When you look up the definition of “hustler” in the dictionary you are presented with the following definition:
- an enterprising person determined to succeed; go-getter.
- Slang. a person who employs fraudulent or unscrupulous methods to obtain money; swindler.
- Informal. an expert gambler or game player who seeks out challengers, especially unsuspecting amateur ones, in order to win money from them: He earned his living as a pool hustler.
- Slang. a prostitute.
- a person who hustles.
Many people associate the term “hustler” with something negative, and several of these definitions show why. If you’re an entrepreneur, though, you should want to be described as a hustler by everyone – your peers, your customers and even your competition.
Successful entrepreneurs don’t wait for opportunity to fall in their lap – they go out and make it happen. One of my favorite hustle-related quotes is from Abraham Lincoln. He said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
I’m in the middle of writing two books – one is focused on digital marketing and the other is about how to be a successful relentless entrepreneur. During my preparation for the second book, I spoke to more than one hundred entrepreneurs about what characteristics successful hustlers possess.
Related: Why Meditation is For Hustlers Too
Here are my favourite thirteen characteristics from those conversations.
1Hustlers understand the importance of networking
“You will never be successful hiding in the corner and keeping to yourself. You need to constantly be out there networking, with other entrepreneurs and industry contacts. This is where a lot of new opportunities, partnerships and success originates from. You have to constantly have your feelers out for new opportunities. Your competition will catch and pass you the minute you become idle.”
Mike Robbins, CEO of Luxe Water Walls
2Hustlers are laser-focused 24/7
“What really sets hustlers apart is their level of focus. You have to eat, sleep and breathe whatever it is that you are focused on accomplishing. Whether that’s building the next successful mobile app or increasing your sales revenue from the previous month. Everyone has responsibilities outside of work, but those that remain laser-focused around the clock will always find a way to accomplish what they set out to get done.”
Ryan Hulland, CEO of Netfloor USA
3Hustlers genuinely care about helping other people
“Many people have the misconception that those who describe themselves as hustlers are swindlers and they can’t be trusted. This is far from true, as some of the entrepreneurs in my circle that I consider hustlers are some of the most thoughtful and caring individuals I have ever met. When you help others, it often comes back to you tenfold in the form of business relationships and opportunities.”
Kevin Wendelburg, Owner of Relax on the Beach, Inc.
4Hustlers dream ridiculously big
“A successful hustler is always dreaming bigger than anyone else. They understand that there is no limit on what you can envision or dream, as long as you are willing to work harder than anyone else in order to bring the dream to reality. Look how big Facebook has grown since it was first introduced. Mark Zuckerberg is a true hustler.”
Victor Tam, CMO of Rove Concepts
5Hustlers aren’t afraid to take a risk
“If you tell someone that there is only a one percent chance of their startup being successful, most would stop dead in their tracks and quit. The small percentage of entrepreneurs that wouldn’t even consider quitting are the true hustlers. They aren’t afraid to take a risk, no matter how high the odds are stacked against them.”
Loren Taylor, CEO of Outdoor Fountain Pros
6Hustlers fail hard and often
“Most people don’t want to admit when they don’t succeed, but a hustler has no problem discussing his or her failures. They understand it’s impossible to hit a home run every time at bat and that it can take multiple attempts to finally make it. Hustlers are big risk takers, so when they do fail it’s often a high-impact crash. It doesn’t stop them, though, because they get back up and try again.”
Hung Hoang, CEO of Lifestyle9
7Hustlers eliminate all distractions
“You could want it more than anyone else, but if you let outside distractions interfere and take your focus off accomplishing your goals you will never fulfill them. It’s not easy, but you need to learn to eliminate all distractions, whether they are work-relate or personal, such as a toxic relationship. Hustlers constantly look ahead and don’t take their eyes off the end goal, and to do that, you need to push all distractions to the side.”
Avanda Alvin, Founder of Car Release Price Specs
8Hustlers never quit
“There is no timetable for success, and hustlers understand this. They are willing to work hard, from morning to night, until they reach their goal. If you set out to accomplish something with a pre-determined time frame in which you believe you should finish, it can set you up for epic disappointment and ultimately failure.”
Jerry Wilfred, Founder of Toss the Key
9Hustlers think outside the box
“One of the biggest business clichés is ‘thinking outside the box,’ and it’s a characteristic all successful hustlers possess. They approach opportunities, situations and problems in innovative and different ways – completely opposite of how most people would. Their unique way of identifying opportunities and solving problems allow them to succeed when most would fail. Hustlers are always thinking – their mind never pauses for a break.”
Jim Epton, Founder of Domain Hunter Gatherer
10Hustlers value daily self-improvement
“The only way you are going to be a better, more successful entrepreneur is by constantly improving yourself. From reading books every day to learning more about your particular industry, there is always going to be information to absorb. Hustlers will find the time to read and focus on self-improvement, even if that means waking up early in the morning or skipping happy hour with friends. They rank improving themselves very high on their priority list.”
