The Hustle Hoax

I came across this article recently discussing the Startup Hustle Bubble which is occurring in many entrepreneurial circles. The title said that working 9-5 is for losers. I tend to agree, but in the opposite direction than many of the Silicon Valley disciples espouse. They promote the 18 hour work day, I reckon that’s a better number for the week, only kidding, but not by much. To save you reading it, the proposition of the so called Hustlers goes like this:

  • Workaholism is a desirable life choice
  • To succeed you must give up everything (depends how you define success)
  • Out grind, outwork and out hustle everyone
  • A cottage industry of Hustle conferences are emerging
  • There’s even a Hustle Jesus – otherwise known as Gary V, that hustlers genuinely worship
  • Then there was some wonderful counter claims by the journalist.

Here’s a few things worth considering:

Firstly, there is no doubt work is required to get results in anything, but there is no evidence that working a crazy hours makes people any richer – if that’s the goal. I’d add to this that most of the people I know with incredible financial wealth, didn’t hustle all day and night, they used their brains, took calculated risks, saved, invested and compounded small advantages over time. But you know what they did more than anything else? They got others to work the hours for them and arbitraged their wages. It’s how capital works. Capital wins, capital always wins simply because each individual will only ever have 24 hours to give.

It’s also worth remembering that only thing we can never earn back in life is time. No amount of money will buy it back, your kids (if you have any) will only be young once and they’d rather have your time, than toys. We all know that money doesn’t lead to more happiness over a certain threshold. But mostly we should always be driven by our own personal objectives, when it comes to what we sacrifice. It’s vital we don’t get caught up in ‘fashion’ or the goals of others who a vested interest in the amount of hours we put in anything.

If you want more life hacks – then you’ll totally dig my new book The Lessons School Forgot. By the way, I went surfing on Tuesday, had a two hour nap today and I still got all my work done!

What we can learn from street hawkers

I was in Shanghai China last week and had another experience with street vendors or ‘Hawkers’. The hot item that week seemed to be light flashing rolling heels for kids shoes. I lost count how many times I was approached to buy some. It got me thinking about what we can learn from their hustle.

Hawker China

Lessons for Startups from Street Hawkers:

It’s a numbers game. They approach every single tourist. (I stand out in China). Even though we may or may not want the toy they are selling, they don’t let their perception ruin the chance for a sale. They’d rather get a ‘No’, than miss a potential yes.

They take rejection with a smile. They don’t get upset when you say no thank you. Especially if you say it nicely. They understand that you are not rejecting them, but the offer. It’s not personal and they know it.

They go through the range. If one product isn’t right, they pivot and offer another from their range. They give every prospect a few options and work out what they might need. They try and solve your ‘gift or memento’ problem.

They are proactive in retail. If you’re looking, they ask questions and interact with you. They don’t wait at the counter for you to bring an item up to buy. They don’t sit and ignore you looking at their smart phone – like some retail workers do in western markets. They know how to sell in retail. And here’s why, they live on commission, not hourly rates – no sale, no money. What a difference that makes for sales people.

Make an offer: They often let you make an offer. Your price is probably higher than the minimum they’d accept. (Something we could do more often in B2B selling).

They Negotiate: They have flex in their pricing, let the customer have a perceived win through negotiating on price. A large part of what we buy is how we feel when we buy it. They know this and make it fun.

They know the rates: They’re great international marketers, they know the exchange rates of every country and give you the numbers immediately. They live in the customers world.

They are thankful: When you buy, they thank you for your custom. Appreciate your support and do business with a smile.

If we ever want to learn how to sell, then we should pay attention to people whose livelihood depends on it, not those who get a wage for doing it.

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