Remember when Hustler was a naughty magazine?
In the business world, Personal Branding spawned offspring: Hustleporn.
Gary Vaynerchuk says hustle is “the most important word ever”. Grant Cardone sells a “hustle muscle” lime green wrist band on his website. And Tai Lopez says, “hustle until the haters ask if you are hiring”. (We wish we were making this stuff up.)
The absurdity of hustleporn boggles our mind.
If you need a middle-aged carnival barker who’s so attention deprived that he’s putting out 100 pieces of content a day, begging you to look at him on the Internet, to tell you that being successful takes hard work, you have a problem so big, the middle aged carnival barker screaming at you to 10X yourself will not help you.
In The Big Brand Lie, we noted Ford spends $2.5 billion and GM spends $3B on brand marketing, for a respective $50 billion and $70 billion in market capitalization. Tesla spends $0 and now has an $800+ billion market capitalization. It’s not that Ford and GM aren’t great at marketing themselves everywhere, all the time. It’s that brand marketing fundamentally doesn’t work.
So if carnival barking doesn’t work for Ford and GM against Tesla, what makes you think your “hustle harder” strategy is going to make a difference?
The obvious reality is that working 24/7/365 is a sure fire way to end up fat, sick and divorced.
Monetizing “The Envy Gap”
What makes the hustle porn stars exponentially damaging to entrepreneurs is the envy gap they create — “You’re not enough because you don’t work enough” — comes with material mental health ramifications.
According to a 2015 study, 72% of entrepreneurs are directly or indirectly affected by mental health conditions. Further, from December 2020 and July 2021, employees reported a 21% increase in burnout and 17% increase in physical symptoms of stress like muscle tension and fatigue.
In the middle of a global pandemic and worldwide recession, while the government was forced to produce the largest business and personal bailout packages in history, hustleporn star Grant Cardone tweeted this:
Yes working hard matters.
But smart work matters more.
Maybe time has come to stop working for your business and start making your business work for you.