I listened to a podcast recently that featured an interview with Ryan Holmes.
In it, he mentioned a concept called ‘Bad Hustle.’ You see, Hustle is a part of everyday life. You spend consistent effort moving toward your goals. Sometimes people even celebrate spending more and more time working. They work hard and work long hours to achieve their dreams.
And it’s commendable. The harder they work, the more they must want it, right?
Yes and no. Working hard is a must, that’s for sure. But working hard at the expense of your health isn’t worth it. Imagine: you spend years and years working to achieve something. You work through many nights, and you don’t take vacations. You eat out frequently because cooking a meal takes too much time. You don’t go out to parties or hangouts because ‘they’re a waste of time’. You’re a lone wolf, paving the way to the top.
When you get to the peak, you’re the only one there. You’re tired, overweight (or underweight), and alone. That’s an extreme example, but I think you get the idea. Bad Hustle. You worked so hard that you don’t have the time to enjoy the things you worked so hard to enjoy. Relationships suffer, health suffers. You don’t want to be the richest person in the graveyard.
Recently I was doing some bad hustle. I work night shift part-time and run a beverage startup. Sometimes I need more capital, and without thinking about how I’ll make it work, I leap on whatever opportunities arise. Unfortunately for me, this last one involved driving two hours to an adjacent city, working three 12-hour shifts through a hot sun and the rain (with no cover provided).
Before driving to that job, I had worked four 9-hour night shifts and then attended business meetings during the day (read: pulled consecutive all-nighters! I’m such a hard worker).
I wouldn’t recommend either of those things to anyone. My health suffered, and I caught a cold for the first time in years. When I returned to Columbus, people were asking what was wrong, since my face looked noticeably fatigued. I wasn’t able to produce any useful content, or plan ahead for my company.
This was a pretty big deal for me, and I wasn’t back to my good old self until I was forced to rest for a couple of days. It wasn’t a fun experience, and while I imagine some people work themselves into the ground regularly, I can’t help but wonder what detriment they’re causing to their health and/or relationships.
We all have goals and dreams. We want a successful career to feel fulfilled financially and internally; usually so that we can enjoy life with those near and dear to us. If we’re burnt out and run into the ground, that defeats the purpose.
Work hard people, but work smart. Take care of yourself. Life isn’t a sprint. Take time to smell the flowers.