs, from Jessica Alba to Travis Kalanick. But it’s not just a sound bite – it’s an honest and accurate view of what it really takes to succeed in a high-stakes startup world.
Julian Mitchell gives a good definition of hustle for Forbes, highlighting the ability to work smarter, not necessarily harder, and to position yourself for lasting success.
In Mitchell’s view – and mine – hustle is a commitment to being truly great.
It’s a commitment that requires an incredible amount of discipline and an unwavering work ethic. People who understand the art of hustle constantly invest in themselves, seek out challenges and chase growth opportunities.
Are you ready to embrace the art of hustle?
Here are five tips to kick-start your success.
1) Prioritize ruthlessly.
Are you managing an unwieldy to-do list? Stay focused by limiting your priorities to 2-3 top tasks. Utilize a project management tool like Trello to keep track of items you want to accomplish. Then, set aside time during your most productive part of the day to focus on complex tasks.
2) Protect your time.
Don’t leave room for interruptions, which absolutely kill productivity. A recent study from UC Irvine showed that it takes people an average of 23 minutes to get back on track. Keep unwanted distractions and begin the art of hustle by blocking time on your calendar and turning off email notifications.
3) Ask for help.
High performers realize the value of asking for help.
Chances are pretty high that you’re NOT the first person to face whatever problem is currently on your plate. Instead of spinning your wheels, call up a trusted friend or colleague who can help point you in the right direction.
Don’t know someone with the right expertise? Utilize LinkedIn to reach out to contacts with the relevant capabilities. You’d be surprised how many people are willing and delighted to share advice on the art of hustle.
4) Celebrate your wins.
Great success deserves celebration.
Take time to reflect on and savor your wins, and you’ll find it easier to stay motivated moving forward. In high-stress environments, it’s easy to forget how far you’ve come. So make sure you keep track of your accomplishments so that you can refer to them in the future.
I keep an email folder with messages from the most meaningful moments of my career. I find it helpful to return to those emails when I’m facing a particularly stressful challenge.
5) Vary your routine.
New perspectives fuel creativity.
Even small changes to your daily routine can help spark new ideas. So take a different route to work, try sitting in a new corner of the cafeteria, or work from the local library for an afternoon. Create space for serendipity and you’ll be surprised by how quickly new ideas begin to emerge.
Ready to start the art of hustle?
It’s not easy trying to accomplish all your dreams in one lifetime. But by going one step at a time, working hard, and celebrating small victories, you can achieve so much. Don’t delay: begin today and hustle your way to success.