Onyabo Monagoe of Transcendence Luxury Condos
11Hustlers embrace authenticity
“Have you ever met a hustler who was shy, reserved and tried to pretend who he or she was? I sure haven’t. They are very confident in who they are and they aren’t afraid to show the world. There is no need to put up a smokescreen – let your true personality shine. Authenticity is also a byproduct of being so laser-focused on the end goal, because there is no time to be anything other than authentic when you are 100 percent focused.”
Keith Bridges, CEO of Safford Trading Company
12Hustlers love what they do
“If you don’t truly love what you do it becomes very difficult to excel and experience success. It is much easier to dedicate the majority of your time to something when you are passionate about it. Many people label entrepreneurs that work nonstop as hustlers – they simply love what they do. Hustlers become consumed with their goals, refusing to stop until they are reached.”
Imran Asghar, Founder of 24/7 Spares
13Hustlers create their own opportunities
“Hustlers possess the ability to create their own path, which is why so many people labeled as being hustlers are such successful entrepreneurs. Imagine being faced with a challenge and there are two options, A or B. Many times neither option is exactly what you need, and this is where the hustler mentality comes into play. Rather than pick a sub-par option, a hustler creates a third option, C. Successful hustlers know what the best option is, and they make it available.”
David Marantz, Founder of Direct Life Settlements
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
7 Cannabis Industry Millionaires Making It Big In The Marijuana Business
These entrepreneurs have capitalised on a new market set to continue to grow rapidly as more countries legalise marijuana across the world.
1. Brendan Kennedy
- Company: Tilray
- Website: https://www.tilray.com/
Brendan Kennedy worked on job sites as a carpenter to pay his way through university, with his eyes set firmly on becoming an architect, until the allure of Silicon Valley changed the course of his direction. While working at technology start-ups Kennedy began thinking about the possibilities that medical marijuana provided.
“I was really sceptical of medical cannabis,” he says. “It took a year of having conversations with patients and physicians and hearing the same story, repackaged but essentially the same, over and over and over again, where my scepticism eroded and I became a believer.”
In 2013, Kennedy and his partners applied for a licence from Health Canada and launched Lafitte Ventures, which was later renamed Tilray. Today, the company is a global leader in medical cannabis research, cultivation, processing and distribution.
Scaleup Learnings From Our Top Clients – What The Most Successful Entrepreneurs Do Right
So, how do our successful clients move through these constraints to scaling up? We see four key drivers of success, and they are: people, strategy, flawless execution and finance.
You’re out of your start-up boots, staff is increasing, your client base is growing, revenue is up and you’ve proven your case to the market. Now it’s time to scale up. The challenges of this vital growth phase are different and it’s a time that demands different mindsets and different actions. In a world littered with small business failures, it helps to be well-prepared for scaling up using a proven methodology. At Outsourced CFO, we get an inside look at the success factors of our clients who are mastering the transition.
On the one hand, scaling up is a really exciting phase; this is what moves you into real job creation and making an impactful contribution to economic growth. On the other hand, it is really hard to scale up successfully. We see three major constraints that limit companies’ transition from start-up to scale-up:
The business has to have the leadership that can take it to the next level. When you start scaling up, especially rapidly, the founders can no longer do everything themselves. The team must grow and include new leadership talent that can take charge and execute so that the founders are working on the business instead of in the business.
The processes, procedures, networks, systems and workflows of the business all need to be scalable. This is imperative when it comes to your infrastructure for the financial management of your business. You’re only ready for growth when your infrastructure can seamlessly keep pace.
Scaling up demands more innovative marketing and storytelling so that you can more easily connect and engage with the new employees, clients, network partners, investors and mentors that need to come along with you on your scale-up journey.
Businesses that build a market conversation and a compelling brand narrative during their start-up phase are better positioned to have this kind of market access when they need to scale up.
It is critical to have the right people on your team. Our successful entrepreneurs have what it takes to attract, inspire and retain top talent. A strong team of smart, ambitious and purpose-driven people who love the company and want to see it succeed contribute greatly to a world class company culture. They are adept at communicating a compelling vision and establishing core values that people can take on. These entrepreneurs are tuned into the aspirations of their people and focus on developing leaders in their teams who can in turn develop more leaders.
It is planning that ensures that the right things are happening at the right times. At successful scale-ups strategies and action plans are devised to ensure that the most important thing always remains the most important thing.
Strategy includes input from all team members and setting of good priorities for the short, medium and long term. Goals are clear and everyone always knows what they are working towards. The needle is continuously moved because 90-day action plans are implemented each quarter to achieve targets and goals that are over and above people doing their daily jobs.
