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Breaking the Habit of Hustle

Photo by: Laura Lee Photography

#HustleHarder – we’ve all heard it. We may have even preached it at some point.

It’s the entrepreneur’s badge of honor right? We wear it proudly – and then we hustle even harder.

But the idea of “hustling harder” is more than just a hashtag. It’s a mindset.

It’s a belief that the only way that we’ll make it as entrepreneurs, the only way we’ll ever truly be successful is if we hustle our little hearts out.

Friend, I want to challenge you to think of success differently.

I want to challenge you to overcome the limiting belief that you’re only as good as your hustle.

What if instead of chasing the hustle, we created businesses from a place of purpose and – believe it or not – rest?

The Dangers of a Hustle Culture

In a recent Forbes article, the “hustle culture” was described as “perpetuating a culture that’s driving a highly caffeinated, sleep-deprived and anxiety-ridden generation to forsake everything but work while falling further and further into depression and debt.”

Woah. I don’t know about you, but I did not start my own business to become a highly-caffeinated, sleep-deprived, and anxiety-ridden entrepreneur – and I’m guessing you didn’t either.

So how can we push past the hustle and start creating from a place of rest?

Breaking the Habit of Hustle

Like any other habit, we didn’t just learn to hustle overnight. It’s difficult to just shift our mindset away from the need to hustle.

Personally, my achievement-loving heart wants ALL of the gold stars ALL of the time. I mean, really, who has time to rest when there’s more to achieve? (hello fellow Enneagram 3’s!)

The funny thing about hustle is: if we don’t learn how to break the habit, the hustle will eventually break us.

So that begs the question: how do we break the habit?

Today, I’m going to share 3 practical steps to help you break the habit of hustle so you can build a purposeful and profitable business.

Warning: side effects include more happiness, fulfillment, and a well-balanced life 🙂

Let’s get started.

1. Set working hours – and stick to them

We’re going to start with a small step that you can start taking TODAY: set your working hours.

As entrepreneurs, we can work anywhere and anytime we want. But if we don’t set boundaries with our work, we will wind up working everywhere and all of the time.

So it’s time to set some boundaries, both with your clients and yourself.

To get started, let’s think about your client communication. Are you sending emails at all hours of the night, or checking in on the weekends?

If your clients receive communication from you at all hours of the week, they’ll expect you to be constantly available. This isn’t really a problem of client experience, it’s a problem with client expectations. It’s up to us to serve our clients well while still setting clear boundaries and expectations.

My challenge to you is this: decide on your office hours (the time you’re available for clients) and set clear expectations. Put them in your email signature. Add them to your onboarding emails. And then stick to them.

Use an extension like Boomerang for Gmail to schedule your emails to only send during your office hours. That way, even if you are checking email or working after your client “office hours”, you’re still creating the habit for when they can expect to hear from you.

Pro Tip: If you want to take it one step further, set your own boundaries with work. Use an extension like “Inbox Pause” to eliminate distractions like email notifications and instead only check at designated times throughout the day.

2. Practice a weekly Sabbath – and *actually* rest

Step number two may feel like an enormous leap from setting email boundaries, but I can’t stress how impactful taking a Sabbath has been in our lives and business.

We haven’t worked a Sunday since January 1, 2017. For us, that means we’ve added 153 days of rest to our lives.

Now, it’s our favorite day of the week. We don’t work, and we don’t use social media. We’re simply present with our family and enjoy time together resting and exploring.

But I’m not going to lie – I was scared of what would happen if we took a day off from our business. Wouldn’t I hurt our following if I didn’t post consistently every day? Wouldn’t I lose clients if we didn’t make ourselves available every day? Wouldn’t our students be unhappy if we didn’t respond immediately to their questions?

These were all very real fears. And I’m happy to report – that NONE of them came true.

In fact, in that first year, we doubled our income – all while removing 53 works days.

Now it’s your turn: I want to challenge you to take the leap and take one FULL day off each week.

It doesn’t need to be Sunday. It could be a Tuesday, or any day that fits your type of work (ex: wedding professionals may find it hard to take a sabbath on a weekend, so find a week day that works instead!).

Need more convincing? There’s actually a lot of science proving the benefits of sabbath!

A 2014 study looked at the correlation between Sabbath-keeping and mental health and well-being. According to the research, “refraining from secular activities on Sabbath was associated with better mental health and better physical health.”

One Inc article discussed 12 scientific reasons you should take a day of rest. Another Inc article shared studies of how taking one day off of work per week – or even just keeping one evening work-free – didn’t just lead to more work-life balance, but it actually led to increased productivity!

3. Find a buddy – and stay accountable

Have you ever set a goal, worked hard at it for a week or two, and promptly let it fall to the wayside? Me too.

Like we talked about before, you didn’t learn to hustle overnight – and odds are, you won’t learn to truly rest overnight either.

Creating space, boundaries, and rest as entrepreneurs can be extremely difficult, especially if we’re trying to do it alone.

For the last step, I encourage you to find an accountability buddy to actually commit to making a change. Let’s break the habit of hustle, together.

If you’re reading this guide, I’m going to take a wild guess that you believe in the power of community. Imagine what would happen if we fostered a community that believed in the power of rest over hustle?

It’s time we give ourselves, and each other, the permission to slow down in our pursuit of success.

Photo by: Laura Lee Photography

Let’s link arms and redefine success not as the amount of hours we’re hustling harder but as how well we serve others – and let’s do it all while creating from a place of more rest and less hustle.

Ps – if you need an accountability partner, I’m happy to be yours! Shoot me a message @peteandjordan and let’s break the habit together.

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