The old ‘hustle and grind’ message perpetuated through current social media platforms and those driven to succeed at all costs seems to be failing people. It is only working for those willing to risk almost everything – from health, family and relationships to retention of staff, good culture and leadership, and much more – to get to the top.
The Wall St ‘greed is good’ message of the 80s has failed many and fallen out of fashion, and the ‘harden up and just do it’ slogans are starting to wane amidst a new breed of agents, principals and property managers who would rather rise up and shine than hustle and grind any day.
The mere definitions of hustle and grind already give the impression that something is wrong.
To hustle, in its purest form, means to push roughly and jostle, and to obtain illicitly or by forceful action. In the real estate context it doesn’t mean this for everyone, as for most hustle has taken on the connotation of pushing yourself to your limits at any expense or cost; to be successful, no matter what the impact.
To grind means to reduce something to small particles or powder by crushing it or, in real estate-speak, to constantly be in the game 24/7 – ironically crushing yourself.
There is a pervading message in the industry that if you are not earning a million dollars or above then you are not a successful agent.
Consequently there is also a pervading message in the industry that if you are not earning a million dollars or above then you are not a successful agent. This is often held up as the Holy Grail in real estate, yet many people have commented that this type of chest-beating approach is not a true reflection of success in the industry, and certainly not a working model to be espoused.
Now there is no doubt that hard work is required to achieve any type of success, and that at times sacrifice and doing the hard yards is important. But at what cost and for what? This is where the issue is; not in working at your best and doing everything you can to be a success, but the impact of a message and working model that says ‘just keep pushing and pushing so that everything that is important gets impacted and forced aside’. And you can only push the capacity of a human to work for so long before it breaks.
So what is the alternative, and why does the ‘rise and shine’ message resonate with so many?
The change itself is being driven by a new generation of young people who refuse to live out their parents’ lives and work practices, or the political status quo that keeps people in the mindless pursuit of meaning through bad work practices. Young entrepreneurs are starting to drive the new economy globally, rethinking and reconfiguring work/life balance to ‘life balance and then work’.
Look at companies like Google and Apple, and wellness and wellbeing programs around the world, and you will see a massive shift in how work is delivered and practised. People are starting to realise that if you work smarter, not harder, you can still achieve what you want and more, and have less impact on what’s important.
By adapting a new way of working we could actually be happier, less stressed and more fulfilled. Money or status or achievement in itself is not the real driver for a successful life and business; there is a better way that allows you to minimise and potentially avoid the pitfalls of the hustle and grind approach.
There is a movement towards doing what you love to do and having the psychology of flow at the centre of it. Work for work’s sake is being replaced by work for the sake of passion and purpose. Work because you love it, not because you have to. It’s time to rise and shine in life and business, and leave the hustle and grind behind.