First let me paint you a picture – imagine the Don DoroBucci himself @DonJazzy spending sleepless nights in the studio to produce a beat for a hit single, or Kaffy the Dance Queen, working out non-stop, practicing dance routines for different music videos and performance or Africa’s richest man – Aliko Dangote having late hour meetings, spending time reading investment and financial materials. What unifies all these people is the Hustle! It gives you drive and keeps you going!
When it comes to keeping one’s hustle alive, it takes a lot of work and dedication. First let me define a “Hustle” in neutral language, as many relate it to street stuff. Its simply your ambition – that which you are passionate about, your dreams, your aspiration, that which keeps you out there on the “streets” through all the bustle and shove, because you believe and want it.
It could be a job in your field of choice, a career in an industry relevant to your talent and skills, it just might be a means to an end – which is to be rich $ famous for some or wealthy and successful – well this depends on your own definition. No matter what it is, a hustle needs to be sustained, hydrated to stay alive!
Hydrating your hustle is key to accomplishing the goals you have in your professional life. Regardless of whether you have endless ambition and grit, here are some ways to keep your hustle hydrated and alive!
If you don’t have ambition, you shouldn’t be alive. – Aliko Dangote
- Dedicate creative time.
Creative time allows you to let your mind wander. My creative time consists of watching thrillers, musicals or inspirational movies mostly based on lives of achievers or inventions. It may sound boring to some, but I like thinking up new ideas and researching them. As often as possible, every week I make sure to set time aside for these activities. They keep my mind fresh and motivation levels high.
- Grow your network.
As I continue to develop a stronger network, I firmly believe that your network equals your net worth. Having a strong network allows you to meet more new people and opens up your resource pool. Having access to more people and resources allows you to do more – faster and better.
Collaboration is a way to recharge your career and can provide you the vehicle to get super creative. The music industry thrives on collaborations, to increase one’s fans across the continent – collaborate with the star in that region. The list of collaborations that has led to massive hits and even sold-out shows is endless. Don’t leave collaboration to just the artiste, extend yor network reach, find people who complement your hustle and not in direct competition.
- Find inspiration everywhere.
I love the streets of Lagos – Lasgidi as it is called, EKO! From those hawking on the streets in the sun, to beggars reaching out to you for help, or is it the traffic and jampacked buses or the fact that you can get any quality of stuff within your budget like N100 plate of rice, to N1,000 shoes, plus the fashion trends which gave it its hype – EKO for show!
All of these beyond books, social media and TV inspire me. It keeps me buzzed and going, the knowledge that I can do better for myself and in turn help others, plus the opportunities to experience life, all these inspire me – find yours…
- Listen to music.
Music is the most empowering tool humans have ever discovered. Sometimes I like to just chill out and use music to soothe or motivate me. I listen to contemporary Nigerian music like Asa, MI, classics, gospel, country and alternative rock when I want to chill out, Jazz and songs ike Enya helps me write and research.
Songs by artistes like Tupac, Phyno, Olamide and co gets me hyped and motivates me, because I simply see people pushing their hustle like crazy, beyond all the glitz and glam – these guys are constantly working.
- Read hustle stories of achievers.
I’m obsessed with reading the back stories of successful entrepreneurs, musicians, athletes and public figures. The back stories of these people help me understand what it took them to achieve their success, gives me insight into the people they are through the obstacles they faced and can help show that success can be obtained no matter how bleak a circumstance.
- Find time for fun.
Ok so I used to be guilty of being a workaholic, couped up reading, writing, with my laptop and many gadgets becoming my constant companion and even bedmate. Hey! Burnout is real, I was constantly on painkillers, till I had to take chilling pills and start creating more “me” time, learning to hangout, be with friends and even travel distance just to make it happen. My drug dependence has reduced and yes most networking can be done while having fun… had to add that bit.
Errrm for folks like me who social media / the internet is our base, sometimes shutting down means just putting away our devices and spending time with people in real time. So yeah, from time to time I do, ok I plan to travel more. For when I do shutdown, I return all clear minded and supercharged! Try it sometime and if you are an employee or self-employed do make the effort, insist, you got one bdy and if it fails you, that’s the end of the hustle.
- Plan and list your weekly accomplishments.
As an entrepreneur constantly on the go, I accomplish more things in a day than most people accomplish in a week. I’m sure that goes for all of you, too. It’s easy to lose sight of all that you accomplish. If you don’t write down your tasks and plans for the week.
Being able to tick-off my list accomplished tasks excites me! Accomplishments can give fuel to your motivation, and provide vital vitamins to your hustle. The more I accomplish, the more motivated I get. The more I track my accomplishments, the more accomplishments I realize I am building. It’s an awesome motivation cycle that keeps building and compounding. So I keep track of mine manually – with a notepad.
- Keep an idea notebook.
I learned this skill during my service year – NYSC. The power supply in the area I was posted to was pitiable, practically almost non-existent. Internet was a huge luxury considering it was 80% of my allowance to even afford a daytime monthly plan. I kept a notebook, and currently one of the best gift you can give me despite how digital I am is a notebook. I am hardly without some form of writing material, I write every idea or thought, or even re-write that which I have written as it helps me get a clearer picture, before I transfer it to my laptop.
“Hydrating your hustle” is figuring out how to say motivated, developing a relentless work ethic and even learning how to be creative. Developing these skills will help you accomplish any goals you have in life.