Today, I’m getting a little controversial by saying MORE HUSTLE isn’t the answer to sustainable business growth.
Here’s the challenge and the issue that I really have with this hustle mentality. First of all, we don’t all have 12-18 hours a day to work. We just don’t.
For so many of us, there are other things that require our time and our attention. The idea that you could work 12-18 hours a day, like some sort of machine, is just not realistic.
Maybe you are working full time and you’re building your business on the side.
Which means, you’ve already got 40 hours a week working and then maybe 15 or 20 hours a week in the evenings and on the weekends that you’re trying to get your business up and going.
Maybe, like me, you have a family that needs your attention.
I have small children who are in school. Which means that when I’m not working on my business, I’m making sure that the kids have everything they need.
- I’m picking them up from school
- I’m taking them to their activities
- I’m trying to spend quality time with each of them
We’re trying to do things as a family. I also have, on the other side of that, I’m in that sandwich generation where I’ve got aging parents and a disabled mother. That sometimes means that I have to go down and help out with them.
Maybe I need to go stay with my mom for a few days so my dad can go on a business trip. Maybe I need to take her to a doctor’s appointment.
There are so many women who are in that situation where you’re trying to care for your children and your parents.
Maybe you simply don’t have the energy anymore to work 18 hour days.
When I first got into the consulting world, those 18 hour days were the norm. That was kind of what was expected. But in my early 20s, it was possible.
It’s kind of like in your early 20s, I feel like you can run on zero sleep and still get so much accomplished. But over a decade later, that is not the way it is anymore. I simply don’t have that kind of energy.
In all honesty, I don’t want to work 18 hours a day. I want to have time for a beautifully full life.
- I want to have time for my marriage and my relationships and my friends
- I want to have time for my family
- I want to have time to invest in my health, which could be as simple as home-cooked meals and making sure I can move my body on a regular basis
- I want to have time to sit down with a great book
- I want to have time to go on vacation
Who is with me on this?
Did you start a business so you could have a business AND A LIFE you love?
So this hustle mentality, it’s not serving most of us.
But the biggest issue I have with the hustle culture is that when you’re taking in all the advice from people just saying you just having to hustle harder, you just have to work harder, then you’re adopting their mindset that you should do all the things.
Which is not actually that helpful when you have a smaller capacity, when you have just 10, 15, or 20 hours a week available towards your business.
Stop and think about this for a minute – you simply can’t squeeze 80 or 100 hours of work into a 20 hour week.
IT’S JUST NOT POSSIBLE.
And even if you have 40 hours a week to work – you’d have to work twice as fast to catch up which usually doesn’t lead to doing your best work.
So you really have to consider this when you’re listening to the advice of others – are they giving me strategies that actually fit into my available working hours? Are they giving me strategies that fit my life and my business?
In 2010, my twins Juliana and Alexander were born.
Up until that point, I pretty much ran by business the way I had done everything before – I hustled. I had no problem starting work early and working late.
I said YES to every networking event. I spent hours on social media or writing blog posts. I did all the things I thought I needed to do. But nothing teaches you to become more efficient than becoming a mom!
I quickly realized I didn’t have 2 hours a day to grow my social media following. I couldn’t attend every networking event. I had to get smarter about how I spend my time in my business!
If you’ve been following me and listening to me for a while – either on the Facebook Live show or the podcast – you know that I am a fan of finding the strategies that make the biggest impact with the least amount of effort.
What really started to shift this for me was when I started to realize that an entrepreneur running a million dollar a year business has the exact same number of hours a day as an entrepreneur running a $100,000 a year business.
We have the same amount of time. We have the same container of time. It’s about how we use that time.
It’s about the strategies we are choosing to focus on in our business.
When you want to grow your business, there comes a point where you simply can’t work harder and get a 10 times return on your investment on your time and energy unless you start thinking and working differently.More hustle, it isn't the answer to your business growth problems. Click To Tweet
It isn’t the answer to creating a predictably profitable business. Thinking about how you can work smarter is the key.
If you’re ready to grow a predictably profitable business and you want to have time for what matters most to you, for anything else that matters to you then you really have to learn how to do less and how to do better.
I want to talk about some key things that can help you grow your business when you have limited time and energy.
Like I said, it’s not to do all the things. You need to really be careful about who you listen to, about the so-called “experts” and “gurus” out there. There are some, especially, who are not modeling what you want.
If they are talking about hustling 24/7 and they’re not making time for the same types of things that you want in your life, they’re probably not a good role model for you.
You’re going to be, then, attempting to squeeze 100 hours worth of work into a 20 hour a week bucket or whatever your time capacity is here.
