Is the Hustle, Slowly but Surely, Killing You?


Is the Hustle, Slowly but Surely, Killing You?

Could the hustle be killing us?

After reading an article in New Scientist, I’m wondering if what we associate as virtuous entrepreneurial habits might not be so good for our brains.

The hustle is glorified as a virtue we must have in order to succeed – especially in the startup and entrepreneurial worlds. It means working hard and long hours, burning the midnight oil. You have deadlines, you have products to launch, a business to build. Your worth is often measured in how late you stayed up to get something done. Or how much time with your family you sacrifice.

I think we all know that something is wrong here, but, it’s a tough world and you’ve “gotta” do what you’ve “gotta” do to build a successful business, right? I’ve been there, done that. And it’s life sapping. Literally.

Chronic sleep loss leads to your brain eating itself.

According to New Scientist, “your brain starts to eat itself after chronic sleep loss”. We all know that not getting enough sleep makes us feel terrible. But, what you may not have known, is that a chronic lack of sleep puts people at risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological disorders.

I freaked out when I read this article this morning, because I hustled for more than 15 years. I thought I was pretty “cool” for doing it. Because culturally, when someone asks how you are and how business is, if you don’t answer “busy”, then things must be bad. You must be lazy or useless. Or a complete failure. Well, I’m calling “bullshit”.

End the hustle and get leveraged.

The hustle did not get me the results I wanted in my business. And it certainly didn’t help my social life or my health. Now I’m realising that it may have affected my brain in ways I hadn’t realised. So, taking that lesson to heart, we shouldn’t be sacrificing sleep for our business. Which means being strategic about where we spend our incredibly valuable time.

This is why I’m such a massive fan of leverage. By getting better results with less time in my business, I am loving my life (and my business) more than ever.

Busy is not a virtue we should aspire to.

If I’m not up past midnight every night, clearly I don’t love my business. Right? Wrong.

I’m crazy passionate about my business. But it is not and cannot be my whole life. Not at the expense of my health. Or at the expense of my family. Or at the expense of the joy I derive from other activities.

We need to come back to our big why. Our purpose. And that should be reflected not just in our businesses, but in our lives. My purpose or big fat why is, “empowering people to love what they do and do what they love”. And I live and breathe it. For myself and for others.

My business is a vehicle for me to live my purpose. So is my relationship with my partner and my children. I want to bring love and fun and playfulness into people’s lives. Every day. Whether I’m working or not.

If your business is eating your whole life, it really is time to go back and evaluate some basics. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you burning the candle at both ends? What can you do to ensure that you, your health, your relationships and your business are all thriving? My answer, create more leverage.

Quick ways to create leverage.

You’re probably thinking, “That’s great, Renee, but what can I do right now to create more leverage?”

Great question, and I never want to leave you without something that you can implement.

I’ve written extensively on Smallville about different ways to create leverage in your business. Here are some articles to get you started:

Promise me, no more turning into bed at 3.00am because you’ve got just one more email to respond to. No more sacrificing your brain health, your life or your family on the altar to the gods of “hustle”.

In the long run, your health is so much more important than the busy work.

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