Top entrepreneurs are not just focused on what operations need to achieve, but how the business operates. They have the right procedures, processes and tools in place so that everyone can deliver along the line on the company’s brand promise. Frequent, quick successive meetings ensure the rapid flow of effective communication. Problems are solved without drama. There is no chaos in the office environment. Everyone is empowered to execute flawlessly to an array of consistently happy clients.
Everyone knows that growth burns cash. A rapidly scaling business faces the challenge of needing a scalable financial infrastructure to keep the company healthy. Our successful entrepreneurs pay close attention to finance as the heartbeat of the business, ensuring that everything else functions. They look at the tech they are using for financial management and for the ways that their financial systems can be automated so that they can be brought rapidly to scale. The capital to grow is another vital finance issue.
The best way to finance a business is through paying clients on the shortest possible cash flow cycle. However, when you are scaling up and making heavier investments in the resources you need for growth, it is likely that you will need a workable plan for raising capital. Our scale-up clients know the value of accessing innovative financial management that provides high level services to drive their business growth.
Navigating the scale-up journey of a growing private company is one of the hardest but most rewarding of careers to pursue. Having people in your corner who have been through this journey before helps take a lot of pain out of the process. No growth journey looks the same, but there are tried and tested methods that will – if applied diligently – lead to definite success. Happy scaling!
That Time Jeff Bezos Was The Stupidest Person In The Room
Everyone can benefit from simple advice, no matter who they are.
When you think of Jeff Bezos, a lot of things probably come to your mind.
You likely think of Amazon.com, a company he founded more than twenty years ago, that’s completely disrupted retail and online commerce as we know it. You probably also think of his entrepreneurial genius. Or the immense wealth that he’s built for himself and others. You may also think of drones, Alexa and same-day delivery. Bezos is a visionary, an entrepreneur, a cutthroat competitor and a game changer. He’s unquestionably a very, very smart man. But sometimes, he can be…well…stupid, too.
Like that time back in 1995.
That was when Amazon was just a startup operating from a 2,000 square foot basement in Seattle. During that period, Bezos and most of the handful of employees working for him had other day jobs. They gathered in the office after hours to print and pack up the orders that their fast-growing bookselling site was receiving each day from around the world. It was tough, grueling work.
The company at the time, according to a speech Bezos gave, had no real organisation or distribution. Worse yet, the process of filling orders was physically demanding.
“We were packing on our hands and knees on a hard concrete floor,” Bezos recalled. “I said to the person next to me ‘this packing is killing me! My back hurts, it’s killing my knees’ and the person said ‘yeah, I know what you mean.'”
Bezos, our hero, the entrepreneurial genius, the CEO of a now 600,000-employee company that’s worth around a trillion dollars and one of the richest men in the world today then came up with what he thought was a brilliant idea. “You know what we need,” he said to the employee as they packed boxes together. “What we need is…kneepads!”
The employee (Nicholas Lovejoy, who worked at Amazon for three years before founding his own philanthropic organisation financed by the millions he made from the company’s stock) looked at Bezos like he was — in Bezos’ words — the “stupidest guy in the room.”
“What we need, Jeff,” Lovejoy said, “are a few packing tables.” Duh.
So the next day Bezos – after acknowledging Lovejoy’s brilliance – bought a few inexpensive packing tables. The result? An almost immediate doubling in productivity. In his speech, Bezos said that the story is just one of many examples how Amazon built its customer-centered service culture from the company’s very early days. Perhaps that’s true. Then again, it could mean something else.
It could mean that sometimes, just sometimes, those successful, smart, wealthy and powerful people may not be as brilliant as you may think. Nor do they always have the right answers. Sometimes, just sometimes, they may actually be the stupidest guy in the room. So keep that in mind the next time you’re doing business with an intimidating customer, supplier or partner who appears to know it all. You might be the one with the brilliant idea.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Women Entrepreneur Successes2 weeks ago
Watch List: 50 Black African Women Entrepreneurs To Watch
Support for Women Entrepreneurs2 weeks ago
Funding And Financial Assistance For SA Women Entrepreneurs
Accounting & Payroll2 weeks ago
Wilting Away – How To Boost Your Financial Management Team After The Big Financial Year-End
Snapshots7 days ago
How Pepe Marais Went From Bankruptcy To Founding Joe Public And Becoming An Entrepreneurial Success
Snapshots6 days ago
Ian Fuhr Explains Why He Likes To Launch Businesses In Unfamiliar Industries And How He Made Sorbet A Success
Company Posts2 weeks ago
The Future Of Fleet Management Is Now
Support for Women Entrepreneurs2 weeks ago
Too Few South African Women Become Entrepreneurs, But This Can Change
Company Posts3 days ago
Designing Her Destiny