You really need to narrow in to the things and the lessons from people who are modeling what you actually want. Here’s what I’ve learned looking at my own mentors that have made such a huge impact for me.
1: First things first, doing less better has meant focusing in on one core signature offering.
One core signature offering, whether that’s a product, program, or service. A big mistake I see for a lot of entrepreneurs is that they create one amazing offering.
They announce it, they promote it, they enroll it and they work with clients for a few rounds. Then they start to get itchy feet. They start to think, “I have another idea. I want to create something else.“
They put that offer on the shelf and they go out there and they start from scratch; they start all over again to create a new offering.
Sometimes it’s because they’re looking at those entrepreneurs out there who are preaching at the altar of hustle and those people have a whole suite of offers.
But the reality is, if you can really laser-focus in on one core signature offering, then you are building an asset that you can leverage and get better results, not only for your clients as you get better at delivering that offering, but you can get better results for your business.
I’m proof of this. My Sweet Spot Strategy program, I have been running since 2011.
We’ve had hundreds of students go through it and we continue to help them see incredible results.
Because I’m focused on doubling down on what works, on doubling down on my signature offering, I’ve been able to make the program even better.
I’ve been able to take people’s insight and take their feedback and see what is working for them and make the entire system better for them. Which, in turn, gets better results.
I’m always amazed at how many people I’ve been able to help and then I think for my mentors, the people that I really respect, they often have offerings that have been out there for decades.
They’ve been able to reach thousands of people. There’s still so much room for me to grow with Sweet Spot Strategy. There’s so many more people I could serve with this single program.
When you focus like this, when you focus on a signature offering and you’re really developing it and nurturing it, what you’re growing is an asset.
Instead of spending all of your time and energy both creating and delivering as well as attempting to market that offering, you’re really simplifying your energy.
You spend the majority of your time up front creating and delivering.
But once you simplify that and put it into a system, then you can spend the majority of your time and energy out there getting it in front of more people.
You can spend more time and energy reaching more people instead of just simply on the delivery part. It’s such a smart way to approach your business.
Develop the asset and then focus on leveraging the asset as much as possible.
2: The other thing that I look at when I’m helping people to learn how to work smarter and not harder is the marketing side of things.
This is where I see a lot of people spinning their wheels because they’re trying to do so much. This is where a lot of the shiny objects are, in all honesty.
If you are in this entrepreneur space, you’re probably being bombarded with the latest marketing tips, tricks, and tactics nonstop.
When I first started my business, it was just the latest social media platforms. First, everyone got excited about advertising their business on Facebook.
Then Twitter came along. Then Instagram. Remember Periscope? Now that’s been replaced by Instastories and Facebook Live!
If you’re trying to chase after the latest tip, trick, or tactic, you never get a chance to actually design a marketing strategy that will consistently fill your products, programs, and services.
Something I teach inside of Sweet Spot Strategy that I hope will help you out is what I call the three-by-three marketing strategy.
This is part of a five-part marketing system that I teach inside of Sweet Spot Strategy. It’s really, really simple. Attract, engage, nurture. These are the key parts of your marketing.
The first three parts here – attract, engage, nurture – is what we all need to be thinking about on a regular basis.
As in, every single week, every single month, you need to be doing something to attract, engage and nurture so that people are coming into your business and hearing about how you work.
Attract is the marketing you need to do to bring new people into your business. People who have not heard of you and this is the first time that they are getting to know you and your message.
You want to have a clear attract strategy that you are putting your time and energy behind. It could be guest posting. It could be search engine optimization.
It could be Facebook ads – though I don’t recommend those until you’ve proven the system with free attract strategies. For me, I love doing podcast interviews.
When I sit down to map out my three-by-three marketing strategy every quarter, that’s usually the strategy that I focus on because I love to have conversations with other entrepreneurs, it’s much easier and faster for me than writing guest blog posts, and I enjoy it!
My goal is to get in front of other people’s audiences and share my message and then attract them, hopefully, to my weekly Facebook Live Show Uncomplicate Your Business or to check out a freebie I’m offering.
Which leads us to the next part of the three-by-three marketing strategy – engage.
This is all about how I am getting those people who have just heard about me through my attract marketing strategy and how I’m getting them to actually enter my world so that I can continue the conversation so that I can continue nurturing them.
Now, for my business and probably a lot of yours as well, engage means they are opting in, they are subscribing to your email list so that they can continue to hear from you.
Often, this looks like they’re opting in for some sort of free training or free resource guide or free PDF.
In my business, we alternate different masterclasses or challenges throughout the year. I have an amazing masterclass that we are getting ready to launch.
It might be out by the time you’re hearing this. It’s all about how to grow your business from 5 to 6 figures.
