The Hustle Culture

“Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’re done.”  This philosophy has become more and more acceptable when it comes to work ethic.  There is a misconception with entrepreneurs that you must be working at all times or you won’t be successful, you won’t get ahead, you won’t beat out the competition. But at what price?

Do you often find yourself answering emails on your phone at night instead of spending quality time with your family? Are you working on business promotions on social media while eating dinner with your family or friends?  Do you find yourself unable to stop when working on a project only to realize it’s 2:00 AM and you have to get up early to take your kids to school?  Are you unable to turn off your brain at night worrying about all the things you didn’t get done during the day and find yourself sleep deprived?  Do you find that you are eating a lot of fast food while answering emails or working on your website because you just can’t find the time to cook and slowly eat a healthy meal? These are all examples of things we do when we get trapped in the hustle.

When we’re new to this work, we are excited and will do anything to grow our business, but when this over obsession with feeling like we need to be constantly working gets in the way of our quality time with family and friends, we have ventured into dangerous territory.  Don’t get me wrong, hard work typically reaps great rewards, but where is the balance?  The hustle culture breeds burnout, a toxic sense of competition, and an unhealthy lifestyle. For those of us in this trap, what can we do to fix it?

There are many things we can do to begin regaining some sense of balance in our work and personal lives.  First, I urge you to evaluate how much human connection you are making each day.  HUMAN connection, not phone, email, texting connection, but true face to face interaction with your family and friends.  If you are being honest and realizing that even while you’re talking with your kids you are simultaneously on social media, you need to make a change.  Put the phone down and make eye contact with your family and friends.  Connect, listen, breathe.

Are you scheduling time daily for self-care?  What feeds your soul?  It can be yoga, spin class, journaling, taking a long bath, meditate, etc.  Whatever this looks like to you, please put it on your calendar or set a daily alarm to remind you to stop what you’re doing and take care of YOU! Even if it’s only for 10-20 minutes, it will begin to make a huge difference in your stress level and may even help you sleep better at night.

Speaking of sleep, actually set a bedtime.  Again, set an alarm on your phone as a reminder that you need to stop working and start relaxing.  Make a rule for yourself that you will not get on your phone, laptop, iPad once you slide into bed.

When you find yourself having a hard time making these adjustments, ask yourself why? What are you gaining but not setting boundaries?  Are you really going to miss out on anything?  Is the sleep deprivation and stress worth it?

When we stop idolizing the hustle culture, we can get back to the vision that we had for our business from the beginning.  Setting boundaries is a strength, not a weakness, and will afford you the opportunity to not only grow your business, but to be present for the people in your life that matter most.


About the Author

Darla Burns has been supporting women and families as a birth doula since 1990 and was certified by DONA in 2003. Finding that she also loved working with the families after they delivered, she then became a CAPPA certified postpartum doula in 2004. Soon thereafter, she became a certified childbirth educator and lactation educator. Her love of working with families and sharing her knowledge with others led her to her position as a faculty member for CAPPA. When she’s not doing doula work, she spends her time with her husband and two great kids.

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