It's Over... We Broke Up
Hustle culture and I have finalized our divorce...
The funeral for the time I wasted in this toxic mindset has a TBA date.
I am happy that I realized how badly my tendency to overwork was affecting me, but sad that this is so normalized / that many people do not even see the lack of sleep / self-care as an issue (even glorified at times).
How can we function without recharging?
How can you take inspired business decisions, let alone logical ones, if your brain is not working? It doesn't make any sense at all. I would rather make the best possible business decisions, and make fewer of them, than look for quantity over quality because quantity has nothing to do with the revenue potential and the quality level of the problem the business is solving.
If you have too many services and you are not keeping up with the ads / the marketing, you’re wasting your time... more lanes do not correlate with success or a better reach... a smaller / excellent menu goes a long way (Gordon Ramsay style).
My work-life balance matters much more than trying to be everywhere or attempting to "show up" on every single platform or for everyone. I need to preserve that energy for my existing clients and spiritually aligned ones.
If I ever have a more intense season, I want to make sure that it’s coming from a place of purpose, not compulsion. I want to be in control of what I do if choose to put in more (useful) hours, rather than the part of me that used to only get self-worth from productivity.
If you’re on a recharge day, and you have to think about your business: is that a mental break? No, so turn off your notifications if possible... the more seriously you take your breaks, the more sustainable it is, and the more mentally present you are when “on” again. If on your dedicated break time, you get ideas, then awesome, write them in a parking lot document.
Having that schedule peace and space with no allowable things that resemble work in any manner truly expedites the process of solving problems when you are back on the clock because of optimal energy levels and there is more power in that than the toxic culture that praises depletion and holds it like a badge of honor.
Hours put in are not a measure of passion, care is quality hours and self-preservation.
Imagine trying to outwork yourself daily / feeling like rest is just not acceptable unless it was earned as if we needed to earn our right to honor our health? This is a lifetime’s worth of re-wiring. I am opting out of time stress. I am opting out of fractured focus and constantly being bombarded by distractions and multiple directions because I am proactively creating constraints around my vision (reverse engineering).
Hustle culture will tell you to work hard for success, and I agree, but they don’t tell you to rest / they don’t care if your business lasts the test of time (long-term foundation) and if you’re doing only high ROI activities. This is not to say that we only want low-effort high-impact, we want focused-effort, high-impact. I love my business, but no, I do not want to spend more time on it if I do not have to.
Work hard during working hours, and rest hard during personal hours.
Hustle culture says that if you want it bad enough, you will sacrifice your sleep, healthy eating, and fitness, I disagree now more than ever: the more you care about something, the more you take care of yourself to make sure that you’re still alive when you get there and in it LONG-TERM.
Creativity can’t coexist with interruptions, overwhelm, and time stress, knowledge work requires switching OFF our brains daily. Buffers also help. I am here for a purpose, not just money.
No one else decides your definition of success, mine is optimal health.
My best sales came from my rest days, and fun is part of building a sustainable business. No rational client expects 24/7 availability, and no genuine audience expects 24/7 social media responses. You do not need to be a robot to get where you want to go.
On the topic of being on all the time and answering things right away... Let's stop allowing our attention to be led, and let's start leading it and choosing when to answer e-mails and things like that. Few numbers are filtered in for emergencies, but if it isn't ICU-level work, then no, it does not require operating in crisis mode. There should be respected blocks of time reserved for focus work, but it does not have to feel overwhelming. Overwhelm is created, and it can be dismantled.
If you had a clear vision, you will understand that only some opportunities are in alignment with you. You do not need to fulfill every request, you do not need to take on every opportunity, timing matters. Do not let other people's ideas of who you should be or how you should live to toxify your life!
The old me would brag about my 100's projects, they all crashed when I did, no more scattered focus, bye hustle culture, we're done.
The least time-consuming method (I budget my hours like I budget my money) is putting up ads, which is giving me the most results and is super simple, why would I want to complicate my life with insane amounts of content on every single platform? We can define our own terms.
Why would a “recharge” day with nothing that resembles work allow notifications? Defeats the purpose of mental RESET. I no longer deal with people who do not encourage wellness. I no longer admire hustle culture gurus who lure people with BS platitudes, yet no sustainable strategy.