This is where I send people anytime I’m on an interview, anytime I’m on my podcast. I’m sending all people in the same direction.
You’ll see all of my calls to action are focused on getting people to engage with that free training – the most recent masterclass.
The final piece of my three-part marketing strategy is nurture.
What am I doing to actually nurture people, and build the relationship with those who have already joined my community, who are already on my email list, or already following me on social media?
Well, I like to keep this really simple and strategic, as you can tell. For the most part, it is the combination of the Uncomplicate Your Business show with a weekly newsletter that encourages people to check out the show!
If you are in the first couple of years of your business, you’re just getting started, you’re just starting to build those systems and figure out what really works for you.
You really only need that three by three.
You only need one attract strategy, one engage strategy and one nurture strategy to get started. You can layer as you build out the systems and have more capacity.
These days, if you’re following me, especially on social media, you’ll notice that my nurture strategy is a little bit more robust.
- I host a weekly Facebook Live Show
- I send out a weekly newsletter
- I republish the show via my podcast and blog
- I’m active on Instagram and Facebook
Those are not things I would be focused on if I didn’t have the system in place and the structure in place – the support in place – to help me with the foundational piece of my nurture strategy, which is my newsletter.
Seriously – my NEWSLETTER is the most important part of my entire nurture strategy because it SHOWS UP in my communities inbox each and every week.
Once you have each piece of the puzzle set up, you have the foundation for what you really need in order to start growing your business, even if you only have 10 or 15 or 20 hours a week.
I find that when you have the basics down, you have this simple strategy down, you don’t have to work harder.
You’re focused on the exact strategies that get the biggest impact for the least amount of your time and energy.
Once you have these two pieces, you have a simple marketing strategy of your three by three, that allows you to attract, engage and nurture and you have your core signature offering, you really have the two foundational pieces that will allow you to grow your business by working smarter, not harder.
3: The final thing I want to leave you with is to start simple and get fancy later.
You should not add any complication to a three-by-three marketing strategy until you have the systems in place, until you have the structure in place and you’ve gotten consistent with it.
You don’t have to do all the things.
You don’t have to be sending out your newsletter, doing a blog post and doing a podcast and doing a Facebook Live and being all over social media, etc, etc, etc. That is way too much stuff.
That is the hustle mentality.
People are struggling because they’re trying to do way too much without having this core system in place, this system that simplifies everything and makes sure that you have really a path for people to follow towards working with you.
As you put this system in place, as you get your structures in place, as you get support going behind the scenes, then you can start adding more layers to your marketing strategy.
If you happen to watch what I do and you’re looking at me as a model, I will tell you that the foundation for my nurture marketing strategy is actually my newsletter.
If I stopped doing a podcast, if I never wrote another blog post, people would still be connected to me. I would still be nurturing them through my newsletter. It shows up every single week and has for years and years and years.
That’s the key: getting that foundational piece consistent and getting the systems that you need in order to make sure you can consistently deliver it.
Then you can layer on. For me, that layering on looked like adding in a podcast because podcasting is actually easier for me than writing long blog posts. I can do it more efficiently, I enjoy it way more, so I focus in on doing a podcast.
You might also notice that I’ve been doing more Facebook Lives recently.
In fact, because I have a system and team in place to help me post-production, my weekly Facebook Live show is taken and republished as my podcast and on the blog.
If I did not have that, I would not be wasting time on multiple platforms.
I would be only on one – the one that was getting the biggest result for the least amount of effort. Think about what helps you get the greatest result for the least amount of effort.
For me, my attract strategy is podcasts because it is a better investment of my personal time and energy. I feel like it comes easier to me, more naturally to me than writing guest posts.
For my engage strategy, it’s masterclasses. I know I’m a great teacher and that’s where I feel like I really shine.
On my nurture strategy, the foundation is my Facebook Live Show and newsletter.
Those pieces are what really help me to get the most out of every single hour I invest in my business.
I hope this inspires you. If you’re someone that has limited time and energy, you don’t have 80 to 100 hours a week – and even if you did have that 80 to 100 hours a week, you would prefer to be smart about the time and energy you’re investing in your business.
If you’re ready to start working smarter, not harder, I hope this really encourages you to start looking at how you’re spending your time and energy.
Are you focused on the activities, the strategies that get a 10x return on your time and energy? Do you have a signature offering in place that you are now able to leverage and not have to recreate the wheel all the time?
Do you have a three-by-three marketing strategy in place that ensures that you’re consistently finding new potential people that you can serve with that signature offering?
If you loved this conversation, stay tuned! I’m working on a new Masterclass to help you Grow Your Business from 5 to 6 Figures without Burnout. More information will be coming out soon!