Making It on the Hustle

In the two years since I’ve left my last regular day job, I’ve done gigs that are referred to as ‘hustles’ sometimes. I’ve done delivery work and now I drive for Uber.

First, I want to say I’ve made a lot of mistakes because I went into this totally blind thinking it was way easier than it really is, and because I thought things would just magically fall into place for me because it’s what I wanted.

The mistakes I made were not hustling more to make more money at the outset so I’d have a cushion built up and something to maybe fall back on. Also, I was exceptionally lazy and just let shit slide right down the toilet with me in it. But I’m still waking up on this side of the dirt and living in a place with a roof over my head for me and my pets so I must be doing something right.

So what I have learned about hustling to get this far?

1) You have got to be disciplined. No one is going to ride your ass telling you what to do or when to do it. It’s so damn easy to just put off things until tomorrow thinking that you can do it tomorrow. DON’T DO THAT! Do it now would be my motto to start with this. Set a goal and don’t stop until you hit it.

2) Balance. We’re all human and we all have our good days and our bad days. Sometimes you have to push through the bad day even though sometimes you just can’t do that. It’s a hard thing to realize but you have to know when you can push it, and when to back off.

3) Never forget the life you left, and never want to go back to. And also know that the further you get away from your former life, the harder it will be to go back to it. Don’t look back and remember why you walked away in the first place. And keep moving forward even if it’s just surviving.

4) No one knows everything and the price of it. Some people catch on quicker and move faster but that doesn’t make them know-it-all perfect gurus. And beware of fast-talking bullshit. How much money you can earn by hustling depends on how much time you’re willing to put into it. Because you may find a good groove sometimes, and there may be times when you don’t. There are going to be days when you have to take a shot at doing things differently not knowing if they’ll pay off. But you don’t know what works until it does, or doesn’t. And if it doesn’t, then you just have to deal with it.

5) Never give up, or give in. Have your moments of despair and wailing-shit, then shut the fuck up and move on. Yes you do have to have a kick-ass attitude to get through the lean-and-mean times but trust me, it’s a good attitude to have. Try not to think about any shit-bombs coming down on you because if they do you’ll just have to deal with them anyway.

6) Try not to give any time or energy to what ‘people’ might think about how you live. Trust me, the ‘people’ that might mouth off at you honestly don’t give a shit. They just have diarrhea of the mouth and you’re a convenient toilet bowl to them. Don’t be anyone’s toilet bowl and don’t take shit if you’re not giving it like my dad always used to say.

7) Enjoy the good times and pat yourself on the back when you figure something out or accomplish a goal. It doesn’t matter how long the good time lasts, or how you figured something out and got it done. It just matters that you did and use the moment as a way to remind yourself that you can do it again and again.

8) Try not to depend on anyone. I know there are people out there who will help but they may not be able to all the time. Live like you’re on Mars with a serious radio delay and no cavalry that will come to save you. Save yourself. Be your own hero/heroine.

9) Know that you’ll go without stuff that’s absolutely not essential for survival. These things will seem like small luxuries to you but basic necessary stuff to most people. But know that eventually you’ll scrape up a few extra bucks to indulge yourself a little. Don’t take any shit for doing that and don’t give yourself any shit for it either. Eat the greasy fast-food, buy something nice for yourself, and enjoy the hell out of it with no apologies to anyone.

10) Have the cockiness of Han Solo, and remember that Millennium Falcon was the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy. Appearances don’t matter but skill and attitude to. It’s not who you know or whose ass you have kiss with a hustle: it’s what you can do and how you can do it.

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