The idea that you don’t want to achieve something bad enough if you’re not willing to sacrifice protected recharge time (you-time) has to go, and now. I don’t care how noble the goal is, I’m more concerned with my daily vision, joy, and wellness... let it take however long it takes. Me doing my own grocery shopping (having the space for it if I feel like it) and sleeping is more important to me than the growth of even my own business. Interestingly, the bigger the goal, the more rest is needed for execution... My focus got me bigger progress goals/health wise in 2 months than ever! Oxygen mask first.
The "potential rewards" of something do not forgo my current commitments and the integrity that I have with those commitments, in addition to the quality control.
Speculative deals are a trap, they are poison, and they play on our need for achievement or ambitions with no real promises, that is not worth neglecting existing commitments to any extent as things that are right for us will fit seamlessly.
Desperation doesn’t make good decisions. I don't have a fear of missing out, I'll create whatever I want - when I want - at the pace I choose, but while staying true to want I want my daily vision to look like. I am interested in purpose, not just money for the sake of it (I don't do speculative time-wasting deals that take me away from perfecting my craft).
How do I recharge?
It's creating space daily for ideas to appear, that is why I love blogging so much.
I couldn't figure that out until now.
Leisurely blogging is my favorite thing, next to non-rushed workouts with no notifications. Refill your own joy cup however you please, but do it regularly.
Joy is productive as it helps solve work and business problems much faster.
We don’t have to be robots to be worthy.
The bottom line is that my accomplishments aren’t going to last if I don’t. I’ve had moments where I wanted to shut my entire business down because of my extreme perfectionism, I realized that at that moment: I needed to get a handle on my mind. Joy is my first KPI now.
How can I thrive if I am programming my brain, body, and life wrong?
No additional podcast show, guest appearance, article feature, or collaboration (as much as I love those) is worth exchanging the 1-2 “no plan - no work” buffer evenings I have off. Learning this at the onset can make the journey more fun. Lazy? No. Preservation of creative juices for what truly matters and it is only logical that not everything can matter at once as that defeats the purpose of priority setting.
I was happier when I only had 1 stream of business because it’s the total # of things I have to worry about overall that can take me down, not how long they take each. So the measurement is different for me. Trimming it down is increasing speed/ potential. Less weight to carry, more agility and aligned decisions.
How you choose to “give back” and “show up” and make an impact must be sustainable... So... How anyone else chooses to perceive it: as “enough” or “not enough” is highly irrelevant. Do what sets your soul on fire and do it sustainably.
Excellence over quantity!
I used to think that taking action was the only way, no, staying in alignment with our energy is more creative so that when we are faced with challenges, we can trust our intuition and guidance.
I already deal with enough health conditions that I won't create more via the idiocy of hustle culture.
Time is not scalable, days have limits... but focus is scalable with systems. We don’t have more time nor does more time really exist due to its limits, but we can have more innovation/ systems/ processes that can scale without breaking. If something is demanding more time than it actually should, there is an efficiency problem, and you shouldn't have to suffer for someone else's lack of resources. If the lack of resources is your own, fix your processes.
The reality is that as humans, non-robots, we need conscious rest... so the real answer is "no" we cannot do everything in one lifetime, choices simply must be made and we cannot be everywhere and this is incredibly freeing, it's not limiting, it's reducing cognitive load. Cognitive overload is incapacitating.
Becoming satisfied with rest and viewing it as productive... seeing business problems resolved in a few minutes rather than “hustling” even if tired.
Lacking ambition? Stalling my “growth” potential? Whatever. I won’t tolerate is depletion in the name of productivity. Spinning our wheels yet not having a clear direction is productivity? No.
Direction is more important than speed and major dents are more powerful than smaller dents in too many directions which makes very insignificant impacts.
How did I spend all of this time measuring my worthiness as a human by how much I accomplished in a day? I’m falling in love with taking care of myself and making sure that I am well-rested before even attempting anything else. Worthiness is innate / based on merely existing.
The truth is: we can always do more - hustle more, can start a 2nd, 3rd, 4th business, go faster, and reach more people. We choose what enough means for us.
Hustle culture preys making us seem inadequate if we refuse what is not necessary to take on.
Correlating normal human limits with laziness is how they have the majority of the population drinking this BS Kool-Aid. When you list out your accomplishments and major progress milestones, were there many significant ones while you were spinning your wheels in 100 directions yet getting nothing done? Is that how you want to live? Is it not more potent and sane to give a theme to each season as a focus strategy?
Hustle culture thinks complicating things is productive/admirable. We are pushed to do more / be more, I am concerned with quality control / executing FEWER “tabs” with perfection: without 100% MENTAL presence in knowledge work/details, you’re not truly productive.
Your full potential has nothing to do with doing more and being more, it has to do with executing the RIGHT purpose perfectly /well, if you’re looking to make things complicated/have low control over your time on and off, then follow the hustle burnout culture. Mental load matters for me though.
Only pressing on the gas at 1 million miles per hour when it’s dire makes some sense, but why would it not be set up for this to not happen in the first place (not many times a year as my business is not the ER/ICU)? I do not take on every deal anymore (I’d have the time if I was the best person). Before adding more inventory, I step back and reassess.
I did not comprehend the critical importance of a few mental/brain shut-off (nothing that remotely resembles work) days for mental health until I learned to unapologetically embrace this basic need. This is expediting things. I thought I would lose momentum, I am gaining it.
If this wild horse for a brain is able to learn to enjoy scheduling relaxation: you can DO anything! 👏 Truly, if I can figure this out, this proves anyone can truly do anything.
If someone doesn’t like you after you refuse something, is that the type of person that you need in your life? The people telling you how to spend your time are not your friends and they are not viable business partners! They are leeches in disguise who only want to be around you if there is something to gain (personal life) and who do not bring equal value to the table (business life). What was the basis for them liking you in the first place? It’s not who you are. It was for personal gain. That’s not a loss for you.
Do not confuse healthy compromise that feels right in your gut/intuition with self-sacrifice. It is a red flag if anyone has a problem with another priority coming before them as excessive entitlement to the time and resources of others is not a good look. They are not entitled to what does not belong to them, what they did not work for, what they did not create, what they did not earn through their own blood-sweat-tears. We are not beholden to users.
I am not interested in being everywhere or doing everything.
Time off should be UN-broken and CONSECUTIVE.
I think it’s the people who expect others to be in work mode or “on” 24/7 who are the ones with the problem, everyone is worthy of clear business hours (resting their mind enough), and anyone who requires explanations on this basic concept, not our problem / not our people.
Doing one thing is at the expense of something else, so choose wisely.
Having something someone else wants doesn’t make you obligated.
There’s nothing noble about over-giving/self-sacrifice. Over-vulnerability isn’t healthy.
To sum up why I am done with hustle culture for good:
No more feeling like we are not enough, do not do enough, do not give back enough... when do a lot already.
What if don't need more time? At some point, there is a cap, and wishing it was different and that time was exponential (even automation cannot work miracles in many cases, those also have limits) is futile. Wishing we had more time makes us despise limits and view them as negative.
What if we need to appreciate and respect our limits?
What if we want to expand at our pace?
What if mental bandwidth has limits even if we found a way to expand our labor power through bigger teams? What if this was a drain on our energy if poorly timed?
What if our existing operations were enough for us and give us a happier daily vision?
Let's not let the toxicity of hustle culture which devalues health at the most basic level poison our blissful boundaries. Let's not let outdated measures of success toxify our minds.
Loving my daily life, having time without notifications, and my sacred gym time, are all part of my vision and I refuse to put anything before my wellness, never again! This allows me to show up for who and what I care about properly. They deserve the best of me, not what's left of me.
Let's detoxify our precious life from other people's measures of what success should look like and what the measures of passion are.
What if we put output before more hours?
What if we rejected twisted ideas of success?
What if we embraced time and schedule peace and rejected time stress as a requirement for massive impact and success?
Why do we have to make apologies for not being available all the time or for our chosen priorities? Why is this even an issue?
Why do we feel that limits are something that makes us inadequate?
Wouldn't the right people for us (mutually) want our wellness and be grateful for what can do instead of what we can't do (respecting the limits of our availability)?
Most experts don't spend 24/7 on their craft and they're still amazing. The more we care for ourselves, the more powerful our contribution (within the time allocated to that lane of our lives) is potent.
Know how/where you operate best. To me, success is knowing oneself and operating ONLY within our own unique zone of genius and ignoring all other distractions as focus/excellence is currency, potency. Expertise is driven by in-depth problem-solving and people pay for that. Know what success means to you. Ignore the noise. Drown out the BS!
You have the power to protect your peace. So do it. Do not ever fall prey to the hustle culture gurus, they're just trying to sell you something anyway.
Let's begin to own our right to disconnect and recharge and do so with no apologies.
✨Filling your own cup first is a basic personal responsibility as no one can do that for you.✨
Anyone in any situation expecting us to offer anything beyond the logical limits of there being a limited # of hours in a day and a limited # of items our brain bandwidth can handle should be the one apologizing.
What belongs to you - your time to breathe / recalibrate (because humans need that daily as wellness requires conscious effort, it’s not a passive ritual that happens on its own) - is never something you’ll need to apologize for/defend in the right settings. 🙏
I am trying to drive home the point that laser-beam focus pays off:
• Trademark approved
• Forbes feature
• Way more to come that I can’t discuss yet
...Within 2 months of rejecting toxic hustle culture, turning my phone off during unbothered gym time, and resting. HOLY WOW. 🔥
Embrace and honour YOU, because toxic hustle culture peddlers certainly won't. You don't owe anyone depletion. In fact, you don't owe anyone anything, everything is a choice. They can either appreciate what you can do, or simply not be worth your energy due to their entitlement, up to them.
You can accept yourself and STILL want to make some changes, nothing wrong with that. Had I not had my brain pulled out of my skull and put back in with new beliefs on why workaholicism is toxic and embraced sustainable work ethic/success... I would have not bounced back.
I think it’s a boggles my mind how we glorify workaholic ism and we don’t see it as an addiction like everything else that’s a socially unacceptable... I feel like more research needs to be done on this because it is as lethal.
Many things have changed my relationship with time and as I see how finite it is... I realize that quality of life matters more than living in time stress/constantly being bombarded with things that fracture our focus, we ONLY have ONE chance, make it your own.
Guess who is responsible for their own household/personal health and things no one can do for them on their behalf you? Guess who doesn’t need to understand it in order for it to be okay/acceptable? Other people.
Carving out time for catching insomnia, busy waves, and things not going as planned dismantles time stress in its tracks and reserves creativity/mental presence for lovely clients who deserve the best. ✅
What halts potential is not having a health condition to cater to or time limits, it's constantly having your mind taken off from the task at hand (distractions).
How does anything significant get accomplished if there's constant fracturing of focus? Makes no sense at all, even without ADHD.
You will be assigned a vision/purpose if you don’t direct yours. A purpose can include health too! Choose wisely. Choose you.
• Daily low-friction tasks to get there (this makes it feel like not a burden which zaps mental energy due to chaos)
• Ignore distractions that are not in alignment (put your goals on a priority scale)
• Free-up headspace to evaluate goals/actions against levers
• Use leverage so you end up loving the constraints and not even caring to/wanting to do everything in the first place
• Clarity primes flow/inspired action (lack of clarity is one of the causes of anxiety/burnout, overwhelm stalls all action)
• Ignore other people's definitions of success and go at your own pace, it's far less chaotic this way, do not let what you cannot afford time or mental energy wise cloud your joy
• Know that there's no point in expending mental energy that you do not have as timing matters more than "potential ROI"
Do limits compromise growth? Not when the time we do have is focused, so no, limits aren’t a real issue. How we measure potential has to match what we can do and then it expands within that realm, how we look at a limit changes its meaning.
Clarity of vision makes the channeling of focus seamlessly, do not let anyone else assign you a purpose, you get to decide how you spend your precious life.
There is a difference between healthy compromise that is mutually uplifting... and self-sacrifice or self-abandonment so if growth or a "connection" requires self-abandonment or isn’t an organic fit... it’s not something I’m interested in. Self-care is also how we make the best decisions. Vanity? No... Sanity.
Your self-compassion / self-kindness should not depend on anyone else’s level of comprehension / understanding of what constitutes a struggle for you or what your limits / bandwidth caps are. ✅
It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks you should do with your life/business. Things are meant to be used, not people. Let no one push you, even nicely. Genuine people (with no agendas who like you for who you are, not personal gain) will respect your autonomy.
No one runs on empty, self-care is being responsible for our obligations to enable ourselves to last long-term (sustainability), bye bye hustle culture (